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. Discuss Mikael Blomkvist's role in the investigation. Do you feel that he made as important a contribution as Lisbeth? Why or why not?
11. The narrative contained a number of plot twists. Who did you imagine sent the framed flowers to Vanger each year?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
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