1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Other people will review the book to a much better extent than I can and will do a much better job, so I leave it to them.
My review rather refers to the quality of the Unabridge CD reproduction of the book, and the inferior abridged version. The is abridged version is not an option for me, I can never see the attraction in these abridged CD reproductions they lose `flavour', `colour' and lastly they seem to make little sense. While the full version, while more expensive is worth every penny.
Please be careful when choosing which version you what to buy as, on this site, it is easy to pick the wrong version.
My only negative about these audio CDs is:-
As person who likes to listen to these audio CDs more than once,the packaging does not lend it self to repeated use the packaging is poor and almost disintegrates on trying to open. I now have all three audio CDs and the quality of the `jewel' case has always been poor, which is rather sad. The box comes to pieces in your hands as you try to remove, or return a CD to the case.
The plus points are your listening to a 21st century classic thriller; the narrator is top notch, he gives you a nice feel to the story, without sounding 'dead pan'! lastly it's a story by Stieg Larsson, enough said?
Well it is worth buying, and the price now is OK, for my money its worth 5 out of 5 stars. Please please the CD makers of this product please change the design and make it more user friendly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Like most of the other reviewers I found this an absorbing and fascinating read, despite the fact that any book of this weight and size means it won't fit into the handbag and can only be read with it lying on a flat surface or after doing weight training to build up arm muscles!
Jokes aside, this is an intelligent thriller, with lots to engage the brain OUTSIDE the plot, connected with the world it describes.
I was amused to see that though I immediately clocked who the villain must have been purely by looking at who had most to gain, I then very quickly forgot my initial assumption - and of course, though the end of the book proved me right, the motivation was completely not what my superficial assumption had initially been.
The only reason for not going quite all the way with that final star is that delightful as Blomkvist might be as a hero, I always do feel my spirits sink a little when any hero or heroine turns out to be such a universal object of desire, not just for between the sheets, but also invariably turning out to be 'my ain true love' for all the available men/women she or he meets - it always feels a bit too 'plotty' with echoes of Mills and Boon, Hollywood, formulaic erotica etc etc
on 30 May 2013
It isn't often that you can read a book whose heroes and heroines aren't impossibly unreal. The late and very much lamented Stieg Larsson managed to pull some totally original ideas out of the hat with the three books of the Millenium series. The plot was complex, the relationships subtle and intriguing, the hero - Mickael Blomqvist - isn't a martial arts champion, great car driver, crack shot, olympic class everything, instead he is an investigative journalist working for a magazine. He is determined and dedicated and willing to put himself in harm's way to get his story, but basically he is an ordinary bloke. The heroine, and very much the star of the show is an even more unlikely proposition. She is Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant computer hacker, loner, social misfit, whose experiences at the hands of the authorities have made her into a very wary character, almost feral in her behaviour. But Larsson has made her convincing. He also uses the book as a means of getting a few digs at the real society and fabric of his own country. The result is a compelling story, a rivettingly good read and a tremendous appetiser for the next in the series, which follows on, more or less seamlessly. There is a real tragedy here: Larsson died of a heart attack before completing the fourth in what he had hoped would be a ten volume series. So there are only three stories, or chapters, to use a more appropriate term. Read them in order and be prepared to enjoy original writing, brilliant characterisation and superb story telling. I am in the process of brushing up my rusty Swedish in order to read them in the original, but whatever language you read them in, I cannot recommend them highly enough
I admit I've seen the Millennium trilogy books promoted for a few years now, but I never got past the cover (shame on me for judging a book by its cover). I also read rave reviews about the European films, but still ignored the books. Then the BBC did its Nordic season, focussing on the Scandinavian countries, from travelogues, through myths, modern day fiction and crime writers; Stieg Larsson was featured in this season of programming, and I learned quite a bit about him and his Millennium trilogy. Although intrigued, it was not enough to tempt me to deviate from my planned reading list.
Over the winter break 2011, I watched an amazing movie for the upteenth time, and found myself moving on to enjoyable European movies, and reading blogs about the current movie version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", but I knew that those that had seen the European version were much more enamoured with it. I am one of those people who prefers to read a book before watching the film, so when my monthly book club download came up, I decided to go with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Audiobook, Unabridged".
Mikael Blomkvist is part owner of Millennium, a magazine focussing on the financial world of Sweden. Blomkvist publishes a damning exposé'on a financial hot-shot, Wennerström, but finds himself convicted of libel, facing three months in gaol and possible financial ruin. Blomkvist resigns from his own magazine, Millennium, after being lured by the (retired) patriach of a family-run, industrial company, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the murder of his niece, Harriet, 40 years ago by an unknown member of the Vanger family.
Vanger's lawyer does his due diligence on Blomkvsit before hiring him through Milton security's top investigator, Lisbeth Salander. Salander is 24, tattoo-ed, pierced, asocial, legally-declared incompetent and under the care of a guardian; Salander works alone, but Blomkvist needs a research assistant, and after reading the exceptional report Salander did on him, he finds her, and together the delve into the labyrinthine world of the Vanger family in search of a murderer.
