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Jen

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

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This, the third part of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy was published in hardback last week and I whizzed out to buy a copy. I was delighted to find that it picks up from the exact point where the second book ended. However, despite reading book two only a couple of months ago, I found that I'd forgotten many of the names of the main characters (they're all Swedish names and I always find 'foreign' names don't register in my head as well as 'British' ones) so I started making a list. I'm currently up to 26 characters, not including the ones that I can easily remember!

 

That said, don't be put off, so far it's fantastic. The plot is thickening and deepening in a very pleasing way. I may have to phone into work sick for a day or two this week... ;)

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Finished this in double quick time and it really is as excellent as its predecessors. Different in pace, this time focussing on putting together the case to get Salander her freedom and revenge, it still clips along very briskly with many interweaving convoluted threads. Yes, there is a cast of thousands, but I made a not of the names and soon remembered them.

 

As Hazel has recently said on the thread for the first book in the series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), it's not often that a book lives up to its hype, but these really do. I just feel a bit sad that I've finished it and there won't be anymore.

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it's not often that a book lives up to its hype, but these really do.
They really do.

 

I just feel a bit sad that I've finished it and there won't be anymore.
I am caught between wanting to race through the others - or do I save them? I really don't want it to all be over soon, but then it's very hard reading something else when you can see the next book lingering...

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I'd dive in. The stories do carry forward (especially three from two) and you'll get more out of them if you remember more of the detail. It's what the long dark nights were made for!

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I'd dive in. The stories do carry forward (especially three from two) and you'll get more out of them if you remember more of the detail. It's what the long dark nights were made for!
Cool, as soon as Fire arrives, I'll get stuck in. Hornet's Nest arrived this morning rather annoyingly!

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This series was released in French a couple of years ago (which caused Larsson-mania over here) and everyone I know that read the complete trilogy remarked how difficult it was to start read other authors again, they were so pleased with Larsson's style.

 

Admittedly, I read the first in the series (to see what all the fuss was about) and whilst it was ok, it didn't inspire me to read the other two - albeit, everyone who read the three told me that they thought that the first in the series was probably the weakest.

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I finished this last night after being sat on the couch for the best part of the afternoon and evening with it.

 

Hornet's Nest picks off exactly where Fire ended, with Lisbeth fighting for her life after being shot in the head. While she is being cared for in hospital, her father Zalachenko lies in a room a few doors down, her friends rally around trying to clear her charges and uncover the truth about the Secret Police, Zalachenko and everything that happened to Lisbeth when she was 13.

 

Larsson puts the reader in a uncomfortable position as we read all these nets trying to close around Lisbeth and conspiring against her and those that help her. For the most part she is isolated and vulnerable in hospital until ways can be figured out to help her. Each time a net was seemingly closing in on her or Mikael, I got very anxious and started speed-reading to make sure everything turned out ok. And when one part was resolved happily, another anxiety-filled plot would fall into place. It was quite a nerve-wracking read.

 

The denouement, Lisbeth's court trial, was one of the best, most satisfying court scene I have read. I literally had a huge smile on my face when Mikael's lawyer sister, Annika, took to the 'stage'. My heart was pounding and I could barely read fast enough to see how it all ended.

 

What a ride these books have been. Out of the three, I think I still have a fond preference for the first book - it seems somewhat apart from the other two. The latter books are essentially the same story but the first book really just sets up the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael and lays the foundation for the latter two. It was hugely successful in building a pair of protagonists that readers would care about deeply and happily go on a further ride with.

 

This Winter, grab all three and settle down next to a fire (or radiator).

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I wonder since...

 

 

Lisbeth's sister is never found if Larsson had plans to include her in another series, which was thwarted by his death?

 

 

I also wondered at one point if...

 

 

Ronald would turn out to be Camilla, that some hideous experiment and operation had been done to her by Zalachenko to make her into a more useful and loyal offspring. It would explain much about Ronald's bizarre condition.

 

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Crikey Hazel, that's one crazy plot twist you cooked up in your spoiler there!

I must admit that I did expect Camilla to crop up somewhere, it did seem an obvious loose end.

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Crikey Hazel, that's one crazy plot twist you cooked up in your spoiler there!
:D Maybe I should write the next one?

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This series was released in French a couple of years ago (which caused Larsson-mania over here)
I noticed the Larsson-mania too (you couldn't miss it... at one point nobody on the métro seemed to be reading anything else...) Like Phoebus I was intrigued, but waited till the first one came out in paperback in English...

 

People have told me the French translation was OK, but I felt the English translation was terribly clunky in places, and I decided life was too short for me to read the other two volumes (or to bother seeing the film of the first one...)

 

Those who want really, really classy Swedish literature (and excellently translated into English) should go for Blackwater by Kerstin Eckman. Superb. And Joan Tate (the translator) deserves a huge round of applause.

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*Heaves a huge sigh of contented relief* - I've finished it!

 

Loved this trilogy - I thought the first was the weakest, but only if I'm being hyper-critical. The pace of these novels is amazing - I felt almost breathless in places.

 

Love Salander's character - what a girl. But sometimes I felt myself forgetting how traumatic her young life was, how she coped is beyond normality.

 

I loved 'Kalle' Blomqvist too - what a guy - wonder which Hollywood hunk is earmarked to play him... Cool under pressure, and always one step ahead. Fab.

