Friday, September 11, 2015

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; Stieg Larsson

Random House Audio - 2010
(Narrated by Simon Vance)

By now I'm sure most of my readers have heard of, read, or saw some of the movies included as part of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Although I read the first two books pretty soon after they were released the last one I saved until now, a perfect fit for the RIP X challenge.

Without giving away too much, Book 3 in this series begins with Lisbeth Salander in critical condition in the intensive care unit from a bullet wound to the head.  She's under armed guard and will likely face murder charges once she's out. There are others who would love to see her back to the locked insane asylum that she spent time in a young girl. Her father Alexander Zalachenko, a Soviet intelligence defector is also recovering in the same hospital and each is plotting to kill the other as they convalesce.  Meanwhile,  journalist Mikael Blomqvist continues his investigative work, communicating virtually with Lisbeth and uncovers a vast conspiracy he calls, "The Section"in the process.

The first half of this book moved kind of slow for me, it rehashes the past and sets up the scene for the action which follows.  This installment has more international and political intrigue than the first two books and for the most part it is equally satisfying.  

This trilogy MUST BE read in order for maximum enjoyment. Each book deals with tough subject matter at times -- Lisbeth was abused as a child, confined to an insane asylum at age 12, raped as a young adult, but she remains one tough cookie.  She is bent on revenge now matter how long it takes and the risks involved.  Politics, corruption, sexism, this book has it all.  The author did a terrific job bringing the treads together to a somewhat satisfying conclusion.  As always, Simon Vance did a terrific job given the various characters and dialects.


4/5 stars
(audio and print version)

23 comments:

  1. I'm so lame I haven't even started the series but I did see the movie - does that count for anything?

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    1. Yup, the movies count IMO - I enjoyed the first two.

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  2. I'm in the middle of a re-read of the 3 books written by Larsson. Closing in the on the end of the Fire book. I decided to have a listen before trying the new book. Anyway, I do love the whole story and am thoroughly enjoying Simon Vance's narration.

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    1. Simon Vance is terrific in this series and he most always is.

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  3. I enjoyed this series. I'm glad you did too.

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  4. I hesitated about reading these books and turned in my copy of the first to the used book store, after reading an in-depth description of the movie/book by a blogger and some of the torturous scenes therein. I'm (personally) disturbed by those kind of scenes (you know of which I speak) and think it might detract enjoyment for me...unfortunately. I'm happy to hear you liked them though!

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    1. Book 1 was especially disturbing regarding violence toward women - the movie even more so IMO.

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  5. I read the first book on my Kindle, right after I got it in 2010: and then I bought the second book, but it sat for a long while on my stacks until I finally moved it out during one of my purges. I loved the character of Lisbeth, but the book I did read was definitely slow going and too detailed. Maybe I should give this trilogy another try?

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I loved the Lisbeth character as well, but agree some of the story (in all 3 books) were slow for me especially when it came to politics, corruption and investigative work.

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  6. I have heard some good things about that one!

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    1. The entire series is good if you don't mind some violence.

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  7. I read all three books in quick succession. II found them fascinating. Stieg Larsen's story also threw me for a loop! But now I am wondering about the fourth book written by a different author. Should II?

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  8. These sounds like too much violence/cruelty for me. Glad they're good stories though.

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  9. I was so frustrated with what I felt unnecessary length and violence in the first one, that I never finished the trilogy. Although, Lisbeth is indeed a fascinating character. I'm glad for your thoughts that they must be read in ofder; perhaps I can pick them up again some time and carry on.

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  10. My book club read the trilogy and really liked them, except they got a little tired of trying to pronounce all those Swedish names of people and streets, etc, that many of them gave up on the last one. I wish they would have hung in there because the ending was worth it! On a side note, we were all amused about how much coffee everyone drank day or night in the book. readinginthegarden.blogspot.com

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    1. Diane, thanks for a terrific review! I'm glad you enjoyed the audio version. I've only read the first book (and saw the movie). I have the other two in the trilogy, waiting to be read.

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  12. I have two books in the series but haven't started them yet.

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  13. I have two books in the series but haven't started them yet.

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  14. sigh. I read the first one this summer and started listening to this one last week THINKING IT WAS THE SECOND ONE! Luckily I didn't make it too far but probably about an hour or so. I have the second on hold now :)

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  15. I gobbled this series up like so much cotton candy! In fact, I think I read it far too fast, as I lost details of the story quickly after reading the entire series... there was just so much to absorb, given the complexity of the characters and the long time over which the story unfolds ... a great series! too bad we lost Larsson. I wonder what he would have come up with to top this blockbuster!

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  16. I need to get back to this series after thoroughly enjoying the movies. Glad to know this one will satisfy.

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