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Millennium #2

The Girl Who Played with Fire

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The Expose
Millenium publisher Mikael Blomkvist has made his reputation exposing corrupt establishment figures. So when a young journalist approaches him with an investigation into sex trafficking, Blomkvist cannot resist waging war on the powerful figures who control this lucrative industry.

The Murder
When a young couple is found dead in their Stockholm apartment, it's a straightforward job for Inspector Bublanski and his team. The killer left the weapon at the scene - and the fingerprints on the gun point in only one direction.

The Girl Who Played with Fire
Ex-security analyst Lisbeth Salander is wanted for murder. Her history of unpredictable and vengeful behaviour makes her an official danger to society - but no-one can find her. The only way Salander can be reached is by computer. But she can break into almost any network she chooses...

738 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 1, 2006

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About the author

Stieg Larsson

111 books15.3k followers
Stieg Larsson (born as Karl Stig-Erland Larsson) was a Swedish journalist and writer who passed away in 2004.

As a journalist and editor of the magazine Expo , Larsson was active in documenting and exposing Swedish extreme right and racist organisations. When he died at the age of 50, Larsson left three unpublished thrillers and unfinished manuscripts for more. The first three books ( The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo , The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest ) have since been printed as the Millenium series. These books are all bestsellers in Sweden and in several other countries, including the United States and Canada.

Witnessed a rape when he was 15, and was helpless to stop it. This event haunted him for the rest of his life. The girl being raped was named Lisbeth, which he later used as the name of the heroine on his Millenium trilogy. Sexual violence against women is also a recurring theme in his work.

Personal quote:
To exact revenge for yourself or your friends is not only a right, it's an absolute duty.

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5 stars
408,197 (45%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 36,711 reviews
Profile Image for Grace Tjan.
187 reviews509 followers
December 20, 2011

What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

1. Swedish billionaires furnish their multi-million dollar apartments with IKEA --- well, at least ONE peculiar Swedish billionaire.

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Poang Chair $40

2. Asperger's Syndrome may give you the idea that a T-shirt that says ‘I’M AN ALIEN’ is acceptable office wear, but also photographic memory and phenomenal mathematical ability.

3. "Sweden is one of the countries that imports the most prostitutes per capita from Russia and the Baltics". Naughty Swedes.

4. The best computer in the world is a Mac, but no matter what computer you have, Asphyxia WILL suck up all your digital secrets.

5. You can live on Billy's Pan Pizza for days on end and STILL look like an anorexic teenager.

6. All rapists and violent sex offenders should have these words tattooed on their stomachs: "I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT AND A RAPIST". The tattoo should be done by an amateur and not be removable even by laser. Repeat offenders will be tattooed on their foreheads. It is recommended that the subject be tasered first before undergoing this involuntary procedure.

7. "There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer". Buy a good-sized one from the hardware store and keep it in your bag always.

8. Failing that, a girl must always have the following ready:
a. keys (to scratch an opponent's face);
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b. a can of mace, though it's illegal in Sweden; and

c. a taser (a 50,000 volts jolt to the crotch will incapacitate even the burliest of men).

9. "Men could be as big as a house and made of granite, but they all had balls in the same place". A crucial fact to remember in a fight, especially if you are fighting a 300 pounds, six foot six giant with hands as big as frying pans.


10. A cigarette case is a useful tool for digging yourself out of a grave.

My review of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3) by Stieg Larsson : http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson : http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.5k followers
October 15, 2021
I was worried I wouldn't like this one as much as book one but it was still great!

I love how Larsson has no issues writing very misogynistic characters without coming off as misogynistic himself. Some authors should take note.

With that said, while I understand that Salander is a morally grey character, I don't understand why the author felt the need for her to have sex with a 16yo when she's 25...
Profile Image for  Teodora .
331 reviews1,774 followers
September 22, 2023
4.45/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

“Salander was the woman who hated men who hate women.”

Lisbeth Salander will always be my hero and that’s that.

I took a pretty long pause between The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and this and I thought it would take me longer to get into the story but boy, this second book of the Millennium series was on fire.

This is not a light read and it is definitely uncomfortable and sick, with some content warning attached to it, but after you get through the first book, you kind of expect this to happen here too and even on a larger and more hideous scale.
And this is, in fact, exactly what you get from The Girl Who Played with Fire.

