Began this blog by listening to The Carpenters and Bon Iver, a mistake; have switched to The Who and Pink Floyd. Slow reflective music has no place in my discussion of death, conspiracies and madness.
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 Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.Synopsis from GoodReads
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson had twists and turns I never expected; I exclaimed ‘oh my god’ at high volume in my office more than once. Yet at my conclusion to the Millennium Trilogy I feel that neither it nor The Girl Who Played With Fire match my love for The Girl With the Dragon tattoo. In a Matrix fashion, TGWtDT is a stand alone novel; TGWPWF and TGWKtHN expand on the intricate world Blomkvist and Salander inhabit, however, they are not necessary to an enjoyment of TGWtDT. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was a wonderful book, however, I did find I experienced periods of disinterested, floating in and out of an ability to put the book down. While I feel this is nothing to do with Larsson’s story telling, It was difficult to engage with the espionage the trilogy has unravelled.
Salander was my reason for reading; watching her slowly soften to the genuine care people felt for her was both realistic and a relief. Aside from Salander, in TGWKtHN Larsson once again gave me a plethora of strong women, ranging physical, intellectual and emotional strength, to connect with. So, while it cannot be denied that Larsson’s representation of his female characters is marvellous, I could have done with a few more predominant female friendly male characters to balance against the misogyny of the majority of his male characters, who’s enthusiasm eclipses the mild mannered nature of the female friendly men.
Blomkvist was on top form in his determination to right the wrong done to Salander, however, his new romance with Säpo agent Figuerola was tiresome, the childish romantic in me would have preferred Salander and Blomkvist to have found a companionship where Berger was not pushed to the side. I am not sure I understood the relevance of Berger’s sub-plot (which was my only source of aggravation), utilised, she is a force to be reckoned with. Other than another example of the contempt of women in positions of power face, where men often feel threatened, I felt Larsson put her through hell only for Blomkvist to leave her.
Inevitable, I craved Salander’s release, reclaiming her sanity, and I got it. What made this marvellous is that this ratty, couldn’t-give-a-shit, uncompromising, genius of a girl could inspire such friendships and loyalties despite her best efforts. It leaves me hopeful that there will always be people who will see that there is more to you than the image you project.
You re-arrange me ’till I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.Lyrics from Brain Damage by Pink Floyd