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Summary

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.

He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from 40 years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.

But the Vangers are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves

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©2005/ 2008 Norstedts Agency / Reg Keeland (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"I doubt you will read a better book this year." (Val McDermid)
"Intelligent, complex, with a gripping plot and deeply intriguing characters. The author's early death is a great loss." (Philip Pullman)
"What a cracking novel! I haven't read such a stunning thriller debut for years. Brilliantly written and totally gripping." (Minette Walters)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,989
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    1,051
  • 3 Stars
    290
  • 2 Stars
    105
  • 1 Stars
    92

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,076
  • 4 Stars
    513
  • 3 Stars
    111
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    486
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
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    24
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

This book is slow to 'get going' and at first it was a bit confusing. For the first half an hour I wasn't sure whether I had made a mistake in choosing it - but after that I was hooked, and spent two days compulsively listening!

It's a brilliant story, well written and well read.

91 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • GC
  • 22-05-09

A Murder Mystery with a Twist

At last, the unabridged version of this brilliant book (the first in the Millennium trilogy)is available to download. A disgraced Stockholm journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, is asked to investigate the disappearance (in 1966) of an industrialist's niece. Aided by the 'mentally incompetent' 20-something, Lisbeth Salander (the eponymous Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the journalist descends into the nightmare underbelly of Swedish society, Saul Reichlin (better known for his narration of David Hewson's Nic Costa novels) does his usual expert job. This has got to be one of the best downloads of 2009.

49 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The best I've ever listened to

I've listened to dozens of audiobooks over the last couple of years, especially thriller / crime stuff. I've never been moved to write a review before but this is simply in a class of its own - totally spell-binding and superbly narrated. The fact that it's the first in a trilogy is the icing on the cake although it's desperately sad that the wonderful response has come after the author's death. Believe me it simply doesn't get any better than this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ronan
  • Ely, United Kingdom
  • 23-02-11

Best of the trilogy

This is the first and in my opinion the best of the trilogy. This story can stand alone from the two subsequent works, books two and three are in effect two halves of one story.
The character, Lisbeth Sallander is very interesting and as we peel the layers, she becomes more complex. The story line is well thought out and the ending is anything but obvious. Very good listen.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Stick with it!

Initially this does not seem a good book to listen to (as opposed to read) because it is written with almost forensic detail, and this is particularly noticeable at the beginning which is very much concerned with the business world. (I notice some readers on Amazon also say it's initially hard going). Also there seems to be an endless list of characters, and names of places and people are Swedish, and it felt overwhelming. BUT stick with it at least to Part 2. This is truly one of the best thrillers I have some across in ages. It veers from one genre to another, the plot twists and turns, the characters are brilliant and it throws up continual surprises, confounding my expectations. By the end I realised how important the initial detail is, and my patience was rewarded. I grew to love the detailed descriptions and my enjoyment was particularly helped by the reader, Saul Reichlin, who made all the characters come alive, and kept the pacing under control which at times became unbearbly exciting, as true story telling should be.
More than all this, it is a deeply moral book, which throws up various dilemmas, which I found very involving and which added yet another layer of interest to the book for me. I love the two main protagoginsts so much that I felt like I had lost friends when I came to the end. Two books in the trilogy to go. How long can I wait to start the next one?

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jen
  • Hamilton, United Kingdom
  • 08-08-09

Fantastic story - pulls no punches

I downloaded this book on a whim. It had been on my to read list for a while but I kept moving away from it. I am so glad I finally got round to it.

The locations and names make it a bit hard to follow at first but you soon get into the swing of things and the characters are all fully formed and well described. The story kept my interest and I found myself looking for excuses to listen to another chapter. Defiantly fast paced and does not shy away from explicit descriptions. Well worth the time can't wait for the next one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really good.

Fantastic, it's slow to get into the story, particularly if you have the film in mind, but I was gripped throughout. Couldn't stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jill
  • Roermond, Netherlands
  • 21-07-09

Couldn't stop listening....

I bought this book based on the recommendations above, and am extremely pleased I did. It is a great story and I found myself grabbing every opportunity to listen to it. The poor old dog nearly got her legs walked off so that I had the excuse to find out what happens next! Lizbet Salander is a great character, complex but compelling. The narration was just perfect and the slight oddities that occurred sometimes in what was obviously a translated text in fact rather complimented the whole Scandinavian atmosphere.
I was lucky that just as I finished this book the follow-up, The Girl Who Played with Fire was published at Audible, so I could immediately resubmerge myself in more dark doings.....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I bought this title knowing very little about except that it was a best seller. I have to say I was not disappointed in the least. From the start the book held me and I got to the stage that the converging story lines had me gripped.