I liked every part of this audio edition of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". It is 18 hours long (not long enough!!!), and I have just spent two days listening, almost non-stop; unable to walk away from the story. Larsson is an exceptional storyteller, adept at weaving together varying threads, explaining the intricate details of the financial world, subtlety exposing the psyche of his characters using delicate shades, and hooking his audience along for an extraordinary roller-coaster ride. There is brutality in this book, but Larsson keeps you glued with descriptives that allow the reader to fill in the detail from their own experience. This was important for me, as there are times when I cannot read certain passages relating gruesome scenes, the author seeming to relish in extreme exposure, a kind of salaciousness that often makes me squirm. Larsson avoids this with great skill, while still managing to pack a punch; it helps that the book is punctuated with statistics about the brutalisation of women in Sweden.
The Vanger family is extensive, running through generations and, although I did not have a hard copy with the family tree provided, I was able to follow the extensive research into the family, and the various relationships without issue. I found myself fascinated by the various characters, the exceptional, and the seemingly plain. I had already come across the resolution of the main mystery in my research on the movies and book, and the financial world bores me, but this did not stop me being drawn into Stieg Larsson's creation and finding myself desperate to see it all through to the bitter end; I found myself addicted to characters, the story, the environment, the pace. It's rare for me to be captivated from the start of a book, many authors trying to capture the reader by starting with an action scene but failing, whereas Stieg Larsson had me from the first few paragraphs. I would say intrigue is his forte, because, as the book moved along, I found myself glued to the iPod. Generally, I use my iPod in the car or, occasionally, on the speakers at home, but I've never used it in public, with the headsets until now. I could not step away from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", it invaded my life. Everywhere I went, everything I did, I had to have the iPod on, and listen to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; it became my main focus.
The plot never felt rushed, but I found myself urging the story on, desperate to learn what was to happen next. In this regard the audio version helped add to the tension, with pauses inserted between various paragraphs, not just the chapters, building a sense of urgency in me. Saul Reichlin narrated the version I downloaded from Audible and he did his utmost to give each character their own voice. It was good narration, with clear diction, and good sound quality.
There are two audio issues: Saul Reichlin failed to distinguish who was speaking in a few discussions which occurred between Blomkvist and Salander, leaving me confused, disappointed and having to rewind to try and untangle the mess. There was an editorial error in the penultimate chapter of the downloaded audio version where turning over Tape 17 is mentioned. Apart from these quibbles with the audio edition, I can honestly say there was nothing I disliked about "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Audiobook, Unabridged".
Well, that's not exactly true: I don't like the fact that, under the terms of my Audible account, I have to wait until next month to download the second part of the Millennium trilogy, "The Girl Who Played with Fire", and yet another month again to download "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest". I'm not sure I have the patience to wait for the next instalment.
I would recommend this book, and its two sequels to every adult reader, and recommend reading/listening sooner, than later. I regret not picking up these books when they first appeared on the shelves as recommended, or when the European films of the trilogy were widely lauded, or even as friends are recommend the American film version of the first book. For anyone remotely curious about Swedish culture, the workings of the media, the financial world, lovers of crime fiction, intrigue and those who are interested in the inner workings of the human mind, read, or listen to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".
For me, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a "must read" and Stieg Larsson a fantastic writer.
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" sounds more like a kung-fu movie than a Swedish thriller.
But a Swedish thriller it is. And while posthumous debuts rarely get the attention they deserve -- or any attention, really -- the first novel of the late Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy starts slow, and slowly winds itself up into a tight knot of unique mystery and thriller elements. Just give it a few chapters to unfold.
Take-no-prisoners journalist Mikael Blomkvist has just lost his reputation, his savings and his freedom (hello, jail sentence!) after a nasty libel suit from an executive named Wennerström. Then he's unexpectedly contacted by aged industrialist Henrik Vanger, to discover what happened to the guy's grandniece. She vanished forty years ago from the family's isolated island, and her body -- alive or dead -- was never found.
It's a pretty cold case, and not a very inviting one. But when Vanger offers Mikael rewards he cannot refuse -- evidence on the villainous Wennerström -- he finds himself facing the bizarre, sinister Vanger family with few leads to go on. Then he meets Lisbeth Salander, an eccentric, abused computer hacker who serves as his counterpoint. And as Mikael unearths the clues to Harriet's disappearance, he also finds some skeletons long kept buried.
Posthumous debuts are a rarity -- publishers always want a series, sequels, publicity signings, and books headed by "By the Author Of..." You don't get any of that if the person is dead. So it's a sign of how amazing "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is that Larsson's uniquely mystery-thriller is receiving such attention across the world.
And Larsson's book is a unique blend of old and new -- he takes the Agatha Christie aesthetic of a locked-room murder with a dozen suspects, and enfolds it in a ruthless look at modern Swedish society and the study of sexual aggression. It's a dark, dangerous, unfair world where the truth is quashed and women are treated horribly -- whether it's the missing Harriet or the eccentric, angry "girl with the dragon tattoo."
And though his prose is rather bleak and often quite gritty, a certain brand of understated passion shines through Larsson's thriller story. It's the kind that feels the need to express itself even though it takes place in fiction. The only problem with the book is that Larsson pays undue attention to the whole Mikael-against-the-exec story. Not interesting, compared to the mystery.
But Mikael and Salander make an intriguing odd couple -- he's so world-weary and demoralized that he seems to care about nothing, while Salander is a mass of hurts and quirks -- while she sometimes seems cartoonish, she's also a vibrant little character with enough strength and power to lash back at attackers. The supporting characters are far darker fare, including a loopy Nazi weirdo.
Take the works of Agatha Christie and smother them in a disillusioned, morally-bankrupt noir world -- and you'll have something like "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." A hard read, but leaves you wondering what the next two books have in store.