Dragon Tattoo passes the million mark
19.05.10 | Philip Stone


The late Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has become the 21st novel of the 21st century to sell more than one million copies in the UK.

The first instalment of the Swede’s Millennium trilogy, which follows the escapades of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his feisty sidekick Lisbeth, sold 24,780 copies across all editions last week, taking its total sales to date into seven figures.

Life sales of the thriller now stand at 1,005,866 copies in the UK, having taken £5.6m through UK bookshop tills, according to Nielsen BookScan data. Larsson’s Millennium trilogy has been a huge bestseller across Europe and has sold more than 20 million copies in 41 countries, according to http://www.stieglarsson.com.

More than three million copies of the trilogy have been snapped up in his native Sweden alone, which was first published posthumously in 2005 with the title Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women).

The follow-up to Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, has sold 680,000 copies to date while life sales of the final part of the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Next, currently stand at 556,000 copies.

In January 2009, The Girl Who Played with Fire became the first ever translated novel to top The Bookseller’s Original Fiction chart since records began, while the mass-market edition of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest sold more than 98,000 copies in just three days upon release last month, making it one of the fastest-selling novels since records began. In total, £13.8m has been spent in the UK on the trilogy, published by Quercus.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo now joins an elite list of novels that are members of the 21st century seven-figure club, which includes the likes of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones (Picador), Ian McEwan’s Atonement (Vintage), and the five historical conspiracy thrillers by Dan Brown.

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