Customer Reviews for

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

98 out of 114 people found this review helpful.

Superb writing

I've seen some complaints that it is too slow. To that I say, it's because of realism. Having done some investigative reporting stuff myself, I can say that the pace at which it starts into its mystery is completely believable. And the methods used as well. Is it a ...
I've seen some complaints that it is too slow. To that I say, it's because of realism. Having done some investigative reporting stuff myself, I can say that the pace at which it starts into its mystery is completely believable. And the methods used as well. Is it a little slow in the first half? Yeah, but is that a bad thing? No. It's attention to detail and characterization, and a commitment to realism. And that's nothing to complain about.

I've seen some opinions about the violence, and I didn't think it was overly graphic... nor without a point. I can't stand graphic violence with little to no point. But by the time you get to the end of the first book, at least for me anyway, I found myself fully appreciating his tackling this issue of violence against women in Sweden. And I finally both fully understood and appreciated the statistics regarding crimes against women that were inserted at the beginning of each new Part of the book. It seemed clear to me that Larrson wanted to let people know what life in Sweden can be like for a woman, and having no frame of reference to such before reading the book I found myself respecting Larrson for making this his main drive and theme of the story.

I don't know... I can't complain. I think this is some of the best published writing I've read in a long time. I was never bored or disinterested. He kept me captivated from start to finish.

My only complaint is that it's a little more vulgar and perverse than I usually care for. But even at that, he could have been much more perverse with as much promiscuity some of his characters indulged in; yet he often used the old school film method of setting the implication (or starting the process) and moving on to something else. Something with plot, something with character. Something we could care about.

I just need to get the second in the series now, so I can pick up where it left off. OH, which reminds me, somebody said something about the end being a dud and that's said. It's called leaving loose ends, because it's a series and you want to keep your readers with you. If you resolve everything and walk away people won't come back--having been fully satisfied. My only hope is that the third (and final book he completed) has some full resolve or that they finally let his life-long companion finish his fourth one--which he was working on when he died.

It really is a shame he left so early and that his works couldn't have been written and published earlier in life. It's reported he had 10 books in the series in mind. I guess we'll just have to make do with what he gave us.

posted by onyxdragon on March 16, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

160 out of 305 people found this review helpful.

Terrible!

I was given this book as a gift and had to force my way through it. Unlike some I did not have trouble with the characters I just did not like the story. I for one do NOT appreciate reading about violence against women especially in a VERY graphic manner. If it is vital...
I was given this book as a gift and had to force my way through it. Unlike some I did not have trouble with the characters I just did not like the story. I for one do NOT appreciate reading about violence against women especially in a VERY graphic manner. If it is vital to the story its one thing but I found some of it completely unnecessary. It was very slow and had to force myself to finish it. And just when I thought things were getting good..it ended with a thud. Do not waste your money!

posted by CleoTX on January 3, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    Terrible!

    I was given this book as a gift and had to force my way through it. Unlike some I did not have trouble with the characters I just did not like the story. I for one do NOT appreciate reading about violence against women especially in a VERY graphic manner. If it is vital to the story its one thing but I found some of it completely unnecessary. It was very slow and had to force myself to finish it. And just when I thought things were getting good..it ended with a thud. Do not waste your money!

    160 out of 305 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Superb writing

    I've seen some complaints that it is too slow. To that I say, it's because of realism. Having done some investigative reporting stuff myself, I can say that the pace at which it starts into its mystery is completely believable. And the methods used as well. Is it a little slow in the first half? Yeah, but is that a bad thing? No. It's attention to detail and characterization, and a commitment to realism. And that's nothing to complain about.

    I've seen some opinions about the violence, and I didn't think it was overly graphic... nor without a point. I can't stand graphic violence with little to no point. But by the time you get to the end of the first book, at least for me anyway, I found myself fully appreciating his tackling this issue of violence against women in Sweden. And I finally both fully understood and appreciated the statistics regarding crimes against women that were inserted at the beginning of each new Part of the book. It seemed clear to me that Larrson wanted to let people know what life in Sweden can be like for a woman, and having no frame of reference to such before reading the book I found myself respecting Larrson for making this his main drive and theme of the story.

    I don't know... I can't complain. I think this is some of the best published writing I've read in a long time. I was never bored or disinterested. He kept me captivated from start to finish.

    My only complaint is that it's a little more vulgar and perverse than I usually care for. But even at that, he could have been much more perverse with as much promiscuity some of his characters indulged in; yet he often used the old school film method of setting the implication (or starting the process) and moving on to something else. Something with plot, something with character. Something we could care about.

