The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

fpoThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Finished 7-27-15, rating 4.75/5, thriller, 590 pages, pub. 2005

I both listened and read this one.  The audio was expertly read by Simon Vance, 16 hours and 30 minutes.

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 pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.  from Goodreads

When I first started listening to this one I found myself lost in a sea of unfamiliar names and it made the beginning a slow start.  The set up of the Vanger history and all of the players, big and small, was something to get through not really to relish.  That came later.  Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist and magazine publisher, was convicted of libel and looking at jail time when Henrik, the head of the Vanger family, makes him an offer he can’t refuse.  Henrik also tapped the troubled and enigmatic Lisbeth Salander to check him out and what she found made her more than curious about Mikael.

All three, the Vangers, Mikael and Lisbeth, had their own stories and then came together for one big revelation.  Just as one storyline came to a close there was still plenty more story to tell and what a story it was.  For me, it was the way everything was expertly woven together that made the characters so rich and vibrant.  These were characters that I had never met before and I was intrigued.  All three were unapologetic and totally at home in their own skin and I loved it.

If the story started a bit bogged down it certainly didn’t suffer from that by the middle when the investigation and personal relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth became heated.  This was when listening to the audio in the car wasn’t enough and I had to pick up the book.  There was abuse, horrific abuse and violence, but it only made me in more of a hurry to see what would happen next, how redemption might come.  As for Mikael, he seemed to have no problem loving the ladies and I was struck by the very civil way the women sharing him acted.  I’ve never seen anything like it in real life, but hey, maybe I need to visit Sweden to see if that’s the way it works over there 😉

I already have the next one ready to go!


8 thoughts on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    I see that you had the same reaction as me on a couple of counts. 1. It took me awhile to adjust to the Swedish names. It’s important to me to pronounce names correctly. Obviously that was a problem here. 2. I read the series after it had been heavily hyped. And it lived up to its hype. That’s not the norm (I can say the same thing about Orphan Train). Finally, you might hear that #3 is not as good as #1 and #2. I don’t agree with that.

  2. Laura's Reviews says:

    I read the series and loved it five years ago. I haven’t listened to the audiobooks or watched the movie . . maybe I need to do that next! I’ll probably discover that my pronunciations were all wrong!

  3. Tara says:

    I actually DNF’d this one at about 100 pages a few years back because I was so bogged down in the beginning. But I kept my copy because I felt like it was me at the time rather than the book. I will eventually get back around to it for a second chance.

  4. Leslie says:

    I saw the original movie – the one with the subtitles. I liked it a lot, but it was really a struggle to read, watch, and understand what was going on all at once; very intense. Haven’t read the books yet but I have all three.

  5. Teddyree says:

    I’ve got the series, sadly still unread, for some reason I just keep putting it off. Maybe I should look at the audio since you enjoyed it.

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