Man SOM Hatar Kvinnor [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo]

Overview

National Bestseller

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading ...

See more details below
This Paperback is Not Available through BN.com
Sending request ...

Overview

National Bestseller

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
A Selection of Barnes & Noble Recommends
An engrossing debut thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been an international sensation, a bestseller in its native Sweden and throughout Europe. It features an unforgettable heroine: a brilliant 24-year-old punk-goth computer hacker and private investigator named Lisbeth Salander. Together with Mikael Blomkvist, a financial journalist on a most unusual assignment, she tracks a serial killer through a dangerous maze of business, political, and family secrets.

The intricate tale begins when Blomkvist is convicted of libeling top Swedish industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström. Unable to prove his innocence, Blomkvist prepares to leave his position at Millennium, the magazine he co-founded, now financially threatened by the verdict. But a summons from Wennerström's rival, the aging tycoon Henrik Vanger, presents an option he couldn't have imagined: In exchange for Blomkvist's writing the Vanger family history, Vanger promises to back Millennium financially and deliver incriminating evidence of Wennerström's crooked dealings.

But that's not all. The closets of the Vanger clan are littered with skeletons, and his new patron wants Blomkvist to set one at rest: the disappearance, 40 years ago, of Vanger's 16-year-old grandniece, Harriet. Intrigued by the cold case that was never solved despite multiple investigations, Blomkvist begins to dig for new evidence on an island north of Stockholm.

He is soon joined by Salander, a freelance investigator originally hired by Vanger to vet Blomkvist's reputation. Multiple piercings and tattoos are belied by the young computer genius's photographic memory. A victim of assault and harrowing abuse, Salander is driven by a relentless will and an astonishing capability for merciless retribution.

Larsson's narrative unfolds with mounting suspense, detailing the duo's intellectual ingenuity and increasing courage as they expose hidden cultures of right-wing fanaticism and misogyny and reveal the moral bankruptcy of big capital. As they race across Europe and on to Australia to trap their prey before another woman is tortured and killed, the reader is held in breathless anticipation until the novel's unforeseen conclusion.

About the Author
Born in Västerbotten in northern Sweden in 1954, STIEG LARSSON had a professional career that bears a striking resemblance to that of the protagonist of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mikael Blomkvist. Beginning as a graphic designer for the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT), Larsson went on to become the chief editor of Expo, the magazine published by the Expo Foundation, an organization he helped establish in 1995 to combat racism and the Swedish right-wing extremist movement.

Inspired by an old joke shared with a colleague at TT, Larsson admitted he started writing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at night just for fun. Two other novels, completing the Millennium trilogy, would follow. Describing them as "pension insurance," Larsson said he enjoyed the process of fiction writing so much that he didn't make contact with a publisher until he had completed the first two and had a third under way. Though Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004 and never saw any of his books in print, all three were subsequently published in Scandinavia and continental Europe to great acclaim.

From Our Booksellers
Refreshingly intelligent, this fast-paced mystery draws together an odd cast of underdog journalists, secretive industrialists, and a punk hacker with Asperger's to create the strangest—and best—thriller of the year, if not decade. A must-read. --James Tardif, Ellicott City, MD

An old-fashioned secluded island murder mystery, updated with complex characters and new technology…. Like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple meet Cold Case. Powerful, thrilling, and disturbing. --Jill Borage, St. Louis, MO

This gritty thriller is packed with deceit, treachery, and plenty of dirty family secrets -- enough to fill an entire basement with skeletons. --Elayne Carringer, Devon, PA

Gripping! I even read at stop lights and while I was brushing my teeth. --Sarah Goodrich, Lexington, KY

From Writers and Reviewers
As vivid as bloodstains on snow -- and a perfect one-volume introduction to the unique strengths of Scandinavian crime fiction. --Lee Child

What a cracking novel! I haven't read such a stunning thriller debut for years…. Brilliantly written and totally gripping. --Minette Walters

"The ballyhoo is fully justified…. At over 500 pages this hardly sagged…. The novel scores on every front -- character, story, atmosphere. --The Times (London)

A publishing sensation…. Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson's in the same breath. --Sunday Times (London)