You could actually say that it is…explosive. (Read the book and then come back here and laugh at my pun please.)


The title of the book really makes sense, but only after you collect your jaw off the floor for the second or third time. I have to say that I was wondering how exactly was that going to be related to the action. Well, because I was busy thinking about everything else, I ignored facts that might have been obvious from the beginning and got sucker-punched because it came like a revelation over me.

There is a certain vibration of this book. It is the same kind of humming and buzzing you get after you shake the hell out of a soda can. And when you open it, well, good luck to you. This book was that soda can all right.

Human trafficking is the main theme here and it is presented as an issue that must be eradicated. Young girls from poor countries are tricked into believing that they will have a better future for them or for their families. They become nothing more than dependent on the monster that took over their lives using pretty words and sweet promises at first.
The book calls out this issue. And the characters fought with a cause against it.

“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”

By the end of this, everything goes to hell and back, almost literally. One or two times I thought I won’t be able to keep up with everything anymore. It went shock after shock, gasp after gasp. Maybe I am too easily impressed, but this is exactly how I felt at the end. It almost felt surreal.


The nice touch here though - as nice as it can be - is the amount of revelatory information about one person’s life, which probably tries to prove a point – don’t judge someone before hearing their story. Our actions are defined by external factors that lashed at our skin back when it was soft and unblemished.

As in the first book, the best thing that could ever happen was Lisbeth Salander. If you thought I loved her before, think again, because this bad bitch just stole my heart.

“Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun.”

The level of badassery Lisbeth exudes in this book is something beyond almost everything I’ve ever encountered. She is a top-level, Mensa-problem-solving-while-drinking-morning-coffee kind of genius and she is inspiring. She is smart, she is strong, she is fierce and she doesn’t give two shits about anything.

And on top of all that, she’s a good person who has been through a lot.
I am quite sure now that she’s some sort of mild goth Wonder Woman – possibly even immortal.

She’s just phenomenal and if I don’t sound like I am in love with her already, spoiler alert, I am. She’s one hell of a character.


I didn’t think I would like this as much as I liked the first book, but I actually did because I felt a certain kind of development in the story and plot and character development, even though both books are structured to have complex plotlines and plot twists and real characters.

It was definitely brutal. The reality is presented as raw and rough as it gets, and the main theme of it is not on the pleasant side. It is dirty and dark and twisted, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and true.

I do think that this book was more of a warning sign turned into a masterpiece and I can say a thank you to Mr Larrson for thinking of that and leaving it to us. But it is definitely a read for everyone who wants to have a feel of the ugly underworld.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Profile Image for Lisa Eskra.
Author 3 books9 followers
October 29, 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.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
785 reviews12.5k followers
April 26, 2023
Stieg Larsson doesn't really do subtle. If he thinks an issue is important, he will shout it from the rooftops. With a megaphone. But since he is condemning misogyny and violence towards women, I'm ok with that.

"Salander was the woman who hated men who hate women."
This book, much more than its predecessor, focuses on the tiny-but-tough Lisbeth Salander. We learn quite a bit about the fascinating and horrific backstory that led to Salander developing her unique, defensive, prickly personality.
"Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun."

But don't let the focus on Lisbeth fool you - essentially, this book should have been simply titled Men Who Hate Women, Part II (Men Who Hate Women was the original title of the first Swedish book, before it was changed to include a more marketable dragon tattoo) as its main theme remains the same as its predecessor's, repeated and restated countless times. And that's why I liked this otherwise far from perfect book.

Yet again, Larsson determinedly exposes the unlikable aspects of society - misogyny and adherence to judgmental standards and gender norms that are ever-present even in the European paradise of Sweden. The surface mystery is just that - a plot device, an excuse to get a new angle on Larsson's favorite topic. We see the various shades and sides of hatred towards women, especially if they try to get out of the bounds that society neatly places for them. This is reflected first and foremost in the awful treatment that Salander receives, but also in the treatment of Lisbeth's mother, Sonia Bodig, and the helpless and easily ignored by the society victims of sex trafficking.
"When all the media assertions were put together, the police appeared to be hunting for a psychotic lesbian who had joined a cult of Satanists that propagandized for S&M sex and hated society in general and men in particular."
I loved the no-compromise and no-subtlety message that this book delivers on the subjects that are indeed not subtle and should not be compromised on.

