The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Knopf, (9/16/2008)
Language:English



Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.11 out of 5 (19 Clubie's ratings)


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A sensation across Europe—millions of copies sold

A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

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MichDPT's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:8/29/2013

Loved this book. After the midpoint, it was a page turner for me :)

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DawnRenee`'s thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:2/15/2012



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rwehde's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:9/27/2011



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HollyBrekken's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:7/7/2011



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Mircamsun's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:10/27/2010



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Tudie2's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:10/18/2010



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krstn1335's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:9/28/2010



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talli's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:8/25/2010

Good book.  Disturbing parts but overall very interesting.

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NormaJean's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:8/10/2010

Very interesting read... hightly recommended!!

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Lizzy's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:8/4/2010



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Shannon 's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:7/23/2010



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Silver's Reviews's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:4/8/2010

The story takes place in Sweden. It has love, mystery, murder, scandal, jealousy, family history, financial ruin, corruption, deceit, and two main female characters....one with a tattoo and one that has disappeared. :)

The story begins with a trial of a journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, and his indictment and moves to a girl with a tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, who does investigation for a security firm and the girl, Harriet Vanger, who had disappeared 30+ years ago.

Mikael was hired by the Vanger family to do an investigation into the disappearance of Harriet and why the body was never found. The investigation is being done under the premise that Mikael is doing a piece on the history of the Vanger Family. Lisbeth and Mikael do get to meet, and it gets even more interesting...lots of things become discovered through Lisbeth's skills as a researcher.

It was a little slow at first, but once the book got into the lives of people and became more personal, you can't put it down....excellent writing. You will love the book as the story unfolds...just give it a few pages.

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CircleCityReaders's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:3/14/2010



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bshimoura's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:2/4/2010

You think that 1/2 way thru the book, the mystery is solved, but it's not!!! A cliff hanger till the end, very enjoyable, no boring spots!!! Our bookclub said that they will definitely read the 2nd book in the series of 3!!!

Very Unleashable



Kitty's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:1/20/2010



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Harriet's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:9/21/2009



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Queenbmel80's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:8/16/2009

30 pages in....update to follow soon..

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Read and Feed's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:7/29/2009



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Bookwise's thoughts on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
updated on:5/6/2009

Overall, liked it. I read a lot of Ken Follett, Jeffrey Archer - so a bit like that. The translation from Swedish added a bit of interest. They eat some food combinations that do not sound very appetizing to me: liver sausage-pickle sandwich. Bla! It was interesting how the few characters with interests in Christianity were viewed as kind-of freaks. Their loved ones were very concerned, not just Harriet but also Bloomqvist's daughter. Hmmmmm? Seems obvious that Larsson was not a Christian and not really well versed in Christianity or the Bible. (Well, on that point, I suppose he has his answers now.) I am very fond of Lizbeth Salander but have more questions about/for her than answers at this point. I am very much looking forward to learning more about her in the upcoming books. Don't really care for Mikhail Bloomqvist. Sexually, he is very passive - just jump on, girls! - every woman wants him, and every woman gets him! I also found it interesting how both Salander and Bloomqvist have these rules of morality for their work, those things that they will and will not do, but have virtually none for their personal life!

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"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
By Stieg Larsson

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.11 out of 5 (19 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

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 man's brutality to 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. Re-read the passage from Mikael's book on page 84. What is its significance, in terms of the plot?

5. On page 126, 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" (page 324), 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 202, Lisbeth says her new tattoo is "a reminder." Of what?

11. Several times in the novel, Mikae'’s journalistic ethics are challenged. Do you consider him to be ethical? In your opinion, is anyone in the novel truly honorable? Who, and why?

12. After reserving judgment for most of his investigation, on page 238 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 400, 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. Re-read Mikael's statement about the media's responsibility at the top of page 454. 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?


Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
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Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, September 2008: Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. --Dave Callanan



From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

From Bookmarks Magazine
Critics’ responses varied to the late Stieg Larsson’s debut novel. Although some considered it clever, suspenseful, and exhilarating, others found it confused and farfetched. Most fell somewhere in the middle, acknowledging its flaws (including a slow beginning, a glut of suspects, and an overabundance of hard-to-pronounce Swedish phrases and names) while praising its strong, memorable characters, dark humor, and inventive plot twists. Originally titled Men Who Hate WomenGirl is as much a cultural and social assessment of misogyny—a favorite topic of Larsson’s—as it is an intriguing take on the classic thriller. This is one for neo-noir fans—but it doesn’t seem destined to rule this side of the Atlantic.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC 

Review
Stieg Larsson is the best Swedish crime writer of the decade - Kristianstadbladet A violently entertaining trilogy...may it never end - Arbetarbladet. A huge, 500-plus-page opus, a multilayered, multi-character tale by a writer of some considerable power. Full of social conscience and compassion, with great insight into the nature of moral corruption, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo just knocked me out. During the time I had my nose stuck in its pages, I was thoroughly consumed by the work, and in those periods when I had to put the book down, I found myself grumpy and anxious to return to Larsson's narrative... when I finally put the book down, I was still unable to sleep, my head filled with the high-definition world that this author has crafted... already I'm thinking this could be remembered as the best crime novel of 2008... This book shows how exhilarating crime fiction can be. Ali Karim, The Rap Sheet website. A publishing sensation, an accomplished crime writer who seemingly came from nowhere...a memorable debut and deserves most of the hype with which it is being published in this country... Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson's in the same breath - Sunday Times. The ballyhoo is fully justified...At over 500 pages this hardly sagged...The novel scores on every front - character, story, atmosphere - The Times. What a cracking novel! I haven't read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping - Minette Walters. As vivid as bloodstains on snow - and a perfect one-volume introduction to the unique strengths of Scandinavian crime fiction - Lee Child. Brilliantly written...the characters are superbly drawn and the story grips from first to last - 5 stars - Mail on Sunday. - the first in trio of epic mysteries that sweep much of modern Swedish history into their addictive grip. Larsson's follow-up The Girl Who Played With Fire appears in January - Independent. - several cuts above most thrillers I've read recently - intelligent, complex, with a gripping plot and deeply intriguing characters. The author's early death is a great loss: he would have lit up the fiction lists for a long time to come - Philip Pullman in the Guardian. An intelligent, complicated page-turner with a wide-ranging plot and two of the most original sleuths I've ever come across - Pam Ferris in the Express. - threatens to knock Henning Menkell off his crime writer's throne - Larsson's take on crime is refreshingly different - I am waiting impatiently for part two.' - Sue Arnold (reviewing the audio edition) in the Guardian. - Keeps you utterly hooked - Psychologies Magazine. The crime sensation of the year - London Lite. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. 

Review
“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 . . . Lisbeth is a punk Watson to Mikael's dapper Holmes, and she's the coolest crime-fighting sidekick to come along in many years.”
Washington Post

“An exceptional effort for a first-time crime novelist. In fact, a fine effort for any crime novelist . . . This book is meticulously plotted, beautifully paced, and features a cast of two indelible sleuths and many juicy suspects.”
Boston Globe

“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.”
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“The book lands in the United States as Wall Street sputters and global markets clench, a timely fit to Larsson’s themes of corporate corruption. He tells his crime story cleverly, but the zing in Dragon Tattoo is inked in its two central characters.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A super-smart amalgam of the corporate corruption tale, legal thriller and dysfunctional-family psychological suspense story. It’s witty and unflinching . . . Larsson’s multi-pieced plot snaps together as neatly as an Ikea bookcase, but even more satisfying is the anti-social character of Salander.”
–Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)

“It’s like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . . . It features at its center two unique and fascinating characters: a disgraced financial journalist and the absolutely marvelous 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander–a computer-hacking Pippi Longstocking with pierced eyebrows and a survival instinct that should scare anyone who gets in her way.”
Chicago Tribune