Michiko Kakutani
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…It's Mr. Larsson's two protagonists—Carl Mikael Blomkvist, a reporter filling the role of detective, and his sidekick, Lisbeth Salander, a k a the girl with the dragon tattoo—who make this novel more than your run-of-the-mill mystery: they're both compelling, conflicted, complicated people, idiosyncratic in the extreme
—The New York Times
Patrick Anderson
…this remarkable first novel by the Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson…has been a huge bestseller in Europe and will be one here if readers are looking for an intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller that is variously a serial-killer saga, a search for a missing person and an informed glimpse into the worlds of journalism and business…It's hard to find fault with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. One must struggle with bewildering Swedish names, but that's a small price to pay. The story starts off at a leisurely pace, but the reader soon surrenders to Larsson's skillful narrative. We care about his characters because we come to know them so well. The central question—what happened to Harriet?—is answered in due course, and other matters involving romance and revenge are wrapped up as well. It's a book that lingers in the mind.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

With its rich characterizations and intriguing plot, the first book of the late Stieg Larsson's completed trilogy, involving disgraced Swedish journalist-publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the eponymous, pierced and tattooed, emotionally troubled young hacker-investigator Lisbeth Salander, clearly deserves the acclaim it's received overseas. Martin Wenner's almost indifferent, British-accented narration would seem an odd choice for a novel filled with passion, sex and violence, but as the oddly coupled Blomkvist and Salander probe the four-decade-old disappearance of Harriet Vanger, heiress to one of Sweden's wealthiest clans, the objective approach actually accentuates the extreme behavior of both and the strange subjects of their investigation. Wenner's calm, controlled manner aids the listener in keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, a task that the printed book simplifies with a reference page. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 14). (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Ever since Knopf editor Sonny Mehta bought the U.S. rights last November, the prepublication buzz on this dark, moody crime thriller by a Swedish journalist has grown steadily. A best seller in Europe (it outsold the Bible in Denmark), this first entry in the "Millennium" trilogy finally lands in America. Is the hype justified? Yes. Despite a sometimes plodding translation and a few implausible details, this complex, multilayered tale, which combines an intricate financial thriller with an Agatha Christie-like locked-room mystery set on an island, grabs the reader from the first page. Convicted of libeling a prominent businessman and awaiting imprisonment, financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist agrees to industrialist Henrik Vanger's request to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of Vanger's 16-year-old niece, Harriet. In return, Vanger will help Blomkvist dig up dirt on the corrupt businessman. Assisting in Blomkvist's investigation is 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but enigmatic computer hacker. Punkish, tattooed, sullen, antisocial, and emotionally damaged, she is a compelling character, much like Carol O'Connell's Kathy Mallory, and this reviewer looks forward to learning more of her backstory in the next two books (The Girl Who Played with Fire and Castles in the Sky). Sweden may be the land of blondes, Ikea, and the Midnight Sun, but Larsson, who died in 2004, brilliantly exposes its dark heart: sexual violence against women, a Nazi past, and corporate corruption. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/03.]
—Wilda Williams

The Barnes & Noble Review
Stieg Larsson's first murder mystery has been a smash hit throughout Europe since its 2005 publication in the author's native Sweden, and has now become a bestseller in the U.S. as well. But the bitter twist in Larsson's success story is that he didn't live to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo published: he died of a heart attack just after he delivered the manuscripts for this book and the two that follow. When the most shocking corpse in the drawing room turns out to be the 50-year-old author's, the thrills of crime fiction can take a melancholy turn. But let's try, for the moment, to evaluate Larsson's novel apart from its ill-fated provenance. What is it that's generating so much enthusiasm from a gobsmacked international audience?

The eccentric sidekick is nearly as familiar a genre convention as the lonely private eye, and Larsson, who was an eager student of the canon, dreamed up a fairly irresistible one. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo; and although she doesn't meet her partner-in-crime-solving until more than halfway through the novel, the reader connects with her right away. In fact, the book sprang to life for me at a precise moment on page 32 with the introduction of Salander, a goth wild child and a delightfully unlikely heroine.

