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Extended Audio Sample The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (769,386 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stieg Larsson Narrator: Reg Keeland, Martin Wenner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Millennium Series Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9780739370650
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An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed hacker prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

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Quotes & Awards

  • So much more than a thriller, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dazzling novel of big ideas. It tackles issues of power, corruption, justice, and innocence–all the while drawing you into the twists and turns of a frighteningly suspenseful mystery. Harlan Coben
  • As vivid as bloodstains on snow. Lee Child
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an utterly fresh political and journalistic thriller that is also intimate and moral. In spite of its dark unearthings Stieg Larsson has written a feast of a book, with central characters you will not forget. Michael Ondaatje
  • An intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller that is variously a serial-killer saga, a search for a missing person and an informed glimpse into the worlds of journalism and business . . . Lisbeth is a punk Watson to Mikael's dapper Holmes, and she's the coolest crime-fighting sidekick to come along in many years. Washington Post
  • “An exceptional effort for a first-time crime novelist. In fact, a fine effort for any crime novelist . . . This book is meticulously plotted, beautifully paced, and features a cast of two indelible sleuths and many juicy suspects. Boston Globe
  • Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson’s first novel. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
  • “The book lands in the United States as Wall Street sputters and global markets clench, a timely fit to Larsson’s themes of corporate corruption. He tells his crime story cleverly, but the zing in Dragon Tattoo is inked in its two central characters. Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with Thomas Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lambs. Larsson’s mesmerizing tale succeeds because, like P.D. James, he has written a why-dunit rather than a whodunit. USA Today
  • “A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel. Glamour
  • Larsson’s debut thriller succeeds on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. First off, it’s an absolute page-turner. But the characters are so fascinating and the clear, understated writing so graceful, you are going to want to savor it . . . Electrifying. Portsmouth Herald (NH)
  • “Is the hype justified? Yes . . . This complex, multilayered tale grabs the reader from the first page. Library Journal (starred)

    “The first U.S. appearance of another major Swedish crime writer is cause for celebration . . . The novel offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama. What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world!
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a striking novel. Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson with this wonderfully unique story. I was completely absorbed. Michael Connelly
  • I doubt you will read a better book this year. Val McDermid
  • Dark, labyrinthine, smart, sexy, utterly original, and completely captivating, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo delights at every level. Nuanced, sympathetic characters, caught in a tangle of unusual and compelling relationships, grapple with a baffling family mystery and with their own demons in the unique literary environment of modern-day Sweden. This book is artful and grand entertainment. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. John Lescroart
  • Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family’s remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller . . . At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden’s dirty not-so-little secrets, this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple. Publishers Weekly (starred)
  • “What a cracking novel! I haven’t read such a stunning thriller debut for years. The way Larsson interweaves his two stories had me in thrall from beginning to end. Brilliantly written and totally gripping. Minette Walters

    “With its compelling situation, its complex plot and especially its unique, fully-realized characters, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo embodies–in seamless translation–the best of European crime fiction.
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a Tolstoyan re-invention of the ‘closed room’ murder mystery, Agatha Christie for adults. Curl up on the sofa with this masterwork of noir and let Stieg Larsson draw you into the shadows. It’s also a profound investigation into tribal violence in the world of high finance, and a revelation of the dark side of a country normally seen as the very height of propriety. By the end of the first chapter you will know better. By the end of the second you will be putty in his hands. Don’t even think about putting it down. John Burdett
  • From the UK:
  • Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson’s in the same breath. The Sunday Times
  • Larsson has up his sleeve two extremely engaging protagonists. Once these characters have appeared, our surrender to the novel is guaranteed . . . This is classic English mystery territory. But what follows is much darker and bloodier–more Thomas Harris than Dorothy L. Sayers. The Independent
  • The ballyhoo is fully justified . . . The novel scores on every front–character, story, atmosphere, and the translation. The Times

    “This is a striking novel, full of passion, an evocative sense of place and subtle insights into venal, corrupt minds . . . The journalist and the hacker are ingenious creations.
  • “A blockbuster story . . . The plot is interesting and credible but above all the heroine is splendidly original . . . An extraordinary book. Literary Review
  • An absorbing and idiosyncratic crime novel. Daily Mail

  • “Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman movie with the grisly pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then add an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, and you have the ingredients of Stieg Larsson’s first novel.”