“Larsson’s novel could serve as the definition of page-turner . . . The worst part: We have to wait until summer ’09 for the second installment.”
Time Out New York

“The biggest Swedish phenom since ABBA.”
People 

“Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with Thomas Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lambs. Larsson’s mesmerizing tale succeeds because, like P.D. James, he has written a why-dunit rather than a whodunit.”
USA Today

“A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel.”
Glamour

“Larsson’s debut thriller succeeds on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. First off, it’s an absolute page-turner. But the characters are so fascinating and the clear, understated writing so graceful, you are going to want to savor it . . . Electrifying.”
Portsmouth Herald (NH)

“Is the hype justified? Yes . . . This complex, multilayered tale grabs the reader from the first page.”
Library Journal (starred)

“The first U.S. appearance of another major Swedish crime writer is cause for celebration . . . The novel offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama. What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world!”
Booklist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed.”
–Michael Connelly

“I doubt you will read a better book this year.”
–Val McDermid

“Dark, labyrinthine, smart, sexy, utterly original, and completely captivating, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo delights at every level. Nuanced, sympathetic characters, caught in a tangle of unusual and compelling relationships, grapple with a baffling family mystery and with their own demons in the unique literary environment of modern-day Sweden. This book is artful and grand entertainment. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”
–John Lescroart

“So much more than a thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dazzling novel of big ideas. It tackles issues of power, corruption, justice, and innocence–all the while drawing you into the twists and turns of a frighteningly suspenseful mystery.”
–Harlan Coben

“As vivid as bloodstains on snow.”
–Lee Child

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an utterly fresh political and journalistic thriller that is also intimate and moral. In spite of its dark unearthings Stieg Larsson has written a feast of a book, with central characters you will not forget.”
–Michael Ondaatje

“Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family’s remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller . . . At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden’s dirty not-so-little secrets, this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“What a cracking novel! I haven’t read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping.”
–Minette Walters

“With its compelling situation, its complex plot and especially its unique, fully-realized characters, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo embodies–in seamless translation–the best of European crime fiction.”
–S.J. Rozan 

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a Tolstoyan re-invention of the ‘closed room’ murder mystery, Agatha Christie for adults. Curl up on the sofa with this masterwork of noir and let Stieg Larsson draw you into the shadows. It’s also a profound investigation into tribal violence in the world of high finance, and a revelation of the dark side of a country normally seen as the very height of propriety. By the end of the first chapter you will know better. By the end of the second you will be putty in his hands. Don’t even think about putting it down.”
–John Burdett

From the UK:

“Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson’s in the same breath.”
The Sunday Times 

“Larsson has up his sleeve two extremely engaging protagonists. Once these characters have appeared, our surrender to the novel is guaranteed . . . This is classic English mystery territory. But what follows is much darker and bloodier–more Thomas Harris than Dorothy L. Sayers.”
The Independent

“The ballyhoo is fully justified . . . The novel scores on every front–character, story, atmosphere, and the translation.” 
The Times

“This is a striking novel, full of passion, an evocative sense of place and subtle insights into venal, corrupt minds . . . The journalist and the hacker are ingenious creations.”
The Observer

“One of the greatest crime-fiction novels I have ever read . . . As mesmerizing as it is insightful . . . The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a multi-layered, multi-character tale by a writer of some considerable power. Full of social conscience and compassion, with insight into the nature of moral corruption, it knocked me out . . . Mikael Blomkvist and his partner, the enigmatic and deeply troubled Lisbeth Salander, will soon join the pantheon of greatest crime-fiction characters that populate the genre at its apex.”
Shots Magazine

“A blockbuster story . . . The plot is interesting and credible but above all the heroine is splendidly original . . . An extraordinary book.”
Literary Review

“An absorbing and idiosyncratic crime novel.”
Daily Mail
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Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.


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