"She was the very quintessence of difficult," thinks Salander's boss at the staid private-security firm where she works as a researcher. Whip-thin, abundantly tattooed and pierced, her dyed hair "as short as a fuse," Salander skulks through the corridors like a feral club kid. She has a gift for annoying the other employees, some of whom suspect she might be retarded. In fact Salander, who is 24 years old but looks 14, is an investigative savant, a high school dropout with freakishly superior computer skills who refuses to reveal her information sources and whose work methods are, to say the least, unorthodox.

One of the people Salander has recently investigated is Mikael Blomkvist, a well-known financial reporter and part owner of a muckraking magazine called Millennium . According to her report, Blomkvist is "a public person with few secrets and not very much to hide." Yet readers will find him to be a multi-dimensional and urgent figure, driven by an angry social conscience to expose the unchecked corruption that's rotting the top tiers of Swedish high finance. And he's just as angry about the cowardice of some of his journalist colleagues, who treat CEOs like rock stars and neglect to go after "the sharks who created interest crises and speculated away the savings of small investors." Moody, droll, and often surprisingly gentle, Blomkvist is not the only journalist-turned-sleuth in the mystery world -- other contemporary crime novels, by writers like Denise Mina, Denise Hamilton, Val McDermid, and Liza Marklund, feature reporters as protagonists -- but he is certainly one of the most engaging.

Both Blomkvist and the magazine are on the verge of bankruptcy after his humiliating defeat in a libel case, brought against him by a powerful industrialist named Hans-Erik Wennerström. Needing time to lick his wounds, Blomkvist decides to accept an offer to spend a year looking into an unsolved mystery that occurred 40 years ago on an island near a small industrial town called Hedestad, three hours north of Stockholm.

The offer comes from Henrik Vanger, octogenarian patriarch of a once-renowned family corporation whose influence is on the wane. What haunts the old man is the long-ago disappearance of his beloved grandniece, Harriet, when she a teenager.

Convinced she was murdered, Vanger dangles two incentives in front of Blomkvist to persuade him to re-investigate this very cold case: a large sum of money, and some irreparably damaging information about his vengeful enemy Wennerström.

The Vanger family, as Blomkvist quickly learns, is a large, contentious clan whose members mostly detest one another. Their closets are crammed with skeletons, including Nazi party affiliations, domestic-violence incidents, and an alcohol-related drowning. Many of them lived on or near the family's island compound at the time of Harriet's disappearance in 1966 and still live there today. What made Harriet's vanishing so confounding was that it occurred when the island was closed off by a dramatic oil-truck accident on the single bridge into Hedestad, making it, as Blomkvist notes in a nod to the classic whodunit writer Dorothy Sayers, "a sort of locked-room mystery in island format." Though search parties repeatedly explored every inch of the island and coastline, no trace of the girl was ever found.

As soon as Blomkvist manages to turn up some new evidence, Salander is brought in by her security firm to be his research assistant, and up ratchets the action: the cold case turns hot, the chilly northern landscape goes from blanc to noir, and the Vanger family secrets begin to tumble. As they try to make sense of a situation that now threatens their lives, Salander and Blomkvist make a most unlikely duo -- the methodical journalist and the unscrupulous hacker, the social conscience and the antisocial anarchist, the saddened older warrior and the furious young hellcat -- but their partnership, in its peculiarity, is all the charm and fire of this novel.

As a first-time crime novelist, Larsson was smart enough to figure out that much success depends on an artful juggle between giving information about his protagonists and withholding it. He plays this game well, offering tantalizing hints about, say, Salander's childhood or Blomkvist's failed marriage. The crucial puzzle in any first-rate novel, as Larsson understood, is the puzzle of human nature, and it's the richness of that mystery, more than the intricacies of its plot or the sophistication of its milieu, that powers this book. --Donna Rofkind

Donna Rifkind's reviews appear frequently in The Washington Post Book World and the Los Angeles Times. She has also been a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, The American Scholar, and other publications. In 2006, she was a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784151792526
  • Publisher: Hayakawa Publishing/Tsai Fong Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2011
  • Language: Japanese
  • Pages: 469

Meet the Author

Stieg Larsson

Stieg Larsson was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo. He was a leading expert on anti-democratic, right-wing extremist organizations. He died in 2004, soon after delivering the manuscripts of the novels The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland.

