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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of CD Audion version of the book - ONLY
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...
Published on 10 Oct. 2009 by Susman

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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a first draft - didn't live up to the hype for me
This book was recommended by three separate friends who said they couldn't put it down and had read the whole trilogy one after another so my expectations were high.

I found it quite a tedious read in parts, too much mundane and unnecessary detail which did nothing to move the plot along (do I care what kind of sandwich the characters had or even that they were...
Published on 22 Jun. 2011 by J. Mitchell


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of CD Audion version of the book - ONLY, 10 Oct. 2009
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoping for great sales resulting in English publication of Larsson's 2 other books, 23 Mar. 2008
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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
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a first draft - didn't live up to the hype for me, 22 Jun. 2011
By 
J. Mitchell - See all my reviews
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This book was recommended by three separate friends who said they couldn't put it down and had read the whole trilogy one after another so my expectations were high.

I found it quite a tedious read in parts, too much mundane and unnecessary detail which did nothing to move the plot along (do I care what kind of sandwich the characters had or even that they were having a sandwich?) The translation was clumsy and pulled me out of my reading - particularly the dialogue.

I could see the bones of a good story although very reminiscent of Val McDermid who wrote one of the books read by the journalist character - another detail we didn't need. Those bones were buried beneath a "what I did on my holidays" style narrative where every detail is reported and given equal weight

It's such a pity that the author died before having chance to revise the book with a good editor - it could have been so much better; he was there with the plot and that's what I look for in a novel. I can forgive less than fabulous prose even in a published author but there's no excuse for a bad translation - that was just terrible! It seemed like the translator wasn't a native English speaker, or was just lazy and translated Swedish idiom directly into English which doesn't work.

3 stars because I appreciated the potential and enjoyed the "good" bits but, for me, the book needs to be edited down by about half to get rid of the bits that made me groan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has no limits!!!, 14 Aug. 2011
I loved the girl with the dragon tattoo, it is so different to any other crime novel I have read. You can't help but fall in love with Salander the unlikely heroine. It's utterly refreshing, ist daring, the author breaks down so many barriers in having no limits as to the content of what is in the book - I think this makes it phenomenal.

My only criticism is that it does take a third of the book to get in to it - you really have to work hard at it and urge yourself to get past the drivel about Millennium - some may like that, but I didn't and it's also a bit too wordy!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An original idea for a change!, 30 May 2013
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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
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4.0 out of 5 stars really good except for the start, 16 Jun. 2012
By 
adele (stamford, uk) - See all my reviews
This book is really good. I had heard a lot of good stuff about it before I picked up a copy.

The prologue intrigued me but the first chapter or so put me off somewhat. The scene setting in this early part of the book didn't lead me to think I would like it, but I persevered rather than giving up on it because I wanted to see what others had found to good about it.

Once the story really got going I loved it, the character of Salander was beautiful, she reminded me so much of how my son could possibly turn out if he doesn't have the help he needs, (he has Asperger's Syndrome.) I saw some of his traits in Salander and I thought the author portrayed her very well.

Mikael Blonqvist is also a very likeable character and the plot illicited lots of empathy for his situation. The other characters were also very well created but it is Salander and Blomqvist wh we stay with me.

The plot is good and strong and keeps your interest once you have read past the first couple of chapters, the information in these chapters is vital to the plot but maybe could have been added later as a flashback so that you could get straight into the book. I am sure many people have given up before the book really got going.

The cliff-hanger at the end is good and I will definitely have to invest in the sequel, I want to know what happens to Salander, my favourite character.

I rate this book 4/5 because of the start - I really liked the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why did I not read this sooner?, 23 Feb. 2012
By 
Sile (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 9 Jun. 2011
I don't normally read thrillers but this one came highly recommended. It started well, I found it easy to read and it kept my interest for the first few chapters.

I started to go off it when the actual story unfolded. Without trying to spoil it for those who haven't read it, the main character (the political journalist) seemed to find so many clues that had been missed by the police and in such a casual way that it just became prepostorous. I don't think I'm giving too much away when I say that he comes across a stash of 40 y/o photographs taken at the same time as the murder the book is based on (by a newspaper covering an entirely different story) and he is able to glean a HUGE amount of information that the police seemingly missed. Very hard to accept.

Also, again, I hope Im not giving too much away when I say that only he seems to realise that the murderer he's investigating is actually a serial killer working over some 20+ years. This is despite the serial killer leaving his unique psychological 'calling card' at several of the murder scenes. The author even says that the police didn't realise it was a serial killer because there are so few in Sweden. That doesn't make any sense at all.

Add into that the usual bible-referencing, mysoginistic, sadistic, serial-killer cliches and you start to get a sense of Silence of The Lambs/ Se7en being reworked. .

The book contains a signigficant amount of graphic depictions of sadism which purport to give us some insight to a serial killer's mind but really just come across to me as salacious titilation for the reader.

If the second and third books don't rely on the same rape/sadism/serial kiler device to drive the story along, I might consider reading them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The girl in a bleak world, 18 May 2010
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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"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.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 2 Mar. 2009
By 
Mrs. A. C. Adkins (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Abridged Version) (Audio CD)
Great story to listen to, good plot development and characterisation.
Excellent choice for fans of Scandanavian literature and detective fiction.
Looking forward to listening to the next story - The Girl Who Knew Too Much,already purchased.
A little caution may be needed for people who are upset by some graphic details of violence against young people.However, it is not sensationalised, and is in keeping with the story. Keep listening or reading!
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Abridged Version)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Abridged Version) by Stieg Larsson (Audio CD - 24 July 2008)
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