The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

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...

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Title:The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author:Stieg Larsson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest Reviews

  • Shayantani Das

    Dear Steig Larsson,

    I absolutely hate you! But,I think I love you too. While every author has some characteristic quality, yours seem to be aggravate your readers. 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. So many contradictory feelings ha

    Dear Steig Larsson,

    I absolutely hate you! But,I think I love you too. While every author has some characteristic quality, yours seem to be aggravate your readers. 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. So many contradictory feelings have kept me ap 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.

    Happy New Year!

    Your reluctant fan,

    Tanu

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    Another short review due to glitches on GR!

    Lisbeth is recovering in the hospital but she has to go to court because she is being charged with the murder of her rapist. Who cares if she did in my opinion.

    Mikael and the gang are also trying to get things pinned on Lisbeth's evil father and such as well.

    Lisbeth goes to trial to prove she's innocent in this matter. She's just too cool.

    Fin

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    Even if Lisbeth Salander had been raised in a “normal” environment of a white picket fence, with a swing in the backyard, a dad flipping burgers in a haze of barbecue smoke, and a smiling, sun

    Even if Lisbeth Salander had been raised in a “normal” environment of a white picket fence, with a swing in the backyard, a dad flipping burgers in a haze of barbecue smoke, and a smiling, sundress wearing mother, she would have been abnormal. As it was she was the daughter of a psychotic, deranged Russian father who lived under a blanket of security because he defected with secrets that the government was interested in knowing.

    Zalachenko beat Lisbeth’s mother so severely that she sustained brain damage that left her nearly a vegetable. He wasn’t prosecuted. After all she was a whore, just a whore, or so they say, but then “trusted” government official can leak any information they want and have it lapped up by the media.

    Lisbeth tried to kill her father.

    Okay.

    She tried to kill him twice, but he is a tough old bastard.

    Let’s just say the environment that Lisbeth was raised in required her to embrace the more abnormal aspects of her personality to survive. So why did she try to kill her father?

    They are related, but they have never been anybody’s concept of a family. She also has a half brother named Niedermann who can’t feel any pain and is a genetic giant of freakish strength.

    I think everyone knows the story of Stieg Larsson, the author of this trilogy. He died from a heart attack shortly after dropping off the three manuscripts for the Millennium novels with his publisher. It is imperative that readers read these books in order. If you attempted to read this one first, for instance, you would be lacking a lot of critical back story that will definitely heighten your enjoyment of the book. So no short cuts, no cutting to the end, the journey must be taken. You must take the blows along with Lisbeth so her eventual triumph will be your triumph as well.

    The first book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a mystery. The second one The Girl Who Played with Fire is a thriller. This one is a courtroom drama. Larsson wrote this trilogy in the evenings for entertainment purposes as an escape from the real world. He was an investigative reporter and I’m sure most of the time real life was too real for him. It was as if he were playing with different writing formats, proving that he could write one as well as another. There are rumors that his girlfriend has a partial fourth book locked up on a laptop computer until the legal issues with Larsson’s estates can be settled. I think Larsson was brimming with stories and had created a heroine, uniquely compelling, with sustainable appeal that would have kept him on the bestseller list for years.

    I certainly would have been a zombie consumer of Larsson’s books, but I am content with what he gave us. It gives me shivers to think of another author conceiving their version of Salander or trying to mimic Larsson’s version. I do believe that characters should die with their creator.

    So Salander is in the hospital recovering from wounds sustained near the end of book two. Her father is recovering on the same hallway. They are a mere two doors away from each other. If a hospital could ever be quiet they might have been able to hear each other breathing. Despite the critical condition of their wounds each plots the demise of the other. Each secures a weapon of what is at hand, a pen, a crutch, anything to give them a chance if the other attacks.

    Amazon women, men dream about them. They are not always pleasant dreams. Larsson did sprinkle a few facts about legends of Amazon women between chapters. How fitting, for though our heroine is a scrawny 5’1” she is without a doubt a warrior unhindered by compassion and driven to survive.

    Mikael Blomkvist, the ace reporter, one of the few friends that Salander has in the world whether she wants him or not, is leading the charge for Salander to be released. As he rattles the nerve of the Säpo (Swedish Intelligence Agency), in particular the part of the organization called The Section, he discovers a government that has sanctioned too much to protect too little. He has learned a lot about how far they are willing to go to protect themselves and deftly plays a cat and mouse game with them as he prepares his lawyer sister, Anika Giannini, to defend Salander at trial.

    I’ve noticed that some readers struggled with the investigative part of the novel as we see all the pieces being brought together by teams of people. Some working for Salander’s release and some working to make sure she never sees the light of day. I found it all very real, very interesting as if I were directly involved in the process. The trial is absolutely terrific.

    For whatever reason Larsson throws in a subplot involving Blomkvist’s long time lover and co-worker Grika Berger. She is being stalked by a someone who obviously has a deep loathing for her. Some of the aspects of this subplot were interesting, but it was totally unnecessary to the overall plot, unless we think of Larsson as a stage manager trying to give one of his favorite actresses a few more lines in the play.

    Salander has issues with authority, not surprising given how those in authority have routinely decided that she needed to be arrested, locked down in a psych ward, and disappeared altogether. Even without the bizarre circumstances that forced Salander to be an enemy of the state she would have struggled with anyone who wanted to tell her what to do.

    She could never be the demure little girl in pigtails sucking on a lollipop.

    She is a lesbian satanist.

    It is hard to tell which one of those words, concocted by her enemies was more alarming to them. She is certainly bi-sexual, uninhibited in sexaul matters. She is a hacker, a woman who can find out anything about anyone. She is nobody’s best friend, but it is better to be her friend than her enemy. As far as Satan is concerned, she would take his pitchfork away and impale him on his own hubris.

    As I read this book I thought about why I, like so many others, find Salander such a compelling character. I’ve certainly never met anyone like her. She is unfriendly, like handling snarled barbed wire. She is instantly suspicious of anyone who offers to help her or any cause that would require commitment. She is a lone wolf, not opposed to giving pleasure, but unwilling to ever say the words that would take a moment of delight to a level of tenderness. She tortures you with silence. She bludgeons you with negative vibes. Her moods swing between tolerable and gloomy. Her smile is like a falling star, rare; and yet, beautiful. There is something wonderful in her ability to fight the odds, to survive, to defeat, to somehow make the right friends that are willing to fight for her when she can’t fight for herself. She does need help, as painful as that is for her, to push past the wall of silent contempt that she erects between her and authority. As it turns out her voice, her story had to be told.

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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.

  • 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.

    My review of

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