 

I think some of my favourite parts were the hackers Lisbeth cyber-connected with - the thought of having the world at your fingertips!

 

Am now quite sad they're over. I will deffo be keeping these though - and put them at the bottom of Mount TBR for a couple of years time.

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I loved 'Kalle' Blomqvist too - what a guy - wonder which Hollywood hunk is earmarked to play him... Cool under pressure, and always one step ahead. Fab.

Well, this guy will be playing him in the upcoming film...

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Those who want really, really classy Swedish literature (and excellently translated into English) should go for Blackwater by Kerstin Eckman. Superb. And Joan Tate (the translator) deserves a huge round of applause.

This does look good - added to wishlist, jfp.

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So, I have finished Stieg Larsson's trilogy and I have to say that it was great. I thought there was already a thread for Larsson but it seems not.

 

I've been thinking about the book ever since I finished it and I think that I liked this one the most of the three. I loved the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but have to admit that the second book, The Girl who Played with Fire, disappointed me. I did enjoy it but thought that it was too far fetched. So, I am happy to announce that the third book - The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest was back up there with the first one. I know that some of those that have read it says the plots are ridiculous and the writing not the best (although that could be due to the translation from Swedish to English) but I think you can forgive that because the books are such an enjoyable read.

 

I thoroughly recommend the trilogy to anyone who has not read it and stick with the second because the third book makes you glad you did. It''s a shame that Larsson did not live to see the success of his Millennium Trilogy.

 

I'm sad there won't be another but perhaps that's a good thing.

 

ETA: I have just read the thread on Juliet, Naked and read that David Mitchell has qbeen quoated as saying that the success of a good book is creating a character that the reader cares enough about that they want to see what happens to them at the end (or something along those lines). This is very true in the case of this series - I loved Lisbeth Salander (the main character in the trilogy) and she reminded me of me a little (well, when I was younger anyway). I think this is why I liked the books so much. I really wanted to know what happened to her and wanted her to be OK.

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The denouement, Lisbeth's court trial, was one of the best, most satisfying court scene I have read. I literally had a huge smile on my face when Mikael's lawyer sister, Annika, took to the 'stage'. My heart was pounding and I could barely read fast enough to see how it all ended.

Ditto - I agree with that totally. Most satisfying. Even though I thought I could see how the trial was going to go, reading Annika's moment, when the trial collapsed and she threw Teleborian off his pedestal made me want to pump my arm in the air, shouting "Yes!" (Which would have looked very strange sitting in the park on my own, granted).

 

I still can't work out if I preferred the first or last book. But I am definitely sad that there are no more. I don't re-read many books but having already re-read the first I can see me returning to the second and third again in the future.

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I thought there was already a thread for Larsson but it seems not.
It seems so. :D
How strange - I didn't see it when I looked under "L" in 21st Century authors. Perhaps I was so excited with the books I missed it!

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I still can't work out if I preferred the first or last book. But I am definitely sad that there are no more. I don't re-read many books but having already re-read the first I can see me returning to the second and third again in the future.

I think I preferred the first book, because it can stand alone as a top-notch crime book and because it brought Blomkvist and Lisbeth together. But I'd really struggle not to include them all in my 'fave books' list.

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I took this on holiday and given the size I thought it would last me... as with the others I just couldn't put it down and finished it in two days!

As with the first one, I found it a bit hard to get in to, but absolutely loved it and felt utterly bereft having read all three in just over a week (I was a late starter with them!), and felt a genuine connection with the main characters. I miss them!!!

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It took me forever to get through book 3 compared to the other two.

Loved it!

The thing was there were so many characters by the end I did start to lose track a bit, but decided to just muddle through having a good idea wh the main people were.

Ooooh intrigued by Hazel's theory about the

sister twist that never came! I was waiting for that too

 

Did anyone else feel like drinking a lot more coffee and eating mainly beef and pickle sandwiches when reading these? Or want a Tunsung300 phone (or whatever it was!). I kind of loved all the little product placement/cultural detail whichever way you want to put it!

I haven't seen the films, I'm a bit reluctant to allow anyone else to imagine the characters for me. Lisbeth from the posters doesn't look quite as pretty as I imagine. I imagine her as more like the Amelie character, just visually mind!

OK, this post was far too full of exclamation marks!!!!! Will stop now!!!!!!!

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I haven't seen the films, I'm a bit reluctant to allow anyone else to imagine the characters for me. Lisbeth from the posters doesn't look quite as pretty as I imagine. I imagine her as more like the Amelie character, just visually mind!

The films are pitch-perfect for me really. The characters are pretty much as I imagined them though so that helped a lot. You should really watch the films Cathy, because they are as close as you can get to a perfect book to film adaptation. And you need to see them before Hollywood spoils the trilogy by adding it's unnecessary versions.

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The films are pitch-perfect for me really. The characters are pretty much as I imagined them though so that helped a lot. You should really watch the films Cathy, because they are as close as you can get to a perfect book to film adaptation. And you need to see them before Hollywood spoils the trilogy by adding it's unnecessary versions.

Are they in Swedish? I actually didn't realise they weren't hollywood versions, so thanks for telling me Hazel!

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Are they in Swedish? I actually didn't realise they weren't hollywood versions, so thanks for telling me Hazel!
They are in Swedish Cathy. The first 2 are out, you can get Dragon on DVD and Fire was just out at the cinema, but the last is out soon I think. The films have also made their way on to my 'favourites' list.

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