Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

My first book read after maternity leave was The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest of the Millennium Trilogy. I very much enjoyed the first two in the series. Hornet’s Nest works as an ending to the trilogy, too. I would have to say that of the three, Played with Fire is probably my favorite because it was the most action packed. Hornet’s Nest takes place more in the hospital and the courtroom, however while there’s not tons of action, Larsson does still make the story interesting. It was a bummer that Lisbeth and Blomkvist had zero scenes together, but you can appreciate the reason why. I liked the wrap up of the mystery, too, though one part (Lisbeth’s twin sister) was left wide open. Was this an error? Was Larsson planning something for this part of the story before he died? I don’t know, but it left a big question mark in my mind.

This review is pretty vague because I would hate to ruin any surprises for people still reading the series. I have the Swedish version of Dragon Tattoo set to stream from Netflix, too, though I’ve heard it’s pretty graphic, like the book but unlike what I would expect an American version to be, so I’m not sure I want to watch it. I will see the American version when it comes out, especially since Daniel Craig will play Blomkvist and not Brad Pitt. It’ll be interesting how Hollywood condenses the book into a movie.

I know there are some detractors out there about these books. I’ve read pretty convincing arguments about Larsson’s use of sexual violence against women, and how even though he made Lisbeth out to be an ass-kicking women, does the violence still paint a masochistic picture of Larsson? I don’t personally know, and I just chose to breeze over the gory details onto more of the mystery and interpersonal relationships between the characters. I’ve also read reviews that claim so much of the action takes place on the Web – hacking, money transfers, texting, chatrooms, etc. – and particularly in the last book and how that’s boring. I actually thought it foreshadows where crime-fighting and crime-prevention are going these days.

All in all, I’d give the trilogy 4 out of 5 stars as a whole. The books are detail enriched, sometimes slow, but overall very entertaining. And I think Lisbeth is a great character.

1 comment:

Charley said...

The Girl Who Played with Fire was my favorite of the trilogy, as well, for the reason you mentioned - more action. I don't know about the twin sister. My guess is that Larsson would have expanded on that in later books. I'm looking forward to seeing both the Swedish and the American versions of the film, and like you, I'm glad Daniel Craig and not Brad Pitt was cast.