However, I could not help but sigh and eyeroll at Larsson's less-than-perfect prose. His books could have really benefited from the generous use of editor's red pen. (But I do understand that these books were published posthumously and therefore probably not much was cut out out of respect to the dead author.) My gripes are similar to those of many other readers - the tediousness of every minute detail, the never-ending parade of brand names reading like an ad at times, and what feels like the entire Ikea catalog making a special appearance. This diary-like filler could have been easily cut out, leaving a much shorter and much sharper book. I also giggled at the author's self-insertion and clear wish-fulfillment in the memorable figure of incorruptible and irresistible journalist Blomkvist. And how can I forget a grating pet-peeve of not getting a medical condition right: .

The final grade is 3 stars - full marks for the awesome message of the story, but points taken off for far-from-perfect execution.
"His attitude had always been that if a woman clearly indicated that she did not want anything more to do with him, he would go on his way. Not respecting such a message would in his eyes, show a lack of respect for her."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
November 4, 2021
Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden = The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2), Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second novel in the Millennium series by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. It was published posthumously in Swedish in 2006 and in English in January 2009.

The book features many of the characters who appeared in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005), among them the title character, Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant computer hacker and social misfit, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of Millennium magazine.

The novel is formally divided into a prologue followed by four parts:
Part 1 – Irregular Equations.
Part 2 – From Russia with Love.
Part 3 – Absurd Equations.
Part 4 – Terminator Mode.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «دختری با نشان اژدها»، «دختری که با آتش بازی کرد»؛ نویسنده: استیگ لارسن (لارسون)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه جولای سال2014میلادی

عنوان: دختری که با آتش بازی کرد - کتاب دوم؛ نویسنده: استیگ لارسن (لارسون)؛ مترجم: لیلا حاجی بابا؛ تهران، نشرگستر، سال1389؛ در558ص؛ شابک9786005883282؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان سوئد - سده 21م

عنوان: دختری که با آتش بازی کرد - کتاب دوم؛ نویسنده: استیگ لارسن (لارسون)؛ مترجم: ندا نامور کهن؛ تهران، نشر قطره، 1393؛ در 747ص؛ شابک 9786001194610؛

عنوان: دختری با نشان اژدها؛ نویسنده: استیگ لارسن (لارسون)؛ مترجم: آزاده حیدریان؛ تهران، چکاوک، پگاه، 1393؛ در 670ص؛شابک 9789648957402؛

‬این رمان که پس از انتشار نسخه‌ ی «انگلیسی» آن، در سال 2009میلادی، پرفروش‌ترین کتاب سال در «بریتانیا» شد، شاهکاری هیجان‌انگیز، پلیسی و برملا‌ کننده‌ ی ناعدالتی‌های اجتماعی است؛ «میکائیل بلومکویست»، ناشر مجله‌ ی «میلنیوم»، تصمیم می‌گیرد، عملیات قاچاق انسان و تجارت جنسی گسترده‌ ای را، برملا کند؛

هشدار: برای خوانشگرانی که میخواهند کتاب را برای نخستین بار بخوانند، لطفا از خوانش ریویو خودداری فرمائید؛

یکروز پیش از چاپ گزارش، دو نفر، به طرز وحشیانه‌ ای، به قتل می‌رسند، و مشخص می‌شود، که اثر انگشت روی آلت قتاله از آنِ دوست او «لیزبت سالاندر»، هکر نابغه‌ است؛ «بلومکویست» که به بی‌گناهی «لیزبت سالاندر» باور دارد، به جستجو و پژوهش در این‌باره می‌پردازد؛ در این میان، خود «سالاندر»، وارد یک بازی کشنده‌ ی موش و گربه، می‌شود، که او را، وادار به رویارویی با گذشته‌ ی تاریکش می‌کند؛ ...؛