Biography

Born in Västerbotten in northern Sweden in 1954, Stieg Larsson had a professional career that bears a striking resemblance to that of the protagonist of his Millennium thrillers, Mikael Blomkvist. Beginning as a graphic designer for the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå (TT), Larsson went on to become the chief editor of Expo, the magazine published by the Expo Foundation, an organization he helped establish in 1995 to combat racism and the Swedish right-wing extremist movement.

Inspired by an old joke shared with a colleague at TT, Larsson admitted he started writing the Millennium novels -- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and Castles in the Sky (working English title) -- just for fun. Describing them as "pension insurance," Larsson said he enjoyed the process of fiction writing so much that he didn't make contact with a publisher until he had completed the first two and had a third under way. Though Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004 and never saw any of his books in print, all three were subsequently published in Scandinavia and continental Europe to great acclaim. He left behind the unfinished manuscript for a fourth book in the series.

Read More Show Less
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 15, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Västerbotten, Sweden
    1. Date of Death:
      November 9, 2004
    2. Place of Death:
      Stockholm, Sweden

Read an Excerpt

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson
Knopf Copyright © 2008 Stieg Larsson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307269751


A Friday in November

It happened every year, was almost a ritual. And this was his eighty-second birthday. When, as usual, the flower was delivered, he took off the wrapping paper and then picked up the telephone to call Detective Superintendent Morell who, when he retired, had moved to Lake Siljan in Dalarna. They were not only the same age, they had been born on the same day–which was something of an irony under the circumstances. The old policeman was sitting with his coffee, waiting, expecting the call.

“It arrived.”

“What is it this year?”

“I don’t know what kind it is. I’ll have to get someone to tell me what it is. It’s white.”

“No letter, I suppose.”

“Just the flower. The frame is the same kind as last year. One of those do-it-yourself ones.”

“Postmark?”

“Stockholm.”

“Handwriting?”

“Same as always, all in capitals. Upright, neat lettering.”

With that, the subject was exhausted, and not another word was exchanged for almost a minute. The retired policeman leaned back in his kitchen chair and drew on his pipe. He knew he was no longer expected to come up with a pithy comment or any sharp question which would shed a new light on the case. Those days had long since passed, and the exchange between the two men seemed like a ritualattaching to a mystery which no-one else in the whole world had the least interest in unravelling.



The Latin name was Leptospermum (Myrtaceae) rubinette. It was a plant about ten centimetres high with small, heather-like foliage and a white flower with five petals about two centimetres across.

The plant was native to the Australian bush and uplands, where it was to be found among tussocks of grass. There it was called Desert Snow. Someone at the botanical gardens in Uppsala would later confirm that it was a plant seldom cultivated in Sweden. The botanist wrote in her report that it was related to the tea tree and that it was sometimes confused with its more common cousin Leptospermum scoparium, which grew in abundance in New Zealand. What distinguished them, she pointed out, was that rubinette had a small number of microscopic pink dots at the tips of the petals, giving the flower a faint pinkish tinge.

Rubinette was altogether an unpretentious flower. It had no known medicinal properties, and it could not induce hallucinatory experiences. It was neither edible, nor had a use in the manufacture of plant dyes. On the other hand, the aboriginal people of Australia regarded as sacred the region and the flora around Ayers Rock.

The botanist said that she herself had never seen one before, but after consulting her colleagues she was to report that attempts had been made to introduce the plant at a nursery in Göteborg, and that it might, of course, be cultivated by amateur botanists. It was difficult to grow in Sweden because it thrived in a dry climate and had to remain indoors half of the year. It would not thrive in calcareous soil and it had to be watered from below. It needed pampering.



The fact of its being so rare a flower ought to have made it easier to trace the source of this particular specimen, but in practice it was an impossible task. There was no registry to look it up in, no licences to explore. Anywhere from a handful to a few hundred enthusiasts could have had access to seeds or plants. And those could have changed hands between friends or been bought by mail order from anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the Antipodes.

But it was only one in the series of mystifying flowers that each year arrived by post on the first day of November. They were always beautiful and for the most part rare flowers, always pressed, mounted on watercolour paper in a simple frame measuring 15cm by 28cm.



