Lisa Eskra's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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Oct 29, 09

Read in August, 2009

The first book was for the most part plot-driven. The 40-year old mystery took a while to unfold, but was interesting when it did. So was Lisbeth, although she wasn't the main focus. Enter, The Girl Who Played With Fire. The story has now turned character-driven with Lisbeth as the protagonist. But instead of having much of a plot of any character revelations about her early on, we read about her buying a new apartment, grocery shopping, and what furniture she picked out at IKEA in *great* detail. Seriously, you could go down to the store and decorate the same way if you wanted, that's the level of description he gave. I was bored out of my mind. This goes on for a staggering 172 pages.

Mystery thriller? Surely you jest! This book wasn't a mystery whatsoever for me. The fact that the police and everyone else working to solve the case chose to ignore it was pitiful.

The turning point didn't happen until page 172, which was about 100 pages too late to hold the interest of any reader who's not a masochist. The quick pace and interest it generates rapidly disappears until 375.Really. It was more bloated than a rotting whale.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a better book. I wanted to throw this one against the wall a few times.
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Comments (showing 1-18)




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Katie Rayl Geeze, I thought I was not going to find anyone else who felt about this book the way I did. You nailed it. The story was fine, but not great, and Larssen took WAY too long to tell it. Like he had a page quota to fill.


message 17: by Drew (new) - rated it 4 stars

Drew Perry Same here. I truly enjoyed the story, but it was not worth the effort to read. It wasn't until we meet Paolo Roberto and hear of his deeds in the warehouse did I finish a chapter, put down the book and think, "Now THAT'S good writing." And how far in was that? It may have something to do with a cultural difference in Swedish writing, or it may just be the translation, but this book failed to keep me hooked. I kept falling out of the story, easily distracted by any and everything around me. As such it took three times as long to read as it should have. And I'm left thinking, "Yes, overall it was good. But I could have read THREE other books by now."


Cathy (cathepsut) I almost tossed the book halfway through and I am now skimming through the rest out of pure stubbornness. I'm glad I am not the only person on the planet that had issues with this book!


message 15: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy I just wrote a review very similar to yours! I liked it a bit more in the middle than you did, but I agree with everything you said!


message 14: by Missclimpson (new)

Missclimpson I read 175 pages and decided that was enough. This book seriously needs a major edit. The movie is better - it cut out all that IKEA junk and the girl didn't get a boob job.


Heather Letalien Costa LOL a little harsh but there is definitely truth to your review. It was a good story if you cut all the fat off. Also I think they could've done with out the boob job too. Really there is more to appearance than breasts.


Chazzle Amen, Lisa Eskra. Where was the editor? Why isn't there reels and reels of film on the cutting room floor, so to speak?


message 11: by Veka (new) - rated it 5 stars

Veka Vex I totally agree with Lisa Eskra. :)


Charles I felt almost exactly the same way. I finished it hoping it would get better, but it was nowhere near the level of the first book, which isn't saying much.


Milah I agree with all the above. The first book was better. This was just a blip on the map. Long and drawn out for no reason.


Nick Johnson We are the few, the proud, the ones who read Larson and came away with our brains not turned into that rotting fish delicacy that Scandinavians eat. Keep the faith!


Krista Completely agree with you!!


DavidO Ah, skimming recommended!


message 5: by J (new) - rated it 1 star

J I couldn't agree more :) I was really surprised with all the high ratings here. I almost started to think I was the only one who didn't enjoy it :)


Veka Vex I gave all three books to my coworker and after she read second book,shetold me she like second book morethen first.
Few of us hate it but there is always someone who would like that now infamous second book. ;)


Alex Guillory I agree they left a lot of fat on it, and some of it could've been done without. But I also think you're being a bit harsh. Their were seriously exciting parts of the book, and as a whole I think it was wetter than the first (and the first was phenomenal). I liked that she had breast implants, it shows a softer side that we rarely see in Lisbeth, and adds to her character. The parts about shopping did drag on, but an optimist would see it as Lisbeth coming into a new, more adult, part of her life. The most trimming probably could've come in the long gap after the couple is murdered and the police begin the investigation. We don't hear anything from salander for a while. Maybe it doesn't deserve the five I have it, but I don't think it deserves a one either.


message 2: by Caleb (new) - added it

Caleb can't agree more


message 1: by Ace (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ace Varkey i also agree with you -- but didn't you think the millennium parts of 'the girl with the dragon tattoo' dragged on as well? i was so bored reading those parts -- seems to me the author likes to dwell on things and did not have an editor....what think you?


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