نقل از پیش درآمد: (او در حالیکه به پشت خوابیده بود، با بندهای چرمی، به یک تخت باریک فلزی، بسته شده؛ بند روی قفسه ی سینه ی او، محکم شده بود؛ دستهایش به کناره های تخت، بسته شده بود؛ خیلی وقت پیش، از تلاش برای رهایی، دست کشیده بود؛ بیدار بود، اما چشمانش بسته بودند؛ اگر چشمانش را باز میکرد، خود را در تاریکی مییافت؛ تنها نور موجود، نوار باریکی بود، که از بالای در، نفوذ کرده بود؛ مزه ی بدی در دهانش احساس میکرد، و خیلی دلش میخواست، مسواک بزند؛ به صدای قدمها گوش میداد، که نشانه ی آمدن او بود؛ نمیدانست چقدر دیروقت بود، اما حس میکرد، برای ملاقات با او خیلی دیر شده است؛ با یک لرزه ی ناگهانی در تختش، چشمانش را باز کرد؛ انگار دستگاهی برقی، در ساختمان راه افتاده، و باعث لرزش تختش شده بود؛ بعد از چند لحظه، دیگر مطمئن نبود، که اینها تصورات او بودند، یا واقعیت بود؛ که در ذهنش یک روز دیگر را، علامت زد؛ چهل و سومین روز اسارتش بود؛ بینی او میخارید، او سرش را چرخاند، تا آنرا به بالش بمالاند؛ عرق میریخت؛ هوای اتاق گرم و خفه بود؛ لباس خواب ساده ای بر تن داشت، که زیرش جمع شده بود؛ اگر رانش را حرکت میداد، میتوانست لباس را، با دو انگشتش بگیرد، و یک طرف آن را، دو یا سه سانتیمتر پایین بکشد؛ اما لباس، هنوز زیر گودی کمرش، جمع شده بود؛ تشک ناهموار بود؛ تنهایی، حواس پنج گانه ی او را، آنقدر قوی کرده بود، که در حالت عادی، متوجه آنها نمیشد؛ بندی که با آن بسته شده بود، آن قدر شل بود، که میتوانست حالتش را تغییر دهد، و به بغل بخوابد، اما اصلاً احساس راحتی نمیکرد، چون آنوقت یکی از دستهایش، پشتش میماند، که باعث میشد، بازویش خواب برود.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 12/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,310 reviews120k followers
June 25, 2020
In the second of his three volume series (well, at least it was three until Larsson's heirs hired someone to make a fourth from his notes) centered on the remarkable researcher and hacker Lisbeth Salandar and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, Larsson has delivered a totally engrossing page-turner. About to publish a book that reveals many dirty secrets concerning the international sex trade in Sweden, Blomkvist is caught up in a deadly race for the truth when his two authors are murdered and Salandar is accused of the crime. Larsson touches on corruption at all levels in this tale of women used and abused, treated like any other imported illegal product and powerless to protest. From low level johns to misogynist cops, from dark psychologists to supersecret intelligence agencies, many layers of Swedish society come under Larsson’s microscope. It is not a pretty picture.

Stieg Larsson - from famourauthors.org

Salandar, back in Sweden after an extended sabbatical, has grown somewhat from the character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but remains hard-core, justifiably paranoid, blessed with almost magical techie powers (maybe a bit too magical), and an impressive command of several forms of combat. She is, as usual, totally victimized and misportrayed by the powers that be, and needs all her savvy to try to right the latest wrongs. Blomkvist is perplexed by Salandar’s unwillingness to communicate with him, but he has had girl-troubles before. He remains what he was in volume 1, a dedicated, moral actor trying to use his skills to make Sweden a better, or at least more honest, place.

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander - from wikimedia

Blomkvist and Salandar are characters one can care about and the subject matter makes for pretty stark, sometimes cartoonish, delineations between good and evil. Maybe a bit more ambiguity would have worked too. But that is a quibble. This is a fun read, a book you will not want to put down, one that leaves you panting for volume 3.