The strange story of the flowers had never been reported in the press; only a very few people knew of it. Thirty years ago the regular arrival of the flower was the object of much scrutiny–at the National Forensic Laboratory, among fingerprint experts, graphologists, criminal investigators, and one or two relatives and friends of the recipient. Now the actors in the drama were but three: the elderly birthday boy, the retired police detective, and the person who had posted the flower. The first two at least had reached such an age that the group of interested parties would soon be further diminished.

The policeman was a hardened veteran. He would never forget his first case, in which he had had to take into custody a violent and appallingly drunk worker at an electrical substation before he caused others harm. During his career he had brought in poachers, wife beaters, con men, car thieves, and drunk drivers. He had dealt with burglars, drug dealers, rapists, and one deranged bomber. He had been involved in nine murder or manslaughter cases. In five of these the murderer had called the police himself and, full of remorse, confessed to having killed his wife or brother or some other relative. Two others were solved within a few days. Another required the assistance of the National Criminal Police and took two years.

The ninth case was solved to the police’s satisfaction, which is to say that they knew who the murderer was, but because the evidence was so insubstantial the public prosecutor decided not to proceed with the case. To the detective superintendent’s dismay, the statute of limitations eventually put an end to the matter. But all in all he could look back on an impressive career.

He was anything but pleased.

For the detective, the “Case of the Pressed Flowers” had been nagging at him for years–his last, unsolved and frustrating case. The situation was doubly absurd because after spending literally thousands of hours brooding, on duty and off, he could not say beyond doubt that a crime had indeed been committed.

The two men knew that whoever had mounted the flowers would have worn gloves, that there would be no fingerprints on the frame or the glass. The frame could have been bought in camera shops or stationery stores the world over. There was, quite simply, no lead to follow. Most often the parcel was posted in Stockholm, but three times from London, twice from Paris, twice from Copenhagen, once from Madrid, once from Bonn, and once from Pensacola, Florida. The detective superintendent had had to look it up in an atlas.



After putting down the telephone the eighty-two-year-old birthday boy sat for a long time looking at the pretty but meaningless flower whose name he did not yet know. Then he looked up at the wall above his desk. There hung forty-three pressed flowers in their frames. Four rows of ten, and one at the bottom with four. In the top row one was missing from the ninth slot. Desert Snow would be number forty-four.

Without warning he began to weep. He surprised himself with this sudden burst of emotion after almost forty years.



Friday, December 20  

The trial was irretrievably over; everything that could be said had been said, but he had never doubted that he would lose. The written verdict was handed down at 10:00 on Friday morning, and all that remained was a summing up from the reporters waiting in the corridor outside the district court.  

Carl Mikael Blomkvist saw them through the doorway and slowed his step. He had no wish to discuss the verdict, but questions were unavoidable, and he—of all people—knew that they had to be asked and answered. This is how it is to be a criminal, he thought. On the other side of the microphone. He straightened up and tried to smile. The reporters gave him friendly, almost embarrassed greetings.  

"Let's see . . . Aftonbladet, Expressen, TT wire service, TV4, and . . . where are you from? . . . ah yes, Dagens Nyheter. I must be a celebrity," Blomkvist said.  

"Give us a sound bite, Kalle Blomkvist." It was a reporter from one of the evening papers.  

Blomkvist, hearing the nickname, forced himself as always not to roll his eyes. Once, when he was twenty-three and had just started his first summer job as a journalist, Blomkvist had chanced upon a gang which had pulled off five bank robberies over the past two years. There was no doubt that it was the same gang in every instance. Their trademark was to hold up two banks at a time with military precision. They wore masks from Disney World, so inevitably police logic dubbed them the Donald Duck Gang. The newspapers renamed them the Bear Gang, which sounded more sinister, more appropriate to the fact that on two occasions they had recklessly fired warning shots and threatened curious passersby.  

Their sixth outing was at a bank in Östergötland at the height of the holiday season. A reporter from the local radio station happened to be in the bank at the time. As soon as the robbers were gone he went to a public telephone and dictated his story for live broadcast.  