    New York Times

  • “A super-smart amalgam of the corporate corruption tale, legal thriller and dysfunctional-family psychological suspense story. It’s witty and unflinching . . . Larsson’s multi-pieced plot snaps together as neatly as an Ikea bookcase, but even more satisfying is the anti-social character of Salander. Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air (NPR)

    “It’s like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . . . It features at its center two unique and fascinating characters: a disgraced financial journalist and the absolutely marvelous 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander–a computer-hacking Pippi Longstocking with pierced eyebrows and a survival instinct that should scare anyone who gets in her way.
  • Larsson’s novel could serve as the definition of page-turner . . . The worst part: We have to wait until summer ’09 for the second installment. Time Out New York
  • The biggest Swedish phenom since ABBA. People
  • “Wildly suspenseful…an intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller.”

    Washington Post

  • “Unique and fascinating…It’s like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A whip-smart heroine and a hunky guy who needs her help? This sexy, addictive thriller is everything you never knew you could get from a crime novel.”

    Glamour

  • “Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there’s no turning back. This debut thriller—the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson—is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “With its rich characterizations and intriguing plot, the first book of the late Stieg Larsson’s completed trilogy…clearly deserves the acclaim it’s received overseas. Wenner’s calm, controlled manner aids the listener in keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, a task that the printed book simplifies with a reference page.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Exceptional…Meticulously plotted, beautifully paced.”

    Boston Globe

  •  “A fine, complex, and rewarding novel.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “A big, intricately plotted, darkly humorous work…that only a master of the genre and its history could bring off.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “A compelling, well-woven tale that succeeds in transporting the reader to Sweden for a good crime story.”

    Los Angeles Times

  •  “A meticulous exploration of both evidence and character, plus finely crafted revenge…Exemplary.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Electrifying…Larsson’s debut thriller succeeds on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin.”

    Portsmouth Herald

  • “The story has a great setting, very human characters, and a plot that becomes more intriguing with every turn of the page.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “Engrossing…Lisbeth Salander is the most fascinating female protagonist in mystery fiction since Patricia Cornwell introduced Kay Scarpetta.”

    The Advocate

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Anthony Award winner for Best First Novel
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicholas | 2/17/2014

    " With all the hype for this book, I thought it'd be better. Not bad, but just another in a long list of murder mysteries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 2/8/2014

    " It took me forever to get into this book. I felt like an outsider as everyone else was going ga-ga over it. About 150 pages in I got to the, "Eh, I'll pick up my book and read...I don't have anything else to do" point. I definitely never got to the "make dinner with one hand, read with the other" point. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra Beckman | 2/5/2014

    " Love the tenacity of Lizbeth! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Yukaykhine | 1/16/2014

    " i am surely hoping it would be great "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monique | 1/9/2014

    " I'm enjoying, but I was confused with names and i had to restart the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brianne | 1/6/2014

    " Loved this trilogy!!! Couldn't put them down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlotte | 1/4/2014

    " Brilliant! I started reading this book but couldn't get into it so gave up.. But then people kept telling me to try again... After getting passed chapter 16 I was hooked... I read all 3 in 15 days.. Very addictive! Glad I gave it another go! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darryl Stangry | 1/3/2014

    " Book proved that murder mystery genre definitely translated well over languages and cultures. Great plot plus added bonus of learning about Sweden's different locales and mores. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mari | 12/8/2013

    " Excellent. Better than either of the movies! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kavita Monteiro | 12/6/2013

