Jan 16, 12
Recommended to Anthony by:
people who like hard edged thrillers and crime dramas
Read from December 01, 2010 to July 01, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1
I'm giving the Millennium Trilogy four stars with a caveat: I'm positive I would have enjoyed these books even more if I could have read the originals in Swedish, and if I had a firm grasp of Swedish politics and economic policy. That I read all three books is a testament to their overall strength and that of the story. If it wasn't interesting I wouldn't have invested the effort. And it's not all about politics, wealth and privilege. These books are hard-boiled, crime dramas wrapped in a journalistic wrapper.
I loved the two main characters, Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, the economics journalist who's made it his life's mission to expose the rich and powerful looters of the world, and Lisbeth Salander, possibly the most 'put through the meat grinder' character I've ever read. Job had it easy compared to the Trials of Lisabeth Salander. She is victimized throughout the books, but she is no man's victim. Each torment is noted, stored away and seared into her tapestry of vengeance. No one is forgiven or forgotten.
Mikael Blomkvist is a holy crusader who's more than willing to go to jail for his beliefs. He believes in a society based on equality and justice and lives to expose the hypocrisy and crimes of the privileged class. He's also very casual about who he sleeps with and makes no excuses for his bad behavior. His feelings for Salander give him a chance at a personal redemption of sorts, not that he can win her love, but he might win her trust. Ultimately his validation must come through her and for her. Blomkvist and Salander are an improbable and an incompatible couple yet somehow they are fated to steer each other's destiny. Who is saving who is an arc that runs over the three books and keeps both characters fresh and at odds with each other.
These books are violent. The treatment of women is ghastly to the point of misogynistic. I'd be tempted to call Larsson on it, but is the world so different from the horrors he portrays? No, it's not. Terrible things happen to women all the time, but here the author makes you look at them and understand that justice is not about what's right or wrong but who holds the power. By the end of the last book I wished that these characters actually existed. The world is in dire need of more Blomkvist and Salander's. Some things must be put to right.