The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson
Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Series: Millennium Trilogy Series
The blurb from the publisher:
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.
The Short of It:
Not your regular murder mystery. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is complex and rich and psychologically challenging. A page-turner but not the kind you skim through. This one you want to savor.
The Rest of It:
I am the last person on the planet to read this, so what hasn’t been said? Well, Lisbeth Salander is probably one of the strongest female protagonists I’ve seen in print in a long, long time. She is dark and moody and has been abused in more ways than one, yet she is strong and determined and always manages to gain the upper hand. Her counterpart, Mikael Blomkvist is also a very interesting character. He’s unassuming yet there’s something about him that draws the women to him. He’s essentially a good guy, easy going and honest but as I was reading, I wanted to know what made him tick and I’m not sure that came through for me.
As a mystery, I found it to be quite satisfying. I never felt that the story was too obvious or that Larsson was pandering to the masses when he wrote it. It’s a sophisticated story told in a sophisticated way. What did surprise me was the prevalence of domestic violence throughout the novel. Apparently, Sweden has a very high rate of domestic violence. The statistics are mentioned throughout the novel and there is plenty of violence against women in general. Although some of the violence is graphic in its depiction, I never felt as if it was gratuitous in nature, if that makes sense.
In the end, I was left wanting more so it’s a good thing that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book of the Millennium Series. I am reading The Girl Who Played with Fire now and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is available in the UK and can be purchased online.
Lisa over at Lit and Life reminded me that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Since this book deals with domestic violence, I thought I’d support the cause by posting this button.
34 thoughts on “Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
I think I’ve mentioned that this one is on my list at the library. I haven’t read a mystery/thriller in forever so I’m looking forward to it.
I have seen and heard so much about this book. Now after reading your review, I really want to read it!!
That wasn’t very nice of you to leave a direct link to the 3rd book, making it all too easy, so that I was forced to order it….
Haha!! You know me. Gotta make it easy! I haven’t ordered it yet but I’m sure I will. You can’t beat the free shipping and I’ve ordered from them before and it only took a week to get here.
What a great review. I’ve been seeing this book all over the place so I think I will need to read it!
You’re not the last person to read this since I haven’t read it yet. The book does sound great. I had no idea domestic violence was such a problem in Sweden.
I JUST finished this on audio, and will review it a week from today. I was blown away, not only by the story, but by the audio production. I’ve read thousands of mysteries in my life, and this is one of the best. Loved Salander. I have no idea what the next book is about, but I pray she’s in it. I’ve got it ordered on audio as I speak.
Interestingly, the Swedish title of the book translates to “Men Who Hate Women”. Isn’t that funny, that they would change the title so drastically? I think it was probably a good call, but still.
I believe Salander is in all three books. The first chapter of book #2 was at the end of my copy of Dragon and it opens with her.
I haven’t read this one either so your review was necessary. I’m not fond of reading violence but you make this sound like an excellent character novel. I may get around to this one yet.
I am glad you enjoyed this one, Ti! I really want to read it. I like crime fiction that I can savor.
I didn’t know it was domestic violence awareness month. I’ll have to be on the look out for it (in things I read!)
i’m DYING to read this…so i skipped your review. i really will put it on my list at the library next week. i just keep re-reading ‘catching fire’…i have to put it down and stop casting the movie roles in my head.
Well, you’re not the last as I haven’t read it yet but I’m toally going to.
For me, it’s definitely got a “guy author” feel to it, if that makes any sense.
I’m curious if the author two books are as violent.
I know what you mean by ‘guy author’. Almost like a good ole boy club. The men are sort of woven from the same cloth.
One of these days I’m going to get to this one. Thanks for posting the icon!
You aren’t the last one to read this. I have to say it’s on the top of my wishlist!
I finally found this at the used book store!! Yay!! Now you know you are not the last person to read this. Wonderful review!
you are not the last person on the planet to read this book. I still have it on the shelf and it was recently joined by The Girl Who Played With Fire…so trust me, I will be the last person to read and review it. LOL
Nope, you’re not the last one. I’m still on the fence. I’ll wait until Serena starts reading it and gives me the daily lunchtime updates. 😉
Well you aren’t the last person on the planet to read this cause I haven’t. lol. I’ve sure heard good things about it though. Like Anna I’m still on the fence with it.
I haven’t read this book but I’ve been seeing it everywhere. You review is great and definitely grabs my interest. It’s wonderful that you posted the Domestic Violence tag , it’s such an important cause and women need to know there is support for them.
I read this recently and am not a huge fan of mystery thrillers but this series is amazing! I agree with your comments that it is “a sophisticated story told in a sophisticated way” that is a great way to describe the book. I totally understand what you meatn when you said that some of the violence is graphic but it wasn’t gratuitous. That is why I steer away from some books that are so graphic and violent. I read the second book and a wonderful friend just sent me the third book in the series. I just got it in the mail today and cannot wait to read it!
I’m glad that you linked this to the Domestic Violence issue and brought attention to this by adding the button.
What have I been waiting for? This one sounds terrific. I bet you will be reading the sequel.
I dont usually reply to posts but in this case. WOW
You weren’t the last one on the planet to read this I probabaly am – I am just finishing it now. WHen I originally read the reviews something just didn’t turn me on, but my niece talked me into it. Now I cant stop reading. Love it. Want more.