Grace Tjan's Reviews > The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
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May 31, 10

bookshelves: 2009, mystery-thriller
Read in October, 2009

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
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

and

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium, #2) by Stieg Larsson http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
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Reading Progress

10/24/2009 page 50
8.31% "You can close up a serious wound with tape duct." 2 comments
10/28/2009 page 350
58.14% "Lots of bureacratic wrangling. Plus a mini lecture on Swedish free speech. Hopefully the pace will pick up later." 11 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 55) (55 new)


message 1: by Rauf (new)

Rauf
Ya already got this? Shiny


Grace Tjan Courtesy of Bettie here at GR who lend it to me (from Sweden!). : )


message 3: by Rauf (new)

Rauf whoa. honestly when it comes to books -recommendations,borrowing,freebies- ya can always count on goodreads members.


☯Bettie☯ [image error]

I truly hope you are wrong re #6


Grace Tjan Bettie wrote: "

I truly hope you are wrong re #6"


You better have friends like Plague if you ever have problems in that area! :D




☯Bettie☯ [image error]

Morning Sandybanks! - did you make yourself some meatballs yesterday?


Grace Tjan Night, bettie! No, i didn't. Can't find the lingonberry sauce here. I'll have to buy it at ikea next time i go to singapore.


☯Bettie☯ Sandybanks wrote: "Night, bettie! No, i didn't. Can't find the lingonberry sauce here. I'll have to buy it at ikea next time i go to singapore."

[image error]

Can you get cranberry? It's the same genus as lingon and just as tasty.

Sleep tight and sweet dreams

:O)



Grace Tjan I can get Cranberry jam. I'll try using that. : )


message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Got a kick out of reading your review.


message 11: by Grace (last edited Oct 31, 2009 07:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Grace Tjan Jennifer wrote: "Got a kick out of reading your review."

Thanks! : )

Do I know you from RGG?



message 12: by Ichaerus (new) - added it

Ichaerus It's too bad that this was a disappointment in comparison. Supposedly, it was supposed to be five books, not three, but the last two went unfinished when he died. Wonder if it would have been better as a mid-point novel, rather than a finale.


message 13: by Grace (last edited Nov 23, 2009 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Grace Tjan Ichaerus wrote: "It's too bad that this was a disappointment in comparison. Supposedly, it was supposed to be five books, not three, but the last two went unfinished when he died. Wonder if it would have been bet..."

Perhaps. But sadly we'll never know now. I read somewhere that Larsson intended the whole series to be 10 books long. He managed to finish 3 before he died, and reportedly left drafts of the 4th and 5th books in his laptop.


message 14: by Mike (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mike This review captured my feelings also. A Swedish friend sent it from Stockholm and I quickly dug in. Disappointment followed just as quickly. Your review was excellent, but I also thought it was best when exploring Erika Berger and some of the police from the 2nd book. Too many new characters were added, in my opinion. Wayyyyy too much time was spent on the history of Sapo and other secret governmental agencies(though some Swedes might find that part interesting). By far, this was the least tense of the trilogy. Maybe the following planned books would have been better, but we shall never know.


Grace Tjan Mike wrote: "This review captured my feelings also. A Swedish friend sent it from Stockholm and I quickly dug in. Disappointment followed just as quickly. Your review was excellent, but I also thought it was b..."

Mike, thanks for voting and commenting on my review. I agree that the numerous new characters make the story lost its focus. It's surely disappointing to have the series end up with a whimper, not a bang.


message 16: by Boof (new) - added it

Boof I got to page 70 and put it to one side - not permanently but I thought my brain was going to explode with all the names and places etc. There was so background, action, nothing: just a load of people who I couldn't even remember from the second book that I read a year ago.

It was hard work and I wasn't enjoying it, yet I gave 5 stars to botht the other two. Is it worth continuing?


Grace Tjan Boof, unfortunately the tedious police procedural does go on for another hundreds of pages. It was a chore to read for me too. The pace picks up a bit during Salander's trial, and there is one entertaining action scene involving her near the end of the book. You could just scan or even skip the dull stuffs, you won't be missing that much.