The narration was excellent and the voice was easy and pleasant to listen to. The only niggle was towards the end there was an interuption which 'told you to turn the casette over' but apart from that a quality product I would and have recommended to friends and family.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Great book more in depth than the film Swedish one that is. Best film and book that I have watched and read for years

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 01-08-09

worthwhile

It is very hard to write a concise review of this book, as there is so much one could say about its strengths and weaknesses. Vast sections were extremely tedious, yet other, longer, sections were riveting and deeply engaging. I agree with an earlier reviewer's opinion that the novel could have done with a bit more editing. Some of the exposition is difficult to get through, and can be confusing at times. I say this as a reader who is not easily bored, and tends to enjoy the sorts of long realist novels most people find boring. Ultimately, once I got into the guts of this novel, I found it hard to put aside. I'd say the first hour or two, and the last couple hours of the audio version were not all that engaging, but I think there are a number of reasons for this, mostly personal. Others may find the Venestrom strain of the novel more interesting than I did.

The novel contains a good deal of fairly graphic sexual violence, and isn't for those who might be sensitive to this sort of thing. It is also very devoted to detail, so you will always know what the characters make themselves for lunch, for example. But I found this aspect of the novel interesting, and I think it enhanced the atmosphere and character development.

A very worthwhile audiobook. The narrator is phenomenal, and I appreciated that he captured the characters' voices and emotions without exaggeration or affectation. His narration increased the tension where appropriate, without being overwrought. Easily among the best audiobook narrators I've ever encountered.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • 28-03-10

Stieg is brilliant . . . But Saul delivers too

You've read all the rave reviews; believe them! These books (The Trilogy) are fabulous.
But let me praise the narrator, Saul Reichlin. He brought the books to life in a wonderful way. He made it easy to distinguish between the characters, despite a variety of accents (Swedish, Irish, Australian, Russian, etc.) and he did it without making them into caricatures.
As I discussed the books with friends, I would mention a name and they would often say "is that how you pronounce it?". Mr. Reichlin not only made these books a pleasure to listen to, he made me confident pronouncing more-than-difficult Swedish names and places!
Buy the book, and enjoy.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie Pieterse
  • 21-10-09

Fascinating and Addictive

I loved this book, although it was long and a bit hard to get into at the beginning. Lisbeth Salander is one of the most unique heroines of modern fiction.

What I liked about this book was the character development and the many subplots, which created another world. The characters seem real - they aren't perfect and have character flaws and strengths like real people. I really enjoyed Saul Reichlin's narration too.

Currently on the second book, and just downloaded the third today. Thanks audible, for not waiting for the 'book' to be released in 2010, when it is already available in English in the UK.

Sorry to say that Stieg Larsson is no longer with us but he left a wonderful legacy to the world of these three novels.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 29-06-09

Outstanding

Terrific story, terrific characters, terrific narrator. Could not put it down. Loved this book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • 29-07-10

Don't miss this book

One of the best books I have listened too. The first time I have rated a book 5. The narrator was excellent as well

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D. DeVries
  • 02-06-10

fast paced

Fast paced, attention grabbing mystery that keeps you wondering till the very end,

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • 01-02-10

hard to get into but worth the effort.

I found this book quite boring to begin with, but was totally hooked by half way through. Funny, had I read the actual book, I would have given up early. Being audio, I just kept listening and the story was well worth it. If you like a good mystery give it a go.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • 17-08-10

Black thriller brilliantly narrated

I won't add to comments about the novel (which is riveting!) but I would like to compliment the narrator Saul Reichlin. His narration is outstanding. His pronunciation of the names, the individualisation of the characters, the pacing of the narrative, are all brilliantly realised. The tone of his voice is warm and pleasing to listen to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • 29-05-10

intriguing story

Book takes a while to get into but then takes hold with it suspense and intrigue. The narrator is brilliant and keeps hold of the audience with his pace. Pronunciation of Swedish names is authentic.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Benita
  • 22-02-10

Fantastic Book

I loved this book! It started off slowly but the tension built slowly and steadily throughout. There were unsuspected plot twists and intrigue by the bucket-load. The Swedish names took a little getting used to but the narrator did a great job. I will be getting Steig Larsson's other books - I can't wait to read the next instalment.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful