The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
(read by Simon Vance)
Random House (audiobook)

Has there ever been a literary phenomenon quite like Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy? This epic story of an investigative journalist and damaged cyber-punk hacker hit the big time only after its author's sad death in 2004. There are two competing movie franchises: a pretty good one in Larsson's original Swedish, and a new Hollywood version directed by David Fincher. And there are three audiobooks: by Saul Reichlin, Martin Wenner and this tie-in edition with Simon Vance. The plot splutters slowly into life: political publisher Mikael Blomkvist loses a libel case and is sentenced to prison, but is released thanks to Henrik Vanger. The billionaire business tycoon promises revenge on Blomkvist's tormentor, another corporate type, Hans-Erik Wennerstr?m. Where is the drama, I wondered as Vance's mournful tones caught Blomkvist's mournful story. The pace quickens with Lisbeth Salander, a twitchy surveillance expert who begins by spying on Blomkvist. While the movie will likely add booms and busts to Larsson's prose, Vance is faithful to the original.