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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series) Paperback – Large Print, January 6, 2009
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“An exceptional effort for a first-time crime novelist. In fact, a fine effort for any crime novelist . . . This book is meticulously plotted, beautifully paced, and features a cast of two indelible sleuths and many juicy suspects.”
“Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson’s first novel.”
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“The book lands in the United States as Wall Street sputters and global markets clench, a timely fit to Larsson’s themes of corporate corruption. He tells his crime story cleverly, but the zing in Dragon Tattoo is inked in its two central characters.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A super-smart amalgam of the corporate corruption tale, legal thriller and dysfunctional-family psychological suspense story. It’s witty and unflinching . . . Larsson’s multi-pieced plot snaps together as neatly as an Ikea bookcase, but even more satisfying is the anti-social character of Salander.”
–Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)
“It’s like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . . . It features at its center two unique and fascinating characters: a disgraced financial journalist and the absolutely marvelous 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander–a computer-hacking Pippi Longstocking with pierced eyebrows and a survival instinct that should scare anyone who gets in her way.”
“Larsson’s novel could serve as the definition of page-turner . . . The worst part: We have to wait until summer ’09 for the second installment.”
–Time Out New York
“The biggest Swedish phenom since ABBA.”
“Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with Thomas Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lambs. Larsson’s mesmerizing tale succeeds because, like P.D. James, he has written a why-dunit rather than a whodunit.”
“A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel.”
“Larsson’s debut thriller succeeds on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. First off, it’s an absolute page-turner. But the characters are so fascinating and the clear, understated writing so graceful, you are going to want to savor it . . . Electrifying.”
–Portsmouth Herald (NH)
“Is the hype justified? Yes . . . This complex, multilayered tale grabs the reader from the first page.”
–Library Journal (starred)
“The first U.S. appearance of another major Swedish crime writer is cause for celebration . . . The novel offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama. What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world!”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed.”
“I doubt you will read a better book this year.”
“Dark, labyrinthine, smart, sexy, utterly original, and completely captivating, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo delights at every level. Nuanced, sympathetic characters, caught in a tangle of unusual and compelling relationships, grapple with a baffling family mystery and with their own demons in the unique literary environment of modern-day Sweden. This book is artful and grand entertainment. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”
“So much more than a thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dazzling novel of big ideas. It tackles issues of power, corruption, justice, and innocence–all the while drawing you into the twists and turns of a frighteningly suspenseful mystery.”
“As vivid as bloodstains on snow.”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an utterly fresh political and journalistic thriller that is also intimate and moral. In spite of its dark unearthings Stieg Larsson has written a feast of a book, with central characters you will not forget.”
“Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family’s remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller . . . At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden’s dirty not-so-little secrets, this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred)
“What a cracking novel! I haven’t read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping.”
“With its compelling situation, its complex plot and especially its unique, fully-realized characters, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo embodies–in seamless translation–the best of European crime fiction.”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a Tolstoyan re-invention of the ‘closed room’ murder mystery, Agatha Christie for adults. Curl up on the sofa with this masterwork of noir and let Stieg Larsson draw you into the shadows. It’s also a profound investigation into tribal violence in the world of high finance, and a revelation of the dark side of a country normally seen as the very height of propriety. By the end of the first chapter you will know better. By the end of the second you will be putty in his hands. Don’t even think about putting it down.”
From the UK:
“Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson’s in the same breath.”
–The Sunday Times
“Larsson has up his sleeve two extremely engaging protagonists. Once these characters have appeared, our surrender to the novel is guaranteed . . . This is classic English mystery territory. But what follows is much darker and bloodier–more Thomas Harris than Dorothy L. Sayers.”
“The ballyhoo is fully justified . . . The novel scores on every front–character, story, atmosphere, and the translation.”
“This is a striking novel, full of passion, an evocative sense of place and subtle insights into venal, corrupt minds . . . The journalist and the hacker are ingenious creations.”