    I just need to get the second in the series now, so I can pick up where it left off. OH, which reminds me, somebody said something about the end being a dud and that's said. It's called leaving loose ends, because it's a series and you want to keep your readers with you. If you resolve everything and walk away people won't come back--having been fully satisfied. My only hope is that the third (and final book he completed) has some full resolve or that they finally let his life-long companion finish his fourth one--which he was working on when he died.

    It really is a shame he left so early and that his works couldn't have been written and published earlier in life. It's reported he had 10 books in the series in mind. I guess we'll just have to make do with what he gave us.

    98 out of 114 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!

    Once you get through the first quarter of the book its awesome! I usually put books down if they dont have me hooked by the first 3 pages but I read reviews and knew that the beginning was a bit slow so I kept at it and I'm so glad I did! I just finished the last in the series (The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest) and I was on the edge of my seat with all 3 books!!!

    95 out of 119 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is book is neither bloated nor overblown and it's absolutely wonderful that there are so many characters; it creates a rich reading experience. And besides, there is a family tree one can refer to. This book is highly interesting and engaging. I found that after the first couple of character introductory chapters that the mystery to be solved kept me wanting to keep reading! I enjoyed the complexity of the plot and enjoyed that Larsson takes his time and presents a story with depth. If you want a fast moving book filled with action this book isn't for you. But if you want a thoughtful book that deals with moral issues, has two very interestingly different protagonists (Blomkvist and Salander), has a humdinger of a mystery and yes, does have some intense action, then pick up a copy today!!

    64 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    Can't put it down!

    I am not sure of the age or intelligence of some of these reviewers but this is not a 5th grade read. You do need some intelligence and a very general knowledge of European culture to appreciate this book. The first 100 pages were not slow. They were used to clearly describe each character, their past, their occupation, their life, their sexual preferences so you gain an appreciation for their motives and behaviors as the story picks up. Just because the first 100 pages were not action packed does not mean they were boring or unecessary.

    Clearly some reviewers are just looking for lame action packed writing. This book is so much more and so much better. I am still not finished but find it hard to put down at night when I am falling asleep. The book involves a lot more sex and violence than I had expected but it fits perfectly and reaffirms the tenedencies of the characters. I am anxious for the conclusion and cannot wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.

    I definitely recomend this for any intelligent person who is not just looking for meaningless lame 'action-writing'.

    63 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    Impressed

    I was very reluctant to purchase this book based on the negative reviews, but a book that gets this much hype must be read despite reviews both positive and negative. I actually enjoyed the book. Yes it was long. No it didn't need to be that long to get to the point, but I liked the character development. I liked that I got to know the characters really really well. I like Salander and think that she's a very interesting person indeed. As for the mystery of the book. It got intense and then slowed down again to finish of the whole Wennersom affair which was also an interesting aspect of the book as well. All in all the book is worth reading. I'm thinking the others in the sequence will be just as good or better. I'm interested in learning more about Salander and Blomkavist as well!

    30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful- the best thriller/mystery of 2008

    This book is by a Swedish author and only recently published in the United States. It was great reading about Sweden from the Swedish perspective. Goes to show the that universal themes are always interesting - the main character Mikael "Bear" Blomkvist is hired to solve and/or write about the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a daughter of a very wealthy family. She disappeared 40 years ago. Since Blomkvist is temporarily unemployed due to a financial reporting scandal, he takes the job. During his investigation he runs into Lizbeth Salandar a mysterious punk computer expert. Sounds like a romantic thriller? Well you are in for a rollercoaster ride of intrigue, secrets, an inditement of the Swedish mental health system and what is is like to live on the edge. Great book

    27 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    This was a good read for someone who likes suspense, romance, and crazy families. If you like to be a fly on the wall and listen in on people's conversations to learn all of their deep dark secrets, this could also be your book! There was a lot of nonsense material in the book, where I can see some good editing could do away with about 100 pages without harming the overall story line. If you can get past the wordiness, the plot is thick and the bizarre turns make it hard to put it down. Enjoy :)

    20 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    WOW!

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dark novel. The main characters are complicated but likable. If you try to think one step ahead of Salander forget it. She is dark, cynical, odd, and smart,I could go on but if you are interested in meeting her you must read this novel. It took me a while to get into it but when I did I could not put it down. Can't wait to read the next in the trilogy.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    First Mystery

    I dont ever read mystery novels but i thought i would give this one a try and i loved every second of it. I would sit there reading for hours on end and into the night and through the morning. I had to keep reading because i wanted to know what happened next but also because i was scared at times to fall asleep. The book isnt dark or extremely scary but the thrill and the thought process make it a hard book to fall asleep with. I will definitely be reading the next two.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    You got to be kidding.

    Do you like intergenerational sex, rape, murder, or sadism?

    Do you have a disregard for women?

    Perhaps you like unnecessaary plot lines and narrative. Excess chapters?

    If so, This is the book for you. (Find something else to read.)