William Great review, Sandybanks! My feelings exactly. The book annoyed the hell out of me, especially with all its ultra-liberal Swedish bed hoppers delivering stupid "all men are rapists" lectures (and therefore implicitly, "all women are victims") like they're Harriet Harman. For some reason though, even though it often appears to have been written by a 14 year old, I couldn't put it down.

Is it really true about the duct tape, do you think?


Grace Tjan "Is it really true about the duct tape, do you think?"

You want to try to find out about it? lol


William Also,


8. The best coffee machine in the world is the Jura Impressa X7.

9. The P-83 Wanad pistol is Polish.


message 21: by Ifa (new)

Ifa Hi Sandybanks!
thanks for the review. You live in Jakarta, rite? I was considering on buying this novel, but your review makes me think twice. Does it worth buying? But I really want to know the end of their story.. Or perhaps you can lend me the book? ;p


Grace Tjan Ifa wrote: "Hi Sandybanks!
thanks for the review. You live in Jakarta, rite? I was considering on buying this novel, but your review makes me think twice. Does it worth buying? But I really want to know the en..."


Hi Ifa, glad that you like the review.

Is it worth it to buy this novel? It depends. Perhaps if you have read (and liked) the previous two novels you would want to read it anyway. Or if you're into police procedurals, you might enjoy this one.

And I don't own this novel, so I can't lend it to you.


Merty I agree Sandybanks, it was the satisfying ending that made me keep reading the book, I just KNEW that it had to be good based on all the positive reviews. Yes, it did drag at times, and the mystery of knowing who the bad guys sort of forced me to continue to read, it took me a month to finish this book because I had a hard time getting thru the middle but the last 10 chapters really picked up for me.
I love your review! You picked up on all the great tid bits in the novel!


Merty YES, it is so worth getting thru the third book if you loved the character Lisbeth and see justice served for her.

Boof wrote: "I got to page 70 and put it to one side - not permanently but I thought my brain was going to explode with all the names and places etc. There was so background, action, nothing: just a load of peo..."


Merty I wonder if we will ever see those?
Sandybanks wrote: "Ichaerus wrote: "It's too bad that this was a disappointment in comparison. Supposedly, it was supposed to be five books, not three, but the last two went unfinished when he died. Wonder if it wo..."


Grace Tjan Merty wrote: "I agree Sandybanks, it was the satisfying ending that made me keep reading the book, I just KNEW that it had to be good based on all the positive reviews. Yes, it did drag at times, and the myster..."

Hi Merty! How are you? Good to hear that you like the review.

Yes, the middle part is kind of draggy, isn't it. But fortunately, the ending is not. But I don't think that we get full closure at the end since Larsson obviously still wanted to continue their stories.

"I wonder if we will ever see those?"

Who knows? Perhaps if they can resolve the legal situation between Larrson's family (who has the legal right) and his ex (who keeps the laptop containing the fourth and fifth books).

PS: Max says WOOF to his doggie pal in Florida (sorry I forgot his name) : )


message 27: by Mike (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike Sandy, your review is hilarious and spot on. I especially appreciate number 5. Why is Blomqvist such a hound when he is so completely boring?

It's all in being a journalist I guess.

Thanks for the great review!


Eleanor I agree with everything you said in this review.

And also I didn't know there were going to be 5 books, now I understand why I had spent the whole of the 3rd book wondering when Camilla was going to show up and then was confused when she didn't - there's not much point to her in the 3 books other than to be Lisbeth's opposite


Grace Tjan Mike wrote: "Sandy, your review is hilarious and spot on. I especially appreciate number 5. Why is Blomqvist such a hound when he is so completely boring?

It's all in being a journalist I guess.

Thanks for ..."


Yes, that is the real mystery, isn't it? lol

There is a lot of Larrson in the books, and perhaps there is also some sort of wish fulfillment element in the Blomkvist character. Frankly, I find that aspect of Blomkvist's personality to be distracting --- I wanted to read about the mystery (and Salander), not about his prowess as a playboy.

Thanks for voting!


