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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

1. Who do you consider the novel's protagonist, Lisbeth or Mikael? Why?

2. What point was Larsson trying to make with the themes running through this novel? How do issues such as violence against women, journalistic integrity, and more general notions of trust tie in with each other throughout the book?

3. What function do the sex-crime statistics on each section's title page serve?

4. Reread the passage from Mikael's book on page 103. What is its significance in terms of the plot?

5. On page 156, Henrik tells Mikael, "If there's one thing I've learned, it's never engage in a fight you're sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you're in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back." Over the course of the novel, who puts this advice to the best use? How, and why?

6. How does the involvement of several Vanger brothers with Swedish fascist groups cloud Mikael's investigation into Harriet's disappearance? What role does Harald play?

7. Why does Henrik become an investor in Millennium? Does his plan succeed?

8. Discuss the character of Lisbeth. Some think she is a "perfect victim" (p. 409), others find her intimidating, and Mikael wonders if she has Asperger's, but the reader is allowed to see exactly how her mind works. How do you see her? How do you think she sees herself?

9. What do you think about the way Lisbeth turns the tables on Bjurman? Is it admirable, or a sign that she's unstable?

10. On page 254, Lisbeth says her new tattoo is "a reminder." Of what?

11. Several times in the novel, Mikael's journalistic ethics are challenged. Do you consider him to be ethical? In your opinion, is anyone in the novel truly honorable? If so, why?

12. After reserving judgment for most of his investigation, Mikael determines that Harriet was, in fact, murdered and that he's hunting for a killer. What prompts this decision? How does this affect the rest of his investigation?

13. Discuss the role of parents in the novel. Who is a good parent, and why? How might Harriet's story have changed if her mother had behaved differently? What about Lisbeth's? Is Mikael a good father?

14. Blackmail is used several times in the novel, for different ends. Who uses it most effectively, and why?

15. On page 507, Mikael tells Lisbeth that to him, friendship requires mutual respect and trust. By those standards, who in this novel is a good friend? Is Mikael? What about Anita?

16. Discuss Henrik's request that Mikael never publish the Vanger story. Is it a reasonable request? Does Mikael's acquiescence change your opinion of him? Do Lisbeth's demands mitigate his ethical breach?

17. What ultimately drives Lisbeth to take action against Wennerström on her own? Does she go too far?

18. Reread Mikael's statement about the media's responsibility at the top of page 575. Can you think of a situation in the American media that is analogous to the Wennerström affair?

19. Discuss the ending. Was it satisfying to you? Why or why not?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 46 comments:

Tina Blacksmith, March 6, 2012 (view all comments by Tina Blacksmith)
In my opinion, this is the best book in the trilogy. I mean, after all, it is called "The Girl Who..." and I just feel like this is the only book that really and truly focuses on Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth is a great character, and many people can relate to her. This is always difficult for authors to achieve, but it's nice when a reader can connect with the main character. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a wonderful read.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
gimmesweeps2, January 31, 2012 (view all comments by gimmesweeps2)
The details in this book are amazing. The landscape is brought to life in the descriptions of places that the main characters go to. I find this book very entertaining, a little fantasy, drama, thriller and shows what interesting characters Stieg Larrson has come up with. Dont plan on putting this book down when you start reading it because it will catch you and you will have to buy the other two in the trilogy!
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JoAnn Keyes, January 31, 2012 (view all comments by JoAnn Keyes)
Really enjoyed. very good plot
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View all 46 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307454546
Author:
Larsson, Stieg
Publisher:
Vintage
Author:
P.
Author:
Barslund, Charlotte
Author:
ouml
Author:
tzsch, Oliver
Author:
tzsch
Author:
Chadeayne, Lee
Author:
Oliver P
Author:
Fossum, Karin
Author:
&
Subject:
General
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Subject:
Thrillers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Featured Titles

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780307454546 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, corporate intrigue, subtle psychology, explosive content, and a sensational heroine make for a high-caliber novel.

"Review" by , "A blockbuster story . . . The plot is interesting and credible but above all the heroine is splendidly original . . . An extraordinary book."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "The ballyhoo is fully justified . . . The novel scores on every front — character, story, atmosphere, and the translation."
"Review" by , "As vivid as bloodstains on snow."
"Review" by , "One of the greatest crime-fiction novels I have ever read . . . As mesmerizing as it is insightful. . . The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a multi-layered, multi-character tale by a writer of some considerable power. Full of social conscience and compassion, with insight into the nature of moral corruption, it knocked me out . . . Mikael Blomkvist and his partner, the enigmatic and deeply troubled Lisbeth Salander, will soon join the pantheon of greatest crime-fiction characters that populate the genre at its apex."
"Review" by , "An absorbing and idiosyncratic crime novel."
"Review" by , "Mesmerizing. . . . Imagine the movies of Ingmar Bergman crossed with Thomas Harris's novel The Silence of the Lambs."
"Review" by , "Unique and fascinating. . . . It's like a blast of cold, fresh air to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
"Review" by , "As vivid as bloodstains on snow — and a perfect one-volume introduction to the unique strengths of Scandinavian crime fiction."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "The biggest Swedish phenom since ABBA."
"Review" by , "Crime fiction has seldom needed to salute and mourn such a stellar talent as Larsson's in the same breath."
"Synopsis" by ,
Inspector Sejer returns in this expertly crafted mystery about troubled teenagers—and two tragic deaths.
"Synopsis" by ,
Set in the mid-1600s in the Bavarian town of Schongau, a hangman, Jakob Kuisl, is asked to find out whether an ominous tattoo found on a dying boy means that witchcraft has come to town.
"Synopsis" by , Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangmans son—except that the town physicians son is hopelessly in love with her. And her fathers wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years War has finally ended, and there hasnt been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.

Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor to race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctors son face a terrifying and very real enemy. 

Taking us back in history to a place where autopsies were blasphemous, coffee was an exotic drink, dried toads were the recommended remedy for the plague, and the devil was as real as anything, The Hangmans Daughter brings to cinematic life the sights, sounds, and smells of seventeenth-century Bavaria, telling the engrossing story of a compassionate hangman who will live on in readers imaginations long after theyve put down the novel.

"Synopsis" by ,
"An intimate study of broken lives that showcases Fossums poet past." —Bloomberg

In this chilling addition to the internationally best-selling Inspector Konrad Sejer series, the detective must face down his memories and fears as he investigates the deaths of two troubled young men. The first victim, Jon Moreno, was getting better after a mysterious guilt had driven him to a nervous breakdown one year earlier. His psychiatrist said so, as did his new friend at the hospital, Molly Gram, with her little-girl-lost looks. So when he drowns in Dead Water Lake, Sejer hesitates to call it a suicide.

Then the corpse of another young man is found, a Vietnamese immigrant. And Sejer begins to feel his age weigh on him. Does he still have the strength to pursue the elusive explanations for human evil? A harrowing, masterfully wrought mystery from the celebrated Karin Fossum.

“Fascinatingly readable and very cleverly done.” —Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse series

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