“One of the greatest crime-fiction novels I have ever read . . . As mesmerizing as it is insightful . . . The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a multi-layered, multi-character tale by a writer of some considerable power. Full of social conscience and compassion, with insight into the nature of moral corruption, it knocked me out . . . Mikael Blomkvist and his partner, the enigmatic and deeply troubled Lisbeth Salander, will soon join the pantheon of greatest crime-fiction characters that populate the genre at its apex.”
“A blockbuster story . . . The plot is interesting and credible but above all the heroine is splendidly original . . . An extraordinary book.”
“An absorbing and idiosyncratic crime novel.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Random House Large Print; Large type / Large print edition (January 6, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 800 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0739384155
- ISBN-13 : 978-0739384152
- Item Weight : 1.85 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.2 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #839,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The two main protagonists are Mikael Blomkvist, a 42-year-old reporter whose professional reputation has imploded, and Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old who’s an understandably troubled gifted computer hacker. The author describes Salander as “an information junkie with a delinquent child’s take on morals and ethics.” She is the most interesting eccentric character in the novel, but the mystery also has a handful of other compelling people. The stories about Blomkvist and Salander move along on independent lines until they meet a little more than half way through the book. Part of what kept me interested was curiosity in how these two unalike people would eventually get together. The mystery revolves around the disappearance of a 17-year-old female named Harriet Vanger which happen nearly forty-years ago. The novel has some unsettling scenes, especially involving sexual assault. Speaking as an American with New England sensibilities, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or unique to this Swedish storyline but the characters in the book have a very casual attitude about hooking up with sexual partners. Outside of the sexual assaults the hook-ups are not graphic in detail. There is a healthy dose of profanity in the book. The book also includes two maps and a Vanger family-tree breakdown which were very helpful.
At no point did I become bored with ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ There is also another plot line that is set aside until the conclusion of the mystery. I especially liked how Mr. Larsson includes the difficulties of having to make moral compromises and living with the consequences. It was an engaging mystery with a handful of disturbing scenes. If you find any of the deranged episodes a turn-on, maybe you should look into having a lobotomy. The novel ties up the two main storylines but leaves the social dynamics between Blomkvist and Salander somewhat up in the air in an effort to get the reader to read the next installment ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire.’ I sure will.
I also find that there is too many characters, in my opinion a lot of unnecessary characters, and their names are so complicated and very much alike That is difficult to follow up, I understand it is a Swedish book but Simplicity is very valuable. I wish both Lisbeth and Blomkvist worked more closely together as it is they barely communicate and is mostly from a few computer frases.
As they are the books are very complicated, a little boring and so much is unnecessary.
The young female lead is a loner, who is mad at the world and has a general distrust of men. She is a psychologically damaged person and although it’s never delved into, she may have some form of autism. Her talents as a computer hacker and private investigator so immense that she does not seem like a person operating in real life. Her character would be more appropriate in a story set in a superhero universe.
A large portion of the Larrson’s book is about the crooked dealings a Swedish financier. These passages come off as flat because he is never a fully developed as a character. He is more of a bogey man.
The main story is about the investigation of the whereabouts of a girl from a wealthy family, who mysteriously disappeared in the 1960s. The plot meanders because it’s bogged down with way too many potential suspects who are mostly from her old-money family. The resolution of this story feels like it should be the ending of the book. However, there are multiple chapters that follow that seem more like an epilogue and are a chore to get through.
Top reviews from other countries
If you want to watch the films, the original Swedish films are the best, a film of each of the three books. The Hollywood travesty with Daniel Craig isn't worth the effort.
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Although there is sadness in the passing of Stieg Larsson, the three books that he wrote in the 'Millenium Series' manage to 'break the mould' when it comes to massively improving the thriller genre. Just about every word in this first novel is masterful and even the dialogue has to be admired.
Lisbeth Salander and Mikale Blomkvist are the two strongest characters that manage to take the novel up to dizzying heights. Apart from them, the various characters throughout the book are expertly thought out and it is little wonder why this genus piece of writing managed to become such a success.
Although concentration is required for the first chapter, the rest of the story is beautifully written and although shocking in parts, it's a book that makes it's points very well and extremely carefully. Salander stops the book becoming trash as her strength holds the believability of the work together. Highly recommended.