Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Comments: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson

MacLehose Press (an imprint of Quercus), 2009. ISBN 978-1-906694-16-6. 601 p.
English translation by Reg Keeland

There are many excellent and perceptive reviews of this last book in the Millennium trilogy so I am going to limit myself to a few observations. I have included links to some reviews at the end of this post.

  • Being monolingual, I can't compare the original Swedish to the English translation but Keeland has made it a smooth, natural read. I wouldn't have thought that it was as translation.

  • Bernadette at Reactions to Reading (link below) puts it in the journalistic and legal thriller genres. I would add that there is also a some spy thriller and I wouldn't have minded a bit more police procedural action.

  • Part 1 was interesting and kept my attention but starting with part 2, binge reading took me over and found it difficult to stop. I was sorry to turn the last page knowing that there wouldn't be another book in the series.

  • Larsson could be a bit pedantic and slip into lecture mode but I didn't mind. In fact, I'm astonished at how he kept me interested in detail about Swedish politics, the organization of the police forces, and Sweden's legal system.

  • Lisbeth Salander has less of a role than in the first two books but when she is there you are reminded what a unique character she is.

  • As I read, I wondered how much of Larsson's intent was to focus more on those willing to take risks to see justice for Salander thus intentionally putting her more in the background for much of the book. Salander does change a little (and grudgingly) at the end. This may be a "well duh" comment but it did run through my mind.

  • Larsson can really make you angry at the arrogant abuse of power.

  • I really enjoyed how the court room drama played out.

Highly recommended but don't start here. You need to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire first.

South London Books.
Maxine's Review at Euro Crime

Reactions To Reading
DJs Krimiblog
International Noir Fiction
Nick Cohen writing in The Observer section of Guardian UK