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

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson's internationally best-selling trilogy.Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockhol...

Title:The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:030726999X
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:563 pages

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Reviews

  • Grace Tjan

    What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

    1. You can use duct tapes to close up serious wounds; they keep the blood in and the germs out.

    2. You can be shot in the head and STILL have photographic memory, though annoyingly, you will forget the solution to that pesky Fermat's Theorem that you have just discovered.

    3. Congenital analgesia is a useful condition to have for mafia henchmen and Bond villains.

    4. Muscular, one meter eighty-four tall Latina policewomen who can out-wrestle a ma

    What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

    1. You can use duct tapes to close up serious wounds; they keep the blood in and the germs out.

    2. You can be shot in the head and STILL have photographic memory, though annoyingly, you will forget the solution to that pesky Fermat's Theorem that you have just discovered.

    3. Congenital analgesia is a useful condition to have for mafia henchmen and Bond villains.

    4. Muscular, one meter eighty-four tall Latina policewomen who can out-wrestle a man are HOT.

    5. Middle-aged, out of shape Swedish journalists are powerful chick magnets.

    6. Threesomes and other bedroom antics involving leather, especially if you are stupid enough to record them, WILL come back to haunt you.

    7. “Statistics showed that the absolute majority of people who harassed women were men.” Yes, we know it, that barring a few notable exceptions, most men are SADISTIC PIGS, PERVERTS AND RAPISTS!

    8. ”The majority of poison pen artists were either teenagers or the middle-aged.” Only people between 26 and 54 years of age are crazy enough to become stalkers.

    9. Amazons are cool because they were willing to cut off their right breasts to be better archers. They also liked to copulate with random men to make babies.

    10. Meatballs with potatoes and Lingonberry sauce are good Swedish food.

    BUT SERIOUSLY,

    this final book in the Millennium Trilogy is a let down compared to its predecessors. The conspirators who protected Zalachenko and committed Salander into the asylum are revealed early on in the novel, thus removing any sense of mystery. The pair of elderly, terminally ill men who lead them are so out-gunned, out-maneuvered and out-hacked by the good guys from the beginning that there is hardly any suspense left. Salander herself spent the majority of her time on a hospital bed, convalescing from the shot in the head that she received from Zalachenko. The previous books were able to succeed largely because of the peculiar originality of her character and the outrageous stunts that she pulled. With those elements missing, what is left is a rather predictable police procedural filled with tedious bureaucratic wrangling and dull talking heads. The pace picks up a bit with the trial and the novel ends with a sorely needed action piece that provides a closure to Salander’s dark past, but it is nowhere near the level of the exciting episodes that preceded it. Still, if you have read them, you will want to read this one too, if only to get a satisfying ending for Salander, Blomkvist and other characters that we have came to know from the series.

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  • j

    These books really shouldn't work. Stieg Larsson is a very weird writer. He likes to tell us absolutely everything someone is doing. If Stieg wrote the story of my morning, it would go like this:

    "Joel woke up around 7:45 a.m. and looked at the clock. He decided he didn't need to get up yet and hit the snooze button. When the alarm sounded again, he dragged himself out of bed and used the toilet. He brushed his teeth and then dressed in a blue striped shirt, black tie and flat front dress slacks

    These books really shouldn't work. Stieg Larsson is a very weird writer. He likes to tell us absolutely everything someone is doing. If Stieg wrote the story of my morning, it would go like this:

    "Joel woke up around 7:45 a.m. and looked at the clock. He decided he didn't need to get up yet and hit the snooze button. When the alarm sounded again, he dragged himself out of bed and used the toilet. He brushed his teeth and then dressed in a blue striped shirt, black tie and flat front dress slacks he'd purchased on sale at Kohl's. He made himself a cup of coffee, fired up his 13-inch Macbook laptop and checked his email. He had 14 messages. 11 of them were advertisements from various mailing lists or spam emails encouraging him to enlarge his penis. One message was from his mother and two more were shipping notices for books he'd purchased from Amazon.com. He read the note from his mother but decided to reply later. He then deleted all the messages but the two from Amazon and closed his laptop. He sat on the couch and stared into space, drinking his coffee and thinking."

    Most writers would probably start the scene several paragraphs later, when I finally get to work (that's where the real excitement happens! I check even MORE email!). (Plus it turns out I'm not even a main character.) But for some reason, this style is, I don't know, endearing instead of annoying. I love the way he tells us every time Mikael has a cigarette or what he likes on his sandwiches. And hey, at least I know what brand of cell phone everyone is using.

    It's kind of weird how the series wound up being not at all what I was expecting. Book one was closest, a serial killer story that was nevertheless a weird mash-up of political potboiler and are-the-lambs-screaming-Clarice murder fun. But then book two was mostly about the internal politics of the Swedish police and media industries. And the big climax of the trilogy comes down to an incredibly extended legal thriller, Grisham-style. I assume. I've never read a John Grisham book.

