Which GIRL Do You Like Better? UPDATED

Which is better? The debut, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or the second in the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire?

In the NYT, Michiko Kakutani, goes with Fire, because “it boasts an intricate, puzzlelike story line that attests to Mr. Larsson’s improved plotting abilities,”

UPDATE: Dierdre Donahue, in USA Today, 7/28, also prefers Fire:

Fire is a more coherently plotted tale than Tattoo. Although a terrific read, Tattoo‘s ending hurriedly jumbled together serial killers and secret Nazis. But to fully enjoy Fire, you must read Tattoo first.

This week’s People reviewer was not a fan of Tattoo (“On the Swedish achievements scale, it ranked closer to meatballs than to Ingmar Bergman.”) but feels that Fire is “gripping stuff…this time, believe the hype.”

The only dissenter, Entertainment Weekly, found it not as good as the first one, but said, “those who found themselves mystified and intrigued by [Lisbeth] in the first book will tear through this exploration of her long-shrouded past.”

The LA Times doesn’t offer a judgment, but tries to show how the two books differ,

While The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo read like a Nordic Silence of the Lambs, its dynamic, brawny sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, reanimates the tropes of the political thriller.”

On Amazon, Fire is now at #5,  just a few spots ahead of  the trade paperback of Tattoo, currently at #8. Libraries are showing heavy reserves on both books; with the trade paperback available of Tattoo, it’s a good opportunity to buy some additional copies.

The third volume in the series. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is being published in the UK in October, to coincide with the release of a Swedish film of the entire trilogy. In the U.S., Knopf has scheduled Hornet’s Nest for May, 2010 (978-0-307-26999-7; projected print run of 300,000).

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2009-07-28)
ISBN / EAN: 0307269981 / 9780307269980

Audio available from Random House:

  • Compact Disc; 39.95; IBSN 978073938417

The audio is also downloadable from OverDrive.

Large Print available from Random House Large Print Publishing

  • $25.95; ISBN 978073938416


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $14.95
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Vintage – (2009-06-23)
ISBN / EAN: 0307454541 / 9780307454546

Audio and eBook versions available from OverDrive.

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