Blomkvist was spending several days with a girlfriend at her parents' summer cabin near Katrineholm. Exactly why he made the connection he could not explain, even to the police, but as he was listening to the news report he remembered a group of four men in a summer cabin a few hundred feet down the road. He had seen them playing badminton out in the yard: four blond, athletic types in shorts with their shirts off. They were obviously bodybuilders, and there had been something about them that had made him look twice—maybe it was because the game was being played in blazing sunshine with what he recognised as intensely focused energy.  

There had been no good reason to suspect them of being the bank robbers, but nevertheless he had gone to a hill overlooking their cabin. It seemed empty. It was about forty minutes before a Volvo drove up and parked in the yard. The young men got out, in a hurry, and were each carrying a sports bag, so they might have been doing nothing more than coming back from a swim. But one of them returned to the car and took out from the boot something which he hurriedly covered with his jacket. Even from Blomkvist's relatively distant observation post he could tell that it was a good old AK4, the rifle that had been his constant companion for the year of his military service.  

He called the police and that was the start of a three-day siege of the cabin, blanket coverage by the media, with Blomkvist in a front-row seat and collecting a gratifyingly large fee from an evening paper. The police set up their headquarters in a caravan in the garden of the cabin where Blomkvist was staying.  

The fall of the Bear Gang gave him the star billing that launched him as a young journalist. The downside of his celebrity was that the other evening newspaper could not resist using the headline "Kalle Blomkvist solves the case." The tongue-in-cheek story was written by an older female columnist and contained references to the young detective in Astrid Lindgren's books for children. To make matters worse, the paper had run the story with a grainy photograph of Blomkvist with his mouth half open even as he raised an index finger to point.  

It made no difference that Blomkvist had never in life used the name Carl. From that moment on, to his dismay, he was nicknamed Kalle Blomkvist by his peers—an epithet employed with taunting provocation, not unfriendly but not really friendly either. In spite of his respect for Astrid Lindgren—whose books he loved—he detested the nickname. It took him several years and far weightier journalistic successes before the nickname began to fade, but he still cringed if ever the name was used in his hearing.  

Right now he achieved a placid smile and said to the reporter from the evening paper:

"Oh come on, think of something yourself. You usually do."  

His tone was not unpleasant. They all knew each other, more or less, and Blomkvist's most vicious critics had not come that morning. One of the journalists there had at one time worked with him. And at a party some years ago he had nearly succeeded in picking up one of the reporters—the woman from She on TV4.  

"You took a real hit in there today," said the one from Dagens Nyheter, clearly a young part-timer. "How does it feel?"  

Despite the seriousness of the situation, neither Blomkvist nor the older journalists could help smiling. He exchanged glances with TV4. How does it feel? The half-witted sports reporter shoves his microphone in the face of the Breathless Athlete on the finishing line.  

"I can only regret that the court did not come to a different conclusion," he said a bit stuffily.  

"Three months in gaol and 150,000 kronor damages. That's pretty severe," said She from TV4.  

"I'll survive."  

"Are you going to apologise to Wennerström? Shake his hand?"  

"I think not."  

"So you still would say that he's a crook?" Dagens Nyheter.  

The court had just ruled that Blomkvist had libelled and defamed the financier Hans-Erik Wennerström. The trial was over and he had no plans to appeal. So what would happen if he repeated his claim on the courthouse steps? Blomkvist decided that he did not want to find out.  

"I thought I had good reason to publish the information that was in my possession. The court has ruled otherwise, and I must accept that the judicial process has taken its course. Those of us on the editorial staff will have to discuss the judgement before we decide what we're going to do. I have no more to add."  

"But how did you come to forget that journalists actually have to back up their assertions?" She from TV4. Her expression was neutral, but Blomkvist thought he saw a hint of disappointed repudiation in her eyes.  

The reporters on site, apart from the boy from Dagens Nyheter, were all veterans in the business. For them the answer to that question was beyond the conceivable. "I have nothing to add," he repeated, but when the others had accepted this TV4 stood him against the doors to the courthouse and asked her questions in front of the camera. She was kinder than he deserved, and there were enough clear answers to satisfy all the reporters still standing behind her. The story would be in the headlines but he reminded himself that they were not dealing with the media event of the year here. The reporters had what they needed and headed back to their respective newsrooms.  

Continues...

