I received this book in hardback the Christmas that it first came out in the US. Like many of the books I own, it immediately became a shelf orphan, being repeatedly passed over for books that I had checked out from the library. I mean, they have a definite due date, where the one's I own can be read anytime, right? Of course the problem with this is that you miss reading some really good books sometimes. That was definitely the case with this book. As time passed, more and more people told me how good this book was. This, of course, scared me. Would it really live up to the hype. Well, it does, and I wish that I had read it a lot earlier. In fact, I read it while I was staying at my sister's house, and I wished that I had the second book so that I could start it immediately.
The one caveat that many of my friends told me was that the first 200 or so pages go through a lot of financial details, as the main character, Mikael Bloomkvist, is a financial reporter. They were correct, in that there is a lot of financial discussion in the first part, but I found that this did not bother me. In fact, I have a finance background myself, so I actually found this part of the book interesting. <
Another comment made was that the Swedish names and words took some time to get used to, but I did not find this to be true. I think it is because I did not worry about whether I was pronouncing names and places correctly.
What everyone, including me, seems to agree on, is that the characters in the book are many faceted and interesting and that the story line is gripping, included some good twists and turns, and keeps you guessing about the outcome all the way until the end. I know that Lisbeth and Mikael will appear in the other two books, but I also hope to see some of the other characters, such as the Vangers, <br/>Erika Berger (the editor of Millenium), and Dragan Armansky. They were all great characters, which I would love to hear more about.
The only downside, and it is really, really small, is the way that Lisbeth reacts to seeing Bloomkvist with Erika Berger at the end of the book. I think it was childish and not necessary, but I also realize that there are two more books in the series, so we shall see.