OurBookClub


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl with the Dragon TattooBook Cover of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The first novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling Millennium trilogy. It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden...and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance...and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves. It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives (these comments are from the Publisher). Click here to read the full book review.


1. Careful observation is the foundation of any successful journalist's or private investigator's career. Discuss how the various characters' outward appearance aligned with their true personality in this novel.
2. Lisbeth Salander's character is enigmatic and antisocial throughout much of the book. What do you see as the catalyst for the slow emergence of her personality?
3. Lisbeth judges everyone harshly, including herself. What do you think of her assessment of Blomkvist?
4. While poverty, social injustice, parental abuse, and difficult childhoods are often cited as explanations for criminal behavior, Lisbeth believes in free will and choice. Do you agree?
5. What propels Blomkvist to lay aside his professional ethics and take on the investigation proposed by Vanger?
6. The relationship between Blomkvist and Cecilia is fraught from the beginning. How does Cecilia come to terms with it? What do you think about her decision?
7. How successfully does Larsson develop Lisbeth's connection to her mother? Is there anything about their relationship that helps shed light on Lisbeth's behavior?
8. Were you surprised by the book's portrayal of right-wing fanaticism and violence against women in a country known for its liberal views?
9. Which character's duplicity -- or innocence -- did you find the most unexpected? Which one emerged as your favorite?
10. The narrative contained a number of plot twists. Who did you imagine sent the framed flowers to Vanger each year?
11. Discuss Mikael Blomkvist's role in the investigation. Do you feel that he made as important a contribution as Lisbeth? Why or why not?

These questions are provided by the Publisher.

Buy Now

Back to top


The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonBook Cover of The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The second novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling Millennium trilogy. Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire. As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all. Click here to read the full book review.


1. Have you read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? How did your knowledge-or lack of knowledge-about that novel affect your reading of this one?
2. Discuss the prologue. What did you think was going on? At what point did you fully understand it?
3. On page 22, Larsson writes, “Within mathematics, asser-tions must always be proven mathematically and expressed in a valid and scientifically correct formula.” What does this have to do with the plot of the novel? Why is Salander so intrigued by mathematics?
4. Outwardly, Salander is supremely self-assured. Why does she have breast augmentation surgery?
5. Ultimately, does Salander's agreement with Nils Erik Bjurman pay off? In what ways?
6. Revenge is a major theme of the novel. Who seeks it, and what are the results?
7. Discuss gender politics as they affect the plot: the treatment of Salander, Erika Berger, Miriam Wu, and Sonja Modig and the trafficking of Eastern European women. What do you think Larsson was trying to say about the role of women in society?
8. On page 105, Berger thinks about Blomkvist: “He was a man with such shifting traits that he sometimes appeared to have multiple personalities.” Given that the reader is allowed inside Blomkvist's head, does this seem like an accurate description to you? How is Berger right in her assessment, and how is she wrong?
9. Twice in the novel, Salander and Blomkvist refer to his assertion that “friendship is built on two things-respect and trust.” Who is a true friend to Salander? Is she a true friend to anyone? What about Blomkvist? Is he a good friend to Salander, to Berger, and to others?
10. Discuss the arrangement agreed to by Berger, Blomkvist, and Gregor Beckman. How does this benefit each of them? Does it hurt them?
11. When Dag Svensson and Mia Johansson were murdered, what was your first response? Who did you think was the killer? Who did you think was Bjurman's killer?
12. Why does Blomkvist give Salander the benefit of the doubt, when so many others don't?
13. When newspaper articles begin to appear featuring interviews with long-ago acquaintances of Salander, did it change your perception of her character? Discuss the nature of truth in these instances: Is it possible both sides were remembering accurately?
14. Discuss Dr. Peter Teleborian. What role does he play, and why?
15. Why does Berger put off telling Blomkvist about her new job? What will the ramifications of the new job be?
16. On page 323, Salander thinks, “There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.” What is the significance of this statement? How does Salander use this notion to guide her actions?
17. On page 463, Blomkvist calls Salander “the woman who hated men who hate women.” Is this an accurate assessment? How did she end up this way? How does it affect her behavior?
18. In what ways is Salander like her father and half brother? In what ways is she different?
19. Toward the end of the novel, does Blomkvist do the right thing by having Berger deliver only part of the story to Jan Bublanski and Modig? What do you think he should have done
20. Holger Palmgren tells Dragan Armansky on page 490, “What happens tonight will happen, no matter what you or I think. It has been written in the stars since [Salander] was born.” Why does he feel this way? Is he right? How does his inaction affect the outcome of the story?
21. Discuss the ending. Were you satisfied? What more, if anything, would you like to have had happen?
22. If Stieg Larsson were still alive, what one question would you most like to ask him?