Excerpted from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Copyright © 2008 by Stieg Larsson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Read More Show Less

Introduction

“Wildly suspenseful . . . an intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller.”
The Washington Post

The introduction, questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are intended to enhance your reading group's discussion of Stieg Larsson's extraordinary thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Read More Show Less

Foreword

1. Who do you consider the novel's protagonist, Lisbeth or Mikael? Why?

2. What point was Larsson trying to make with the themes running through this novel? How do issues such as violence against women, journalistic integrity, and more general notions of trust tie in with each other throughout the book?

3. What function do the sex-crime statistics on each section's title page serve?

4. Reread the passage from Mikael's book on page 103. What is its significance in terms of the plot?

5. On page 156, Henrik tells Mikael, "If there's one thing I've learned, it's never engage in a fight you're sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you're in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back." Over the course of the novel, who puts this advice to the best use? How, and why?

6. How does the involvement of several Vanger brothers with Swedish fascist groups cloud Mikael's investigation into Harriet's disappearance? What role does Harald play?

7. Why does Henrik become an investor in Millennium? Does his plan succeed?

8. Discuss the character of Lisbeth. Some think she is a "perfect victim" (p. 409), others find her intimidating, and Mikael wonders if she has Asperger's, but the reader is allowed to see exactly how her mind works. How do you see her? How do you think she sees herself?

9. What do you think about the way Lisbeth turns the tables on Bjurman? Is it admirable, or a sign that she's unstable?

10. On page 254, Lisbeth says her new tattoo is "a reminder." Of what?

11. Several timesin the novel, Mikael's journalistic ethics are challenged. Do you consider him to be ethical? In your opinion, is anyone in the novel truly honorable? If so, why?

12. After reserving judgment for most of his investigation, Mikael determines that Harriet was, in fact, murdered and that he's hunting for a killer. What prompts this decision? How does this affect the rest of his investigation?

13. Discuss the role of parents in the novel. Who is a good parent, and why? How might Harriet's story have changed if her mother had behaved differently? What about Lisbeth's? Is Mikael a good father?

14. Blackmail is used several times in the novel, for different ends. Who uses it most effectively, and why?

15. On page 507, Mikael tells Lisbeth that to him, friendship requires mutual respect and trust. By those standards, who in this novel is a good friend? Is Mikael? What about Anita?

16. Discuss Henrik's request that Mikael never publish the Vanger story. Is it a reasonable request? Does Mikael's acquiescence change your opinion of him? Do Lisbeth's demands mitigate his ethical breach?

17. What ultimately drives Lisbeth to take action against Wennerström on her own? Does she go too far?

18. Reread Mikael's statement about the media's responsibility at the top of page 575. Can you think of a situation in the American media that is analogous to the Wennerström affair?

19. Discuss the ending. Was it satisfying to you? Why or why not?

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion
1. Careful observation is the foundation of any successful journalist's or private investigator's career. Discuss how the various characters' outward appearance aligned with their true personality in this novel.

2. Lisbeth Salander's character is enigmatic and antisocial throughout much of the book. What do you see as the catalyst for the slow emergence of her personality?

3. Lisbeth judges everyone harshly, including herself. What do you think of her assessment of Blomkvist?

4. While poverty, social injustice, parental abuse, and difficult childhoods are often cited as explanations for criminal behavior, Lisbeth believes in free will and choice. Do you agree?

5. What propels Blomkvist to lay aside his professional ethics and take on the investigation proposed by Vanger?

6. The relationship between Blomkvist and Cecilia is fraught from the beginning. How does Cecilia come to terms with it? What do you think about her decision?

7. How successfully does Larsson develop Lisbeth's connection to her mother? Is there anything about their relationship that helps shed light on Lisbeth's behavior?

8. Were you surprised by the book's portrayal of right-wing fanaticism and violence against women in a country known for its liberal views?

9. Which character's duplicity -- or innocence -- did you find the most unexpected? Which one emerged as your favorite?

10. Discuss Mikael Blomkvist's role in the investigation. Do you feel that he made as important a contribution as Lisbeth? Why or why not?

11. The narrative contained a number of plot twists. Who did you imagine sent the framed flowers to Vanger each year?

Further Reading
The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell
The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson
Borkmann's Point by Hakan Nesser
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)