Wendy Enjoyed your list of things you learned, even if I had a more positive reaction to the book overall than you did.


message 31: by SimBim (new)

SimBim Funny! I just wanted to say- is there actually real romance in this book or do girls just get raped and stuff......?
Thnaks ;)


Grace Tjan Simirox wrote: "Funny! I just wanted to say- is there actually real romance in this book or do girls just get raped and stuff......?
Thnaks ;)"


There are relationships that are based on mutual consent, but I wouldn't call them romances. This is a grim 'n gritty crime thriller/revenge fantasy, so the 'romance' (if you want to call it that) is not written to make you swoon.

You're welcome! : )


message 33: by SimBim (new)

SimBim Okay, thanks.


Donna Duct tape is in fact an excellent emergency bandage. Terribly uncomfortable to remove, but toss some gauze between the wound & the tape and you're set. :)


message 35: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue Sohm Lisbeth Salander almost, but not quite, makes me want to get some funky piercings.


Allysia This is an exelent review and I couldn't agree more. I love the book series but there were a few odd things such as "5. Middle-aged, out of shape Swedish journalists are powerful chick magnets." I was like..why are all these women falling at his feet. Oh well, maybe it was the authors complex for himself or a personal opinion.


message 37: by Mike (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mike I just saw the movie for the last book and was pleasantly surprised. They cut out Micke's romp with the police officer and they focused on the trial very effectively. The worst book in my opinion became the best movie.


Ollie Murphy Agree, completely, it was a let-down for me too, precisely because all mystery was gone. Still worth finishing if you get this far, but not as good as it should have been.


message 39: by Vicki (new)

Vicki G I hope you're not planning on trying No. 1 any time soon. I'm a paramedic and, while you may be able to close the wound, you'll seal in an infection that almost definitely will kill the patient.

Sorry. I don't get sarcasm, if that's what No. 1 is, when it comes to doing things that can kill you.
But I also have a pet peeve about writers mangling medical information all the time. Only b/c there really are stupid people out there that can and HAVE tried the things they've read out of books.
But if the author was being sarcastic on purpose, that's different.


Grace Tjan Vicki wrote: "I hope you're not planning on trying No. 1 any time soon. I'm a paramedic and, while you may be able to close the wound, you'll seal in an infection that almost definitely will kill the patient.

S..."


I was being sarcastic, but I don't know what Stieg's intention was. A lot of the action scenes in the books are improbable (have you ever tried digging yourself out of a grave with a cigarette case?), so perhaps this duct tape thing is of the same ilk.

Thanks for commenting!


Hyderali Shaikh Awesome Sandy..I loved your review.


Grace Tjan Hyder wrote: "Awesome Sandy..I loved your review."

Thanks Hyder, and glad that you enjoy it.


Sarah Something else I learned from these novels:
1. The Swedes really LOVE their coffee!
2. They mostly eat sandwiches.


message 44: by Mike (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mike Ha Ha! The funniest statement I have ever heard about Swedes and their coffee is thus: "We don't drink coffee because we like it, we drink it because we have to." In every attempt to make satisfactory coffee for a Swedish person I have been told that is is not quite strong enough.


message 45: by Ali (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ali Khan The best comments ever. Really funny. Loved it :)


message 46: by Jc (new)

Jc Just need a bigger margin...


message 47: by Johan (new)

Johan Sandy, sekali lagi: membaca reviewmu jauh lebih menyenangkan drpd membaca bukunya.


Grace Tjan Johan wrote: "Sandy, sekali lagi: membaca reviewmu jauh lebih menyenangkan drpd membaca bukunya."

Hahaha. Trims, Johan.


message 49: by Elisa (new) - added it

Elisa Hehe. You forgot marmalade and cheese as Swedish fare, not to mention references to coffee approx every ten pages.

Good summary - lacked suspense but gave closure.


Behrang Despite all your negative and funny comments I found the book totally amazing ! I liked how the writer formed the characters and how he make it easy to feel connected to them. I did read so any fiction but when it come to this trilogy I find it with less cliche. i hope you know what i'm saying :)


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