    But really, everyone knows why the books work, and it's because of the characters. Stieg approached the whole trilogy as a sort of manifesto about the injustices heaped upon women in Swedish society, and illustrates them via a host of compelling, level-headed, fairly well-rounded women who are fun to read about even when they spend every other page having sex with the Stieg stand-in. Everyone loves Lisbeth, of course, and this installment does a good job of fleshing out her back story and explaining how exactly one winds up a tattooed, antisocial computer-hacking genius with an insatiable hunger for revenge and Billy's pan pizza.

    This is an excellent wrap-up to Lisbeth's story and the trilogy, leaving exactly one thread hanging, and a small one at that, which is remarkable considerng it's number three in a planned run of 10. It leaves Mikael and Lisbeth in a great place, and pays off pretty much everything that was established over the previous two books. That it does so with a histrionic courtroom scene, all the better.

    I don't read legal thrillers but I love courtroom scenes in movies, especially when judges say stuff like "I'm going to allow it, but you'd better be going somewhere with this." No one says that here, but only because apparently you can do whatever the fuck you want in a Swedish courtroom without bothering to talk to the judge at all. On the bright side, a flustered prosecutor does break out another old chestnut --"This is highly irregular!" -- that almost makes up for it.

    So, yeah, I'm a little sad that Lisbeth has stalked off to that big Ikea-furnished apartment in the sky to join her creator. And I wish Stieg didn't eat quite so many of the fatty sandwiches and Billy's pan pizzas he loved detailing so much (hey, write what you know). If book 4 never emerges from that mythical laptop, though, this is a pretty good place to end things.

  • Shayantani Das

    Dearest Steig Larsson,

    I absolutely hate you! But,I think I love you too. While every author has some characteristic quality, yours seem to be to make readers pissed at you. Ever since I picked up the 1st book of this Millennium saga, I have regretted my decision countless times. You have forced me to bang my head on the wall, pull my hair, throw your books at the end of the room, and then pick it up again and read it like a mad woman, totally forgetting the outside world. You have left me with s

    Dearest Steig Larsson,

    I absolutely hate you! But,I think I love you too. While every author has some characteristic quality, yours seem to be to make readers pissed at you. Ever since I picked up the 1st book of this Millennium saga, I have regretted my decision countless times. You have forced me to bang my head on the wall, pull my hair, throw your books at the end of the room, and then pick it up again and read it like a mad woman, totally forgetting the outside world. You have left me with so many contradicting emotions, kept me awake at night, and if my predictions are correct, I will be thinking about you, this series and your incorrigible characters for at least 2 weeks now.

    I must commend you for your qualities, though. No one has ever created such impressive and realistic female characters. Lizbeth is always an inspiration, but I think you did an excellent job with all the other characters introduced in this book too. I must also state that you achieved the impossible task of making me like Berger. Indeed, that is a miracle! When you started explaining stuff about her leaving Millennium, I was totally mad at you. I couldn’t wait to get back to Salander’s part. Yet, you went on to create such realistic incidences! Berger’s problems go nowhere near Lizbeth’s, but they seem to be problems right out of real life circumstances. Then you introduce characters like Linder and Giannini, who are in one word amazing. You stun me Larsson, with your spectacular portrayal of women! I am so impressed!

    now, hold on for minute!

    Do not get too pleased.

    You have made life hell for me for the past two months. Do you know how irritating it has been to see this book as a permanent fixture on my bookshelf and currently reading shelf? I mean, what is the point of all the unnecessary yakking? Why the lengthy details? Why introduce characters like Salander’s twin, and that Fegarula person? And why the hell do you add sex scenes that feel so completely out of place in the story. I must also comment on how Mikael's character has become too much of a Mary Sue. Desired by all women? Why is that so? I wonder how much of you is represented through him.:P

    Also, I am so glad this saga is at an end. I am glad because I am certain that if there was another book, I would surely have gone ahead and bought it; in spite of my current experience. I am glad that I won’t have to go through all of the emotional drama again, experience all the turmoil, and feel kinship for Salander.

    I am happy and I am inexplicably sad.

    This book was clearly not how you planned to end the series. The ending left so much scope for other stories to come after it. I feel very very sorry that there is no more of your work to read and that you will never be able to read this review (not that any author of your standing would). I feel very sad that you died without seeing what a sensation your books became, how the memorable characters you created will forever be etched into the mind of us readers.

    I am happy that I am ending this year with this series but don’t disillusion yourself with the thought that I would ever reread this series. Oh, no

    again!

    Still, I am sure that I will never forget you as long as I live.

    Happy New Year!

    Your reluctant fan,

    Tanu

    PS: I highly recommend this series btw. I can guarantee you, that you

    regret it. You will probably swear at Steig Larsson, and if you read it on my recommendation, you would curse me too.

    and A Happy New year to y'all!


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