REVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennum #1) by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Author: Stieg Larsson

Genre: Crime Fiction

Purchase: Amazon



Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there’s always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson’s novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don’t want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.


Crime fiction is not really my thing but surprisingly, I liked this book a lot, although it’s a bit tricky to read.

Since it’s originally Swedish, there were lots of Swedish names of people and places I’m not sure how to pronounce, which is interesting for me because of the added challenge of reading the book. There were also a lot journalism and business jargon that I am not familiar about but is necessary to make the story more believable and plausible.

The main characters aren’t the stereotype goody-goody. For one, Lisbeth can be too insensitive sometimes, or she could be very stubborn. She’s also the type of person that you don’t dare cross because if you do, you’ll be sorry.

And then there’s Mikael Blomkvist. He is this idealistic but honest journalist who is sued for libel accusing a businessman of fraud without proof. However, I find him an asshole too. Why can’t he get his hands off women? No wonder his marriage crumbled because he couldn’t control his urges.

The main  charactes in the book are portrayed in a flawed but not villainous way. I think Larsson wanted them to be as close to real people as possible, because really, no one in this world is saint-like and flawless.

There is a part in the book towards the climax that just… got stuck. The story seemed to drag on for so long that it became a challenge for me to get through that part.

This book may not be for everyone. It’s very grotesque and brutal and disturbing, I spent a great deal cringing at the sheer violence. But at the same time I am amazed at how Larsson can write something so violent yet beautiful. Normally, I would stop reading a book when it gets too violent for me but with this I just kept on reading. Although this book gave me nightmares.

And then, what’s with the coffee? I noticed the characters liked coffee a lot. They drink coffee like it’s water. They must be pretty jumpy all the time. Do all Swede people like coffee that much?

I see a mix of positive and negative reviews about this book. At first I didn’t expect to like it but if you really want to find out if it’s good then you should totally read it.


11 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennum #1) by Stieg Larsson

  1. I love the book. It’s dark, complex and brooding. I’m not sure if everyone wants to read this but they will never regret it when they do. 😀

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  5. You are right. No one should ever get used to that. That was my point. Larsson wrote to disturb you. Sort of like The Hunger Games books. Collins writes to highlight the fact that so many children in this world live with violence. Not just abuse, which is horrible in its own right, but also in other countries where they are conscripted into armies and forced to kill and be killed at 6 or 8 or 10 years of age. We, the readers, are extremely lucky to be able to be disturbed by what we read. Especially, if it means that we haven’t had to face any of this personally, in our own lives.

  6. Have you read anything about Larsson? He wrote these books to bring attention to the poor treatment of and violence against women in Sweden. A reader being disturbed and uncomfortable just gets the tiniest idea of what life is like for these women, victims of men and the system in which they live.

    • I know that and I am aware of that fact. But don’t I have the right to feel uncomfortable for the sheer violence? I mean, who wants to see/experience violence? I am aware that these things happen not just in Sweden but also all around the world but that doesn’t mean I can “get used” to that fact.

    • Those books were violent. I could tolerate it in the books, I have a high threshold for books, but I skipped the movies. That would be brutal.

    • I’ve watched both the swedish and the american version and it was really violet but it was great too, they followed the sotry line of the book, although there were some alteration in the movie but minor changes like those are unavoidable 🙂

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