My reviews of other Larsson books
-----The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1)
-----The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium #3)
Profile Image for Brad.
Author 2 books1,714 followers
August 4, 2010
I am confident that Stieg Larsson has a reason for this, but Lisbeth Salander is not much of a heroine. Let's list her transgressions from The Girl Who Played With Fire (and these will be deliberately out of context):

1. She forces herself on a 16 year old boy in Granada.
2. She kills a man on the beach during a hurricane.
3. She shuts out Blomkvist for a very long time for a perceived slight, giving him no explanation.
4. She fails to take or show the necessary care with her ex-guardian after his stroke.
5. She alienates everyone else who cares about her.
6. She lives off billions that she stole.
7. She invades the apartment of her "guardian" and threatens his life in the middle of the night.
8. She endangers the lives of friends and innocents.
9. She very nearly burned her father to death when she was a teenager.
10. She pulls a gun on the owner of a car rental agency and shuts him in a broom closet to control him.
11. She commits multiple computer violations, including the hacking of government computers.
12. She carries and uses illegal weapons.
13. She is genuinely ultraviolent.
14. She shoots a man in the foot after macing his eyes, and she tasers another in the testicles.
15. She steals a motorcycle.
16. She chops her father's knee and skull with an axe.
17. She is vengeful in a way that makes Edmond Dantès look like a sissy.

Let's face it, Lisbeth is more than a little bit nasty. And taken a step further, it is safe to say that she is not particularly likable. She is cold, calculating, emotionally irrational, mean, detached, abrasive, unapproachable, unfriendly, selfish, mercenary, vengeful, and more than a few other things most of us would classify as unlikable.

Out of context, Lisbeth Salander is the kind of person who most people would be more than happy to see locked up forever. And if all we had to go on were the reports of newspapers and descriptions of trials, we'd all see it as a failure of the "justice system" if she went free.

Yet we cheer for her in the Millenium Trilogy; we can't seem to help ourselves. And therein lies what Stieg Larsson is trying to tell us with his challenging protagonist -- context is everything.

Larsson isn't simply writing a compelling series of thrillers (and I haven't been so locked into a book, as I was with GWPWF, for a very long time). He isn't simply fishing for a film deal. He isn't just sitting down to write a vapid bestseller. I'd even go so far as to say that Stieg Larsson is not a hack. Nowhere near. He is criticizing the very efficacy of what we so proudly call the "rule of law."

Larsson is suggesting that the "rule of law" fails because it has no room for context. It deals in absolutes (unless you're one of the super-rich or super-influential), and it doesn't give a damn whether you perceived a threat before you lit someone on fire; it doesn't care whether the sixteen year old you're having sex with is mature, in love with you and is totally willing; it doesn't care that you stole the car or killed someone to save a life; it doesn't care that you withheld evidence from the police to protect yourself or someone you love; it doesn't care that you hacked into computers for altruistic reasons; it doesn't care that you were bred to ultraviolence through nature and nurture; it doesn't care about you and it doesn't care about context. It just doesn't care, and because it doesn't care Larsson suggests that we should have a healthy disdain for the "rule of law" and recognize its terrible shortcomings because it is the structure we have to live with whether we like it or not.

Yet with all this, The Girl Who Played With Fire is -- most importantly -- a cracking read. It is fast paced, cinematic in its noirishness, full of suspense, has a genuine twist or two (one of which actually took me by surprise), a cast of characters it is almost impossible not to love and hate (as the mood takes you) -- even thought they are all rather static -- and it ends with a cliff hanger of the first order (I am guessing this is a problem for some readers, but I am a fan of the cliff hanger).

What a shame Stieg Larsson passed from us so soon. I could have read his books for the rest of my life.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,620 reviews988 followers
October 27, 2021
2020 review: Unbelievably good! Beyond doubt one of the best sequels that I have ever read. After the heights of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I didn't think it was humanly possible to maintain or surpass the levels reached by that first book, but Larsson does, and does it with aplomb!

Looking at a GIF from the film above, reminds me that I will never watch any of the movies. This is, and always be a masterpiece book of neo feminist noir crime/thriller fiction for me.

At the start of the book investigative publication Millennium is sniffing out a big story around the sex trade; Lisbeth is overseas; Nils Bjurman is still seething; and lots of people in positions of authority are going to be exposed. One name connects all this, Zala? Who is Zala?

