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A phenomenal best seller but Lisbeth Salander is NO Harry Potter!

  • Aug 1, 2010
Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist and owner of Millennium magazine, is on top of his world. He's just published a hard hitting series of sensational financial articles exposing the staggering corruption of Swedish banker, Hans Wennerstrom, and his star is in the ascendant until Wennerstrom drags him into the courtroom and wins a devastating criminal suit for libel. Blomkvist's world looks bleak as he faces three months in prison and a fine that threatens to take down everything he has ever achieved in his life.

When reclusive multi-millionaire Henrik Vanger offers to pay him a ridiculous amount of money to find his neice who disappeared under mysterious circumstances over thirty years ago, the opportunity seems heaven sent. Put in a legitimate if token effort for one year attempting to solve a mystery that has eluded the best efforts of any mind that has thought about it, serve a three month term in prison that will almost certainly be shortened by parole and pay off the fine with the money that Vanger wants to throw at him.

In the course of his investigation of this mystery (murder, kidnapping or runaway ... no one really knows which), Blomkvist meets Lisbeth Salander - a skinny, hard-edged but attractive, on-again off-again feminist; a tattoed punk wild child with bisexual tendencies; an extraordinary computer hacker and skilled journalistic researcher with a photographic memory; a skilled boxer; a survivor of child abuse whose difficult memories of rape and sexual assault have turned into an abiding hatred and a desire for revenge on misognynists.

Together, the unlikely pairing of Blomkvist and Salander drag the skeletons out of the Vanger family closet and then turn their sights back onto the Wennerstrom financial empire to re-write the devastating financial article that caused such a stir. Only this time, Blomkvist's going to do it right and find the proofs and the smokings guns that will leave absolutely no room for a rebuttal in the courts.

If Lisbeth Salander isn't the most bizarre and off-the-wall literary character ever created, she'd certainly be a front-runner in any ranking. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a gutsy, hard-driving psychological thriller with a convoluted plot and a brilliant cast of richly, developed characters. It's a long novel, to be sure, but the writing is so rich, the plot is so deep, the dialogue is so convincing, and the characters are so twisted, that turning the pages deep into the wee hours just seems to happen all by itself.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is many things. On the surface, it's a provocative, complex mystery that is more than exciting enough to justify reading and enjoying an extraordinarily long novel. Slightly below the surface, we have a number of cautionary tales on topics as disparate as sexual abuse, the abuse of trust by those in a position of power and, finally, the confounding ethics of legitimate journalism. The side story of Salander's revenge on Nils Bjurman, the court-appointed trustee over Salander's financial affairs, is a bizarre combination of poignancy and jaw-dropping graphic violence that will simply take your breath away.

Highly recommended. But be warned ... once you start, be sure to clear your calendar. Because you won't want to stop.

Paul Weiss

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January 09, 2012
Excellent writing style in your review! You should write a book yourself!
August 01, 2010
Well done. We're in agreement on this one!
August 02, 2010
Thanks, Linda, and welcome again to Lunch.com.
More The Girl with the Dragon Tatto... reviews
review by . April 04, 2012
Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland      I was late coming to the massively popular and critically-acclaimed novel (now a Major Hollywood Movie), and while I was thoroughly entertained, I found it left me not quite satisfied.  The hook, if you've not read or seen it in any of its formats (there is also a Swedish movie version), is the Girl of the titles (Larsson finished three before he died, and an unfinished fourth is in limbo pending a bitter estate battle)--an …
review by . January 01, 2010
Book Review: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
 I had mixed feelings about what type of a rating I should give this book purely based off my disappointment with the end of the novel, which I won't spoil in my review.       Overall, I enjoyed the mystery. I couldn't solve the ultimate puzzle, which always fascinates me since I consider myself an amateur sleuth when it comes to mystery novels. In retrospect, I fear I was too engrossed in the book to pay enough attention to the clues that would help me solve …
review by . March 16, 2010
When I finished reading this book, it was hard to imagine it being the same book that I began a month before. In fact, reading the last third of the book was like reading a completely different book from the first third.  The first third of this book was so slow and boring that I had significant problems even wanting to pick it up off my nightstand to read it. It was great for sleeping but not so good for reading!       Everywhere I went, people were raving about how fantastic …
review by . December 28, 2011
I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo around three-thirty this morning and I still can't believe how brilliant it was! My husband bought me a copy and I started it as soon as it arrived. Lisbeth Salander is one of the most likable characters that I have come across. I had heard a lot about how great this book was and so I was expecting it to be pretty awesome. What I found though was that words cannot describe this book. No matter how great I tell you it is, you won't understand unless …
review by . October 07, 2010
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is the first book in Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy. It is a well crafted crime thriller, but both in its scope and execution it is much more than that. It features two main characters, a middle-aged journalist Mikael Blomkvist who publishes a magazine Millennium in Stockholm, and a young tattooed girl with a troubled past named Lisbeth Salander who works as a freelance security consultant. These two unlikely individuals find themselves …
review by . February 25, 2011
   I saw the movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, before reading Steig Larsson’s book, and I really enjoyed it. The movie is very true to the novel, but the main surprise I found in reading was how handsome and intriguing the main character was meant to be. Lisbeth’s attraction to him is much more believable in the book. And Lisbeth herself is perfectly cast! I think I liked the book even better than the movie.   The story starts slowly with lots of details of …
review by . September 26, 2010
OK, so I'm a little late to the phenomenon that is Stieg Larsson and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This book, and in fact the whole Girl trilogy, seemed to come out of nowhere and reach a fevered pitch in a very short period of time. I find it even more amazing that it did so as a novel that had to be translated into English after the author's death. Regardless, I finally got a copy and started reading... and was immediately hooked. Larsson mixes a criminal mystery plot with a number …
review by . June 25, 2010
I was initially drawn to Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo after reading about the movie, which, to be honest, is a crying shame.  When I started looking for it (this was before it started turning up in big box stores, following the release of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - which is, by the way, a great way to pick it up on the cheap), no one I knew had ever heard of it.      Two things really stood out in Larsson's story: the characters …
review by . July 19, 2010
For me, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo started as an audiobook. It's slow at first, and I had a hard time getting into the story--but after about an hour of listening, I realized that I didn't have enough patience and picked up a hard copy of the book. I couldn't stop reading for seven straight hours. Stieg Larsson's style is enrapturing, every scene leads you onto the next, and you're always wondering what's going to happen, how this information ties into that.   …
review by . July 04, 2010
      Though its got a slow start, The girl with the dragon tattoo gets better and better....adding more and more clues, incidents, and questions, and drawing the reader in. Stieg Larsson, a Swedish author, is incredibly talented in this area, following all the clues and even adding smaller side stories in the sequels to this book. I felt like I was reading a real, live, emotionally gripping and intelligent book. Whereas most crime novels jump from fact to scene to fact, taking …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you startThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you reallydon'twant to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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ISBN-10: 0307269752
ISBN-13: 9780307269751
Author: Stieg Larsson
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Vintage
Date Published: September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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