The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Original title (Swedish) :  
Män som hatar kvinnor.
I read it in Danish (Mænd der hader kvinder). The direct translation is Men that hate women.

Mikael Blomkvist has been convicted for damaging allegations against a billionaire industrialist and sentenced to 3 months of prison. The future looks bleak, not least for the magazine Millennium that he's the co-director off. Unexpectedly he gets a job offer from Henrik Vanger, the elderly former CEO of Vanger Enterprise, who wants him to investigate the disappearance and believed murder of his beloved great-niece Harriet which took place over 40 years ago.
 As Blomkvist investigates the case he enlists the help of the anti-social hacker and investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a background she refuses to share with anyone and problems of her own.

I'm very fascinated with the character Lisbeth Salander, who's just not like anything ever before. Her moral code, her mind, her actions - she is one of a kind and she is so well written.
Mikael Blomkvist is the actual main character, he's a dedicated reporter and a very warm person. He's a very likeable character and very easy to relate to.

It takes a while for the book to get started, some 200 pages are spent on mainly building up the characters, the background story and the plot to come - but once that's taken care of the pace quickens and the last 100 pages or so I could barely put the book down (despite having seen the film and knowing what would happen!)

It's a very well written book, the story is fascinating and despite a bit of tangle as Blomkvist tries to get the whole Vanger-family mapped out, it's a very good read and I recommend it to everyone who likes a crime story with a good pinch of brutal realism. The book is not for minors, though not drawn out, there are explicit scenes of various forms of abuse in it.

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010

Review of the second book in the Millennium trilogy can be found here
Note: I've seen the films, all 3, and they are absolutely brilliant. Why on earth Hollywood is re-filming them is beyond me. I think it's a true shame that people around the world can't watch the original performance by Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, just because they don't like listening to a language different from English. Do yourself the favour and watch them. Before or after the books, it doesn't really matter, but seriously - watch the original Swedish films. Nothing Hollywood makes can top them.


  1. The original films have been released here and did very well. I don't know why Hollywood can't just let a good thing rest. Same as 'Let the Right one in'.

    I feel like the only person in the world who hasn't read any of these books!

  2. Hey,

    I followed your link from Book Blogs and you and I reviewed this book! We agreed on Mikael Blomkvist and the story, but disagreed on Lisbeth Salander. Can you elaborate on what you liked about her character? I read the book a couple of months ago and I don't remember the full nuances of her character, only a couple of things which I noted in my review. I'd love to hear more from you on this interesting book!

  3. @The Reader, I liked her for being so special. She's just everything that ordinarily characters/people are never allowed to be. She breaks all boundaries and rules and she makes her own, facing the consequences that comes with them. She's so thorough and utterly brilliant. Completely different from your usual heroines, she's her own woman.
    I should add that my big fascination of her also stems from the films, where Noomi Rapache absolutely nailed the part.
    I hope that clarifies my views a bit :)


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