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This is a complex and beautifully narrated mystery that is unique in quality of story and characterization. This is the first book of the Millenium Trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson. This novel has won a number of awards and the trilogy has been compared to War and Peace for its epic scope and depth of characterization. It is a bit hard to keep track of the Swedish characters, so here is a list of them which the listener might wish to print out for reference. This list is carefully constructed to avoid giving any elements of the mystery away.
Mikael Blomkvist, journalist, publisher of Millennium magazine, and amateur sleuth.
Lisbeth Salander, antisocial but highly talented computer hacker (the girl with the dragon tattoo),
Henrik Vanger, aged CEO of Vanger Corporation.
Hans-Erik Wennerstrom, corrupt Swedish industrialist and Blomkvist's nemesis.
Harriet Vanger, great-niece of Henrik.
Martin Vanger, brother of Harriet and President of the Vanger Corporation.
Nils Bjurman, the lawyer to whom Lisbeth's must report because she is an emancipated minor,
Cecilia Vanger, Harald's banished daughter.
There are many other characters of importance, but keeping track of these is critical to enjoying the book. And if one is not used to Swedish names, keeping track is not trivial. However, rest assured the exercise is worth it. This is a mystery of such high quality that the listener will quickly be pulled into the story and find it nearly impossible to stop listening. When it is over, you will go into a brief depression because the characters become part of you, and their interesting behavior is so well described that it becomes a persistent and compelling memory.
266 of 285 people found this review helpful
I digested this book slowly over a number of weeks; I couldn't put it down, but I didn't want the story to end. This was one of the most interesting, original, imaginative works of fiction I have read in years. Before I was finished I had order my own "to keep" copy of the hardback. Yes, the author delved into the dark side of life, but that dark side of the characters was necessary to drive the plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who can keep an open mind, enjoys great character development and appreciates a realistic ending.
46 of 49 people found this review helpful