Photo by philippe leroyer used under a Creative Commons license.
Stieg Larsson, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Knopf, 2008).
Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced financial journalist, convicted on libel charges to which he did not offer a defense. Lisbeth Salander is a tattooed and a social private investigator, a hacker and an orphan. Before long, Larsson has them both working to solve a decades-old mystery, the disappearance of a teenaged scion of a wealthy family of Swedish industrialists. The plot is ever so much more complicated, but Blomkvist and Salander are equal to the task. Many of the locations are real, but much happens in a fictitious town on the coast of Norrland.
Here is Wikipedia’s page about Larsson, who died suddenly before the book was published. Here is the official Larsson site. Reg Keeland, the translator, has a new blog. NPR has this excerpt. Here are reviews — beware of spoilers! Joan Smith (The Times) says it deserves most of the hype. Maxine Clarke (Euro Crime) very much enjoyed it. Maureen Corrigan (Fresh Air) liked it. Jonathan Gibbs (The Independent) says it never feels like a by-the-numbers thriller. John Baker says it’s a strange novel; like me, he was unable to put it down. Neither could Pop Culture Nerd. Alex Berenson (The New York Times) thinks it ends blandly. The Complete Review calls it a very good second-rate novel; they also link to many reviews I don’t. Here are more links. Graham Beattie says, what a triumph. Rebecca thinks it defies the cliches of its genre. Sharon Wheeler sees a stunning achievement. Sue Arnold (The Guardian) says Larsson threatens to knock Henning Mankell off his throne. Peter calls it another great Swedish crime novel. Larissa Kyzer (3%) sees a critique of Sweden’s social-welfare state. Macy Halford chatted with New Yorker colleagues about the book. Barbara Fister locates some neat parallels. Myron really enjoyed it. WhereDunnit mapped locations in the book. Keith says it’s a fine one. Tom Cunliffe thought it too long. Semi Dweller says, believe the hype. Kerrie says it deserves the accolades. Pat Gray says it will keep you riveted. Material Witness writes about on-line debates about the book. Mack links to reviews he liked. Likewise, Maxine has all sorts of good links. Anuradha Sengupta says Lisbeth is the real hero. Martin Edwards sees a fascinating and innovative blend of story lines. Marg liked the plot’s complexity. Gwen Dawson thought it was a little too long. Cate Ross wasn’t overwhelmed. Nor was John Talbott. PopinFresh loved it. S. Krishna’s expectations were surpassed. Lit*Chick has a clip of an interview with Knopf’s Sonny Mehta. Martha Woodroof reported for NPR on how it became a U.S. bestseller. And you can watch the trailers for the forthcoming movie! There are many more reviews out there — please feel free to link to good ones in the comments.