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I've just started reading this so obviously I can't comment on the book as a whole, but if I hadn't read such good reports about it, the explanations of the backgrounds of some characters and all the company information in the first few pages might have put me off. The actual girl with the dragon tattoo has just been introduced and she's the first character that has got me intrigued and interested.

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I've got to be honest, I don't much care if the Millenium series is great writing or a chuckaway book, I enjoyed all three very much as gripping stories and I'm not going to lose any sleep worrying about the problems therein. I like reading for 2 reasons: stories and the way they are told. Sometimes one factor outweighs the other.
I totally agree.

 

I read these books without knowing about the hype behind them - I only discovered the hype after I had read them so certainly don't feel that I read them to be fashionable. Yes sometimes Larsson did go an but I found the story enjoyable depsite this and managed to let that fact wash over me. I have enjoyed the first two and will certainly read the third, once it's published in paperback.

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I have just finished the first book and am trying to resist the lure of the second lying in wait for me downstairs.

I found the first couple of chapters quite hard going and difficult, however, once Lisbeth is introduced and the mystery is developed I became hooked. I am sure there is a lot more to be learned about Lisbeth some of it shocking and I cant wait.

 

I found some of the more graphic torture scenes quite distressing but they only fuelled the need to know how things would turn out. Generally as a translated book it read well, the story taking the lead and pulling me onwards, a definite hit with me and possibly one of my best books of the year. (another one being Wolf Hall).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm another one who's slightly mystified as to why there's so many people who are picking this as one of their best reads. I didn't dislike the book and I found the character of Lisbeth very intriguing, but the other characters seemed quite boring in comparison. I never felt I really got to know any of the minor characters, they all seemed to blend together. So much of the book seemed to be taken up with mundane descriptions of everyday things - Blomkvist gets up, has breakfast, goes for a walk, looks at some documents, has dinner, goes to bed - I just found it a bit hard going.

 

The mystery of what has happened to Harriet I felt was a bit obvious from the start, though why it happened is the interesting part and once the investigation starts getting somewhere - around page 300 - the book gets more exciting.

 

The company info I found myself skipping over and I felt the ending dragged on a bit.

 

The one thing that probably takes it above any other mundane crime book is the girl with the dragon tattoo. I liked that she was different from the other characters and that she was unpredictable and vulnerable. It helped that we saw her emotions, thought processes and why she did things, something that seemed lacking from the main character of Blomkvist. Maybe he was meant to come across as a bit cool and emotionless, I'm not sure. He does all the right things, but I still felt I didn't really know him... not like Salander anyway.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am quite enjoying this so far, but what's with the product placement? Why do I care if Salander took the picture with a Minolta or a Canon digital camera?? Or if Mikael is using an iBook? I associate this sort of thing with low-rent chick-lit - she kicked off her Manolo Blahniks and threw her Gucci handbag in the corner ... - and it is really irritating me.

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I've just finished this, and while I did enjoy it, I'm not raving about it.

 

Like others, I felt it needed a lot of editing. For me, the pace was uneven. I agree that there was too much telling and too much mundane daily routine. Lisbeth is an interesting fictional creation, but she stayed like that for me - I never really believed in her as a person.

As I said before, the dropping of brand names really irritated me. And what was the prison sentence about, in terms of the narrative? He pops off to prison, comes out again, and it doesn't have any impact on events, as far as I could see. Why put it in?

 

My main problem was that it was a translation. I felt it always read as such - the narrative voice just didn't sound natural. I think it's very rare to get a translation which doesn't sound like one, and this didn't ever manage that.

 

Oh, now I feel very guilty to have slated a book that so many people enjoyed. :(

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I've just finished this, and while I did enjoy it, I'm not raving about it.

 

........................

Oh, now I feel very guilty to have slated a book that so many people enjoyed. :(

 

Critiques, this is what it's all about MinxM - can't help being gratified that you weren't overwhelmed either. I used to find the Simenon stories translated well and, more recently, the Wallander tec series by Mankell.

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I see there are still very long request lists on both paper editions that the library service here has. So I've requested it on Unabridged CD - can I just ask those of you who have read it if that might be a successful move? Will it work to listen to, or would I be better off reading it?

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  • 1 month later...

I've just finished this. Like a few people before me, I found that it dragged in places; especially the beginning. However halfway through it kicked into gear as a thriller and had me gripped. The second half is much better in terms of pacing and the discovery of new information.

 

A few people have mentioned the use of brand names. I was thinking about this as I read it. For a writer to ignore brand names is to ignore the reality of the world in which we live, but, as in this book, using them can seem clumsy and jarring.

 

Some brand names, like Ford, Coke or Pizza Hut, don't really seem out of place in books. I guess the difference is that we actually use the brand names in our heads when we think about them - 'I feel like a can of coke' - but a computer is usually just a computer in our heads not a 'Dell PX4117' or whatever. What do you think?

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I guess the difference is that we actually use the brand names in our heads when we think about them - 'I feel like a can of coke' - but a computer is usually just a computer in our heads not a 'Dell PX4117' or whatever. What do you think?

I agree. I didn't gain much by knowing he was using his Sony Vaio laptop with a blah blah speakers and whatever model of hard drive. Or whatever. Even whether he was using a PC or a Mac was pretty irrelevant. Just that he was using a computer. Maybe it matters whether it was a laptop over a desktop, to help us picture the scene, but I couldn't see that any more detail was required.

I think it only matters where the brand name has strong connotations. It might matter to tell me whether a character is drinking Tennents Super rather than just beer, because it has connotations to do with class, social status, etc.

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Have to love this book - gripping narrative, interesting characters (mostly) and writer in no rush to tell us what he knows.

 

It did slow down in parts, but I can forgive him that - it is exactly what I look for in a crime novel. I like flawed protagonists, and we meet plenty here.

 

I have to say the sequel is heaps better - that one didn't seem to let up at all, although the convention of the shock, horror, gasp moment was, perhaps, expected, I still didn't twig! Looking forward to the last one - it's on my TBR list.

 

I like the Mankel Wallanders too - lots of brooding.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've just skimmed this thread, having listened to 9 of the 17 discs. I was surprised that the product placement hadn't been discussed more thoroughly until page 3, it's something that has really jarred with me. If he mentions an "Apple I-Book" one more time....

 

I am wondering, though, whether that's because I'm listening? I don't have the luxury of skimming over the technical detail.

 

I would love to know whether the publisher was paid to include the brand names, and what Stieg Larsson thought about it!

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I heard today* that the film version is better than the original in that a lot of the rather boring sub-plot has been cut and it's therefore pacier.

 

(*on 6Music - I've joined a campaign to the BBC to save the station)

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I heard today* that the film version is better than the original in that a lot of the rather boring sub-plot has been cut and it's therefore pacier.
I heard a very positive review on Front Row earlier in the week. The reviewer said that it was 2.5 hours but that the pace was maintained throughout. He said that all of the other reviewers stayed in their seats watching the whole time which apparently is unheard of. I'm almost tempted. Almost.
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I am tempted, despite my reservations about the book. Many of my problems about the book - the clunky translation and product placement - won't be an issue with the film. And I'm intrigued to see what they make of it. My only problem is that I'm supposed to be going with a friend who is a bit squeamish, and it's an 18...

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I finished listening to this book this morning. I listened to it while commuting back and forth from work so I did not feel it to be dry or drag. I liked the character development and the twists I did not always see coming. The computer product name use did not bother me. I’m sure there was something lost in translation. I’ve put the next book in my local library holds to listen to soon.

I’ll have to check out the movie. We usually do not go to the theater but wait for movies to come out on DVD and then receive them through the mail from Netflix.

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The latest news on the American version of the film is that David Fincher is going to direct. I like him a lot, but do we really need another version? Silly question.
Perhaps some of our American contributors could suggest why the current version isn't enough for them. It's quite baffling.
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I don't think it has made it to these shores or, if it has, I don't think it has made it to Dallas. I've been watching for it at the theaters where I think it would most likely be shown. But perhaps I've missed it. If I'm right, then my guess is that the Hollywood people know that it's a popular book, doubt that many Americans are going to go to an art house theater to see it with subtitles, and think they could make a more financially successful film.

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Hazel, three films have already been made and released in Europe...(have a look at IMDB).

 

I have read all three and loved them. I am going to see the film on Monday - wasn't easy to find though as none of the local Odeon/Vue cinemas are showing it. Luckily, there is a small independent cinema in Exeter showing it.

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