Tag Archives: stieg larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (unabridged audiobook read by Simon Vance; 20 hrs 18 min on 16 discs): This final installment of the Millennium Trilogy finds Lisbeth Salander in the hospital recovering from severe gunshot wounds as Mikael Blomkvist scrambles to uncover the conspiracy that has been quietly ruining her life for the last fifteen years. Unlike the previous two books, this is more of a legal and political thriller, culminating in a gripping and often maddening trial. There is quite a lot of commentary on women’s rights and journalistic integrity as well, making for some thought-provoking passages. The ending was satisfying but realistic. Lisbeth will always be Lisbeth, after all. The side story about Erika Berger’s stalker seemed a bit unnecessary, but it didn’t overshadow the primary plot. This is one of those series I want to go back and read again now that I know how it all turns out, to see if I can spot any clues. Great stuff.

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (unabridged audiobook read by Simon Vance; 18.5 hrs on 15 discs): Oh Lisbeth, how I’ve missed you. This second installment of the Millennium Trilogy finds two of Mikael Blomkvist’s friends murdered and Lisbeth’s fingerprints on the gun. Thus begins a complicated story of Lisbeth’s past, prostitution, and Swedish government secrets. Meanwhile, we’re introduced to the various people Lisbeth has touched and who line up to be in her corner during this her darkest hour. When I think of “strong female characters” I don’t think about Buffy the Vampire Slayer; I think of people like Lisbeth. She’s fascinating and flawed and wonderful to read about. I doubt she’d be all that impressed with me were we to meet, but I’ve enjoyed witnessing her adventures so far. In fact, the very last couple lines of the book had me laughing with joy. Can’t wait to read the third book, but part of me is a little reluctant because I don’t want to say goodbye.

A note on the audio: Something about Vance’s voice makes me picture Liam Neeson as Mikael Blomkvist, as opposed to Daniel Craig. Also, I sometime confuse Daniel Craig with Christopher Eccleston. My brain does not work.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (unabridged audiobook read by Simon Vance, translated by Reg Keeland; 16 hrs 21 min on 13 discs): Mikael Blomkvist, fresh from a libel conviction, has stepped down from the editor’s desk of the magazine he founded, Millenium. Shortly thereafter, Swedish industry tycoon Henrik Vanger hires him to research the disappearance of his niece Harriet nearly 40 years before. Meanwhile, 20-something antisocial genius Lisbeth Salander is slowly attempting to put her own life together. Eventually the two meet and begin working together on the case. The plot is complicated, with almost too many Vangers to keep track, but I definitely enjoyed it. I felt the suspense and was saddened by the sad parts and cheered at the victories of the Good Guys. I learned that I know pretty much nothing about Sweden and Swedish history, and was a little concerned at how misogynistic the society is portrayed. There was quite a bit of graphic rape, murder, and mutilation, to the point where some of it felt rather gratuitous. (Likewise with Blomkvist’s sex life: does he sleep with every single woman he meets or just most of them?) Still, I found the story engrossing and just had to know what happened next. More importantly, I have a real affection for Salander and I look forward to reading of her later adventures in the rest of the trilogy.

A note on the audio: I’ve listened to Vance read other books, and he was likewise excellent here as well. I particularly enjoyed his voice for Lisbeth, since it was both undeniably female without being a caricature.

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