These questions are provided by the Publishers.

Buy Now

Back to top


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonBook Cover of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling Millennium trilogy. Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Click here to read the full book review.


1. Have you read the two previous novels in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire? Which of the three did you find the most compelling, and why?
2. What is the “hornet’s nest” of the title?
3. Each part of Hornet’s Nest begins with a brief history lesson about women warriors. What was Larsson trying to say? Is Salander a modern-day equivalent of these women? Is Berger?
4. What are some of the major themes of this novel? Of the trilogy?
5. How does Larsson’s background as an expert in right-wing extremist organizations inform this novel, and the trilogy as a whole?
6. Many characters in Larsson’s trilogy have some good and some bad in them. Can you name a few? What makes them different from the clear heroes or villains in the books?
7. After everything that happened in the first two novels, why does Salander still distrust Blomkvist? How would you describe their relationship?
8. On page 134, Clinton describes the Section: “What you have to understand is that the Section functions as the spearhead for the total defence of the nation. We’re Sweden’s last line of defence. Our job is to watch over the security of our country. Everything else is unimportant.” Aside from Clinton, who else believes this? Why are they so convinced?
9. Can you imagine a group like the Section operating in this country? Why, or why not?
10. On Berger’s first day at her new job, the departing editor in chief offers his theory about why she was hired (page 152). Do you agree with his assessment? How does this notion play out?
11. Armansky tells Blomkvist, “For once you’re not an objective reporter, but a participant in unfolding events. And as such, you need help. You’re not going to win on your own” (page 159). Why is this situation different from those in the previous two novels? How does becoming a participant change Blomkvist’s behavior? Does Blomkvist cross any ethical lines?
12. On page 168, Larsson writes about Salander, “She wondered what she thought of herself, and came to the realization that she felt mostly indifference towards her entire life.” What has made her feel this way? Do her feelings change by the end of the novel?
13. Again and again, men underestimate Salander because of her size. Why do they make these assumptions? How does she turn this into an advantage?
14. What is the significance of Borgsjö’s involvement with a company that uses child labor? How does this tie in to Larsson’s overall themes?
15. On page 295, Salander discovers a gruesome fact about Teleborian. “She should have dealt with Teleborian years ago. But she had repressed the memory of him. She had chosen to ignore his existence.” How does this jibe with Salander’s behavior in the present day? When did she decide to stop letting people get away with things?
16. Discuss the notion of revenge in this novel, and throughout the trilogy. Who, besides Salander, exacts revenge? What motivates them?
17. What role does Annika play in the novel? And Ekström?
18. On page 359, Salander reaches out to Berger and offers to help. Why?
19. What is the significance of the subplot about Berger’s stalker?
20. During his interview with She, Blomkvist agrees with the host’s suggestion that the Section’s behavior is akin to mental illness. Do you agree with that idea? How are accusations of mental illness wielded elsewhere in the trilogy?
21. “When it comes down to it, this story is not primarily about spies and secret government agencies; it’s about violence against women, and the men who enable it.” So says Blomkvist on page 514. What else is it about?
22. If she’s not in love with Miriam, why does Salander go to Paris?
23. When deciding what to do about Niedermann, Salander thinks of Harriet Vanger. Where do their stories diverge?
24. The very last sentence of the trilogy is, “She opened the door wide and let him into her life again.” How do you imagine things proceed from here for Salander? For Blomvkist?

These questions are provided by the Publisher.

Buy Now

Back to top