Tatiana's Reviews > The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
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's review
Mar 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, mysteries-thrillers-horror
Recommended for: fans of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Read from March 08 to 15, 2010

To follow the style of the original title of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I think this book should have been named "A Woman Who Hates Men Who Hate Women." Too convoluted? Yes, but oh so true to the story!

On the surface, "The Girl Who Played with Fire" is about sex trafficking and prostitution in Sweden and high-ranking men who abuse underage girls. But, just like the first novel, it's not quite that simple - the story gradually morphs into a tale of sexual prejudice, abuse of power, and governmental conspiracy. And even more, this book is about Lisbeth Salander, her past, her roots and the events in her life that made her who she is - a violent vigilante who hates men who hate women.

It is a great book, much more so in the second half than in the first. We get to know and understand Salander much better, her personal story is painful and at the same time inspiring, her violent crusade against abusers is compelling.

However, as much as this book is a page-turner, the flaws can't be overlooked. The novel has a slow start - too many pages are dedicated to exploring everyone's sexual preferences/histories/partners/encounters, "testing" of Salander's newly acquired breast implants, etc. This part should have been trimmed down. Do I really need to know that Erika prefers doing IT with two men? Don't think so. The other thing that is even more apparent in this book is that Larsson has a habit of repeating himself, narrating the same events several times by multiple characters. Editing should have taken care of it. And my final qualm, this novel just seems a little incomplete, there are some loose ends left and it definitely lacks an epilogue that would tie the story together.

Regardless of the flaws, "The Girl Who Played with Fire" is a worthy sequel and I think fans of the first book will enjoy the second just the same. I did and am now anxiously awaiting the release of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest."
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Reading Progress

03/08/2010 page 60
03/10/2010 page 135
17.95% "Free love galore"
03/12/2010 page 225
29.92% "So, after describing everyone's sexual histories/preferences/partners, finally a crime story!"
03/12/2010 page 225
29.92% "So, after describing everyone's sexual histories/preferences/partners for 200 pages, finally a crime story!"
03/14/2010 page 285
37.9% 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Hannah (last edited Mar 17, 2010 06:05AM) (new)

Hannah Good review, but I don't think after reading your synopsis that I'd read it.
Sounds too disturbing. I'm a wimpy reader, but I prefer to think of myself as a cozy reader - lol :)

Tatiana It was super disturbing even for me, kind of like "Let the Right One In." Those Swedish writers are freaky

message 3: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Tatiana wrote: "It was super disturbing even for me, kind of like "Let the Right One In." Those Swedish writers are freaky"

Must be all those cold, dark winter nights.

Carlo A very nice and humorous review, with which I mostly agree.

message 5: by Frank (new)

Frank To me, this book felt like page after page of male-bashing. So many men are made to look like misogynistic jerks, so much more stupid than the women in their lives.

And Lisbeth is often made to look like a tragic heroine...she hacks into people's computers, for cyring out loud!!! The woman is not a nice person.

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