    14 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2009

    A Book That Caught My Eye and My Interest

    I was just at the airport picking out a book to bring with me on the plane to read. I was in a rush to catch the plane. I walked over to the "Bestselling" shelf and "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" By Stieg Larson, caught my eye. I quickly skimmed through the blurb; without a second thought,I bought the book, not knowing that it would leave me with such interest and would be placed in my top 20 all time favorite books. At first, the book may start off with no connection between the characters and may seem like a downer. But as soon as it gets to the point. It is the most thrilling, suspensful book that could leave you in awe.

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Slow start, but a great book

    I put this book down at least a dozen times trying to get through the first few chapters, but I perservered and then I couldn't put it down. It was definitely offbeat, watching it unfold and wondering how all the characters came together was exciting. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a book that makes you think.

    14 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    great

    This was quite a good book. Very suspenseful with great intricate plot. enjoyed it

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ABSORBING READ

    This Compelling Fiction involving caustic family secrets, grisly serial killings, horrendous business miss-dealings on a grand scale and much more provide a complex plot.

    Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative business journalist and co-owner of a magazine called, "Millennium", has just lost his reputation, his savings and his freedom after a nasty libel suit from an executive named Wennerström. His magazine lost its credibility and is on the road to lose everything.
    Eventually he makes a breakthrough and needs a good researcher, where Lisbeth Salander, a severe, petite, anorexic-looking, punk-dressing, tattooed genius investigator appears on the scene. Blomqvist's perceptiveness takes hold and Salander's edgy brilliance shines. He spots talents that Salander has kept secret all her life. As Salander lets some of her defenses down, a partnership develops that allows intense deduction and intuition, working up to a nail-biting conclusion that initiates a new set of problems to be faced in the second book, "The Girl Who Played with Fire".
    I found myself holding my breath a lot throughout this book! Whew! I recommend highly if you like to sit on the edge of your seat while you read! Great writing style, engaging plot, many complex layers, many unexpected twists, fascinating, NOT BORING characters, and much more!

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2009

    Wish I'd known the Swedish title was Men Who Hate Women--if (and only if) you enjoy graphic rape scenes, this is the book for you

    I found this book to be brutal, disturbing, and overly long. I will admit that the central mystery was engaging, which is why I got sucked in and finished even though I was very troubled by multiple incidents leading up to the big reveal. I found the resolution of that mystery to be truly sick--as mortifying as many other horrors committed in this novel. While I did appreciate the strength of the titular heroine, I can't imagine anyone enjoying this novel unless they find violence against women to be entertaining.

    In addition to my sheer disgust at the atrocities against women throughout this book (which I still am sickened by days later!), I found the other plot lines to be anticlimactic, even unnecessary. And I wish that the translator had included some footnotes or a forward giving background for the many allusions to Swedish culture, politics, and finance.

    11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    Genius

    For originality alone, this book stands tall. The plot, the writing, the characters intertwine to tell a very intriguing story. It didn't drag at all and the ending really caught me off guard. Won't give away the story. This is good, very good. On to his next book in the trilogy.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Discovery

    I saw this book on the bestseller list in Barnes and Noble as well as in the NY Times and decided to give it a shot. I really liked it! Although it may seem at the beginning that you read about all these characters with no apparent relation to each other, it all develops into an intricate web of lies, deceit and basically everything that can go bad when money and power are involved.<BR/>It may be Harriet Vanger's disappearance that Mikael Blomkvist has to solve but along the way he finds out more than what he bargained for!

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    Suspense Abounds

    This is a seriously suspensful read. It was difficult to get into in the beginning, but once the storyline is established you won't put it down. This is definitely somewhat of a dark thriller, and may offend certain readers at times. However, the plot is interesting and different, and keeps your attention well. It would be fascinating to use this book as a choice for a book club and really analyze the characters and themes presented. I found the character of Blomkvist to be well developed and relatable in many ways. I also enjoyed the imagery created by the author. I would absolutely recommend this book to others, and look forward to reading the next two novels by this author.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A delicious and addictive read! Loved it.

    After getting through the first sections of the book (all the financial/legal/business talk before I knew what I was reading or about to read), I ate this book up! It's a page-turner for sure. Impossible to put down.
    Larsson's writing style is perfection for this type of novel. His attention to detail and how he presents these details is brilliant. I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the mystery plot, as well as the characters. Lisbeth's actions are at times puzzling, but Larsson does a great job making the reader understand why she makes the unorthodox choices that she does, and what she has to deal with in regards to her social disorder.
    The suspense is perfectly balanced with the character work and the vivid scenery and backdrop of the novel. I couldn't WAIT to find out what what going to happen, but I didn't want it to end.
    I look forward to reading The Girl Who Played with Fire!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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