The original Swedish title for the book and movie is translated as "Men Who Hate Women."
The first book and movie is really prologue for what happens next. The story of the Vanger family does not really figure into the next two books, except in tangential ways. Keep in mind that the author did have something like ten books planned for the entire story, but he died very suddenly right as his books became the international publishing sensations they became.
Lisbeth Salander's story is really focus of the next two installments, and the "stacked deck" of female abuse really does pay off in surprisingly potent ways. Stieg Larsson, the author, is an ex-journalist, and the whole set-up works to set up the topics he really wants to talk about. A man with an agenda, but pretty gifted at writing pot-boilers.Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
is pretty good, but the next two book are where the story really kicks into high gear. Sure it's a revenge fantasy, but it's a great revenge fantasy.
Not that the books are perfect, there are some moments where the wish-fulfillment is a little too blatant. (The character of Mikael Blomkvist, a stand-in for the author, seems to get laid constantly.)
So, I read all of the books first in about two weeks. I read books slowly, so for me to read all three in such a short time speaks to their compulsive readability. I then watched all three Swedish movies. I liked them, but they pale compared to the original, mostly because they had to cut out or simplify much of the story. There are now some extended editions available to watch which feature more of the story (have not seen those).
I may be in the minority here, but I do prefer the Fincher version to the original. Not by much, mind you, I just liked it slightly more. Both the Swedish and American versions cut-out and simplify the books, neither are as good. But, if I had to pick a favorite, I would probably go with the Fincher version. Maybe it's just because the American version has a dynamite cover of "Immigrant Song."
I think both versions fail a little bit in capturing just what a fantastically asocial creature Lisbeth Salander is. Not to slight either actresses, because they both do very good jobs, but they aren't quite Lisbeth Salander as created in the books. Maybe more so the American version, but only because part of the Lisbeth character is her physical "unattractiveness." Neither Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara fit that bill.