The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Audiobook

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Audiobook
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Written By: Stieg Larsson
Narrated By: Simon Vance
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: September 2008
Duration: 16 hours 21 minutes

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Stieg Larsson Audio books: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Summary

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (original title in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor, lit. ‘Men Who Hate Women’) is a psychological thriller novel by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson (1954–2004), which was published posthumously in 2005 to become an international bestseller. It is the first book of the Millennium series.

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 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.

Contagiously exciting, it’s 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.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ( Mystery Thriller Horror ) Audio book Reviews

When ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ was first released in the United States it seemed to me that anyone with a heartbeat was reading or had read the thing. The 2005 Swedish book was released in 2008 in the United States and I bought a copy but only opened it in 2020. I never saw either the Swedish or American movie versions of the novel. The closest I come to sporting a tattoo are the nascent brown liver spots on my aging body. This book review is from the perspective of a near-sixty-year-old, pasty-white, bald unhip old turnip.

The two main protagonists are Mikael Blomkvist, a 42-year-old reporter whose professional reputation has imploded, and Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old who’s an understandably troubled gifted computer hacker. The author describes Salander as “an information junkie with a delinquent child’s take on morals and ethics.” She is the most interesting eccentric character in the novel, but the mystery also has a handful of other compelling people. The stories about Blomkvist and Salander move along on independent lines until they meet a little more than half way through the book. Part of what kept me interested was curiosity in how these two unalike people would eventually get together. The mystery revolves around the disappearance of a 17-year-old female named Harriet Vanger which happen nearly forty-years ago. The novel has some unsettling scenes, especially involving sexual assault. Speaking as an American with New England sensibilities, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or unique to this Swedish storyline but the characters in the book have a very casual attitude about hooking up with sexual partners. Outside of the sexual assaults the hook-ups are not graphic in detail. There is a healthy dose of profanity in the book. The book also includes two maps and a Vanger family-tree breakdown which were very helpful.

At no point did I become bored with ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’ There is also another plot line that is set aside until the conclusion of the mystery. I especially liked how Mr. Larsson includes the difficulties of having to make moral compromises and living with the consequences. It was an engaging mystery with a handful of disturbing scenes. If you find any of the deranged episodes a turn-on, maybe you should look into having a lobotomy. The novel ties up the two main storylines but leaves the social dynamics between Blomkvist and Salander somewhat up in the air in an effort to get the reader to read the next installment ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire.’ I sure will.

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Larsson spoke of an incident which he said occurred when he was 15: he stood by as three men gang raped an acquaintance of his named Lisbeth. Days later, racked with guilt for having done nothing to help her, he begged her forgiveness—which she refused to grant. The incident, he said, haunted him for years afterward and in part inspired him to create a character named Lisbeth who was also a rape survivor. The veracity of this story has been questioned since Larsson’s death, after a colleague from Expo magazine reported to Rolling Stone that Larsson had told him he had heard the story secondhand and retold it as his own. The murder of Catrine da Costa was also an inspiration when he wrote the book.

With the exception of the fictional Hedestad, the novel takes place in actual Swedish towns. The magazine Millennium in the books has characteristics similar to that of Larsson’s magazine, Expo, such as its socio-political leanings and its financial difficulties.

Both Larsson’s longtime partner Eva Gabrielsson and English translator Steven T. Murray have said that Christopher MacLehose (who works for British publisher Quercus) “needlessly prettified” the English translation; as such, Murray requested he be credited under the pseudonym “Reg Keeland”. The English release also changed the title, even though Larsson specifically refused to allow the Swedish publisher to do so, and the size of Salander’s dragon tattoo; from a large piece covering her entire back, to a small shoulder tattoo.

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