    " Awesomely entertaining action. Fast read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shadowlove3 | 12/2/2013

    " It was so boring, by the time I got to the part where Mikael is given the murder mystery assignment, I decided to stop reading it. The movie was great, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle O'connor | 11/28/2013

    " It took half way through the first book to get hooked....and after that I couldn't put it down. Fantastic series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Jansen brizendine | 10/2/2013

    " Slow to get started but worth the effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Watkins | 9/16/2013

    " The beginning was a little slow and hard to read,but once I got through it, it was njoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna Lys | 9/14/2013

    " Such a great book. Off the get go, it was a little boring, but if you stick with it, you'll love it! Waited to watch the movie until after I finished and it was just as good :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison West | 8/4/2013

    " I liked the mystery and detail but there were some terrible scenes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mikhail | 8/3/2013

    " I read this last year and I dont remember the dates. This book was amazing. I also so the movie which missed the author's light humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kellyap4 | 4/26/2013

    " I've read all three books in the trilogy and I really miss Lisbeth's world. I'll write a lengthier review later, but I just have to say I love stories in which women (especially) diminutive women kick ass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fazlan Haniffa | 4/12/2013

    " One of the best. Start is a bit drag but once you go along its very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fiona Pearse | 4/3/2013

    " I enjoyed this page-turner. The first 100 pages or so are back-story but simply well told, showing off Larson's skill as a natural writer. I wasn't completely convinced by the main characters but it didn't really matter to me, the story was compelling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eduardo Fernandes | 10/31/2012

    " The book was fine but too long. I was a nice read but I would rate it as an ordinary book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Rothbauer | 8/14/2012

    " Loved this book! Would have given it 5 stars if some of it hadn't been a little dark and disturbing. Very well written - Stieg Larsson will be missed! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Ferrara | 7/8/2012

    " Loved the characters in this disturbing novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Blair | 12/27/2011

    " Great book if you like a good thriller or mystery, keeps you coming back for more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deanna Jordan | 12/2/2011

    " Intricate plot but a good story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rich Bright | 8/14/2011

    " Appalling prose, all tell and little show. Rambles on and could have done with a far stricter content edit. Shame, because there is a good story trying to get out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 8/2/2011

    " Difficult at first to get past the Swedish terminology, but couldn't put it down once the story of intrigue began. Excellent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amylilly | 5/25/2011

    " I really loved this series! It was action packed and the plots kept you interested the whole time. I couldn't wait to read the next books but was really sad when I finished the 3rd book as I knew I wouldn't get anymore. I hope I can find another series as well written and exciting as this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 5/25/2011

    " Slow start (maybe because the names are difficult) but then I was hooked! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 5/25/2011

    " I gave in and read this series finally. It is good, solid, be prepared to remember a lot of hard to pronounce names. The novels start out fast paced with "Dragon Tattoo", but get a bit slow by the third. Contains graphic abusive sexual content. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Antediluvianbychoice | 5/24/2011

    " Best free book find in a long time (Thank you Starbucks near the Biltmore in Scottsdale). Great fun for a dressed up pulp fiction. quick read and kept my interest, even if a bit graphic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 5/24/2011

    " Enjoyed the story and characters were intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 He-who-must-not-be-named | 5/24/2011

    " I read about 90-95% of the book but then watched the movie and didn't feel like finishing it. It was still a very good book though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 5/24/2011

    " beginning is boring..then is extremely intense and immense setting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 5/24/2011

    " These are kind of hard to read at times, but overall it's a really good series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 5/24/2011

    " It's a bit wordy for me. Did I really need to know all the little details of the Vanger Corporation empire? Not really. I really liked Mikael though.

    This is terrible of me--I'm a librarian--and I think I'll just watch the movies for the other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/24/2011

    " This book is enough to make you never want to go to Sweden. It's a terrific (if at times disturbing) read, though. No wonder the whole world went crazy about the series. "

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