Like the first book, it often feels like the narrator is voicing over a documentary, and it works just as well. We get insight into some of this realities' back stories in this, which blew my mind, but also seamlessly connected the two books. The trial by media; the unstoppable antagonists; the murder squad; so much of this was pitch perfect, and then there's the spellbindingly captivating storytelling. And the gift that just keeps on giving? ...One of the greatest characters ever put down on paper... Lisbeth Salander.
10 out of 12, back to back Five Star reads for this series.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books249k followers
November 12, 2019
He had come.
He smelled of aftershave.
She hated the smell of him.
He...observed her for a long time.
She hated his silence.
Then he spoke to her. He had a dark, clear voice that stressed, pedantically, each word.
She hated his voice.
He laid the back of a moist hand on her forehead and ran his fingers along her hairline in a gesture that was probably intended to be friendly.
She hated his touch.

Lisbeth Salander is simply unforgettable.
 photo LisbethSalander_zpsc867bfba.jpg

I read the first book in this trilogy the year it was published in English and I remember the book so vividly that even five years later I transitioned into this book as if I’d just finished reading Dragon last week. Salander is 4’11”, but she walks across the literary landscape with such giant strides it is impossible to ignore her. People who have never read the books or seen the movies have a vague idea of who she is. People who have watched the movies or read the books may eventually forget her name decades from now, but they will not forget her persona; her verve; her courage.

Now before we start feeling all warm and fuzzy about Salander there are few problems with knowing her. If you cross her she might throw a Molotov cocktail through your window. She is unreliable, unrelenting, and if you own a computer she will know everything about you. She is a hacker extraordinaire and even though she is extremely private, almost maniacal about her own personal information, she has no problem hacking into your personal affairs after all YOU should have been more careful with it. Despite her bristly exterior and her tendency to answer questions with a stare or a monosyllabic response you might find yourself attracted to her. She has a lesbian friend Mimmi who tries to explain Salander’s relationship with sex.

”Apart from the fact that you’re not a dyke. You’re probably bisexual. But most of all you’re sexual--you like sex and you don’t care about what gender, You’re an entropic chaos factor.”

ENTROPIC CHAOS FACTOR, sounds mathematical and math does play a role in this novel, but my version of what Mimmi meant by that statement is that Salander is a person who will parachute in out of the blue, shag you until your nucleus becomes a comet, and then leave before you’ve had time to light your first coitus joint.

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”A root of an equation is a number which substituted
into the equation instead of an unknown converts
the equation into an identity. The root is said to satisfy
the equation. Solving an equation implies finding
all of its roots. An equation that is always satisfied,
no matter the choice of values for its unknowns,
is called an identity.”

Salander solves complex math equations for relaxation purposes. Throughout the novel she is pursuing the answer to Fermat’s last theorem. Now in the 1990s Andrew Wiles solved the problem using the world’s most advanced computer programme which sounds like cheating to me. When she does figure out Fermat’s intention it is the only time I can remember Stieg Larsson recording his literary heroine...giggling.

Stieg Larsson is an interesting story. He delivered three novels to his publisher and shortly thereafter died from a heart attack, attributed to walking up seven flights of stairs. This unexpected demise helped launch the books onto the bestseller lists. We are morbid aren’t we. He was an investigative reporter by trade and there was an inquiry into whether foul play was involved. It seems he was just a 50 year old man that fate placed a situation in front of him, an out of service elevator, that provided the proper strain to his heart to kill him. What endears these novels to me, even more, is that he wrote them in the evenings as an escape from regular life. Now, there are issues with these books, the use of name brands over and over. You will tire of hearing Powerbook, IKEA and Billy’s Pan Pizza. If Larsson ate as many Billy’s Pan Pizza as Salander does in the book that might be the doughy rope that squeezed his heart.

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Billy's Pan Pizza is YUMMY!!!

Click the link to check out the Billy's Pan Pizza television commercial. It is a hoot.

Despite any issues I had with the writing, and sometimes it was clunky, the raw power of the writing and a compelling plot made those issues irrelevant.

Salander gets along just fine with the majority of the population, but she hates men who hate women. She ran into several of those in the first book and one in particular is seared into my memory, Nils Bjurman. He is the lawyer that has been assigned to her competency case. She was declared incompetent by the courts and assigned Bjurman to take care of her affairs. Salander is a confident person sometimes too confident and in book one she underestimates her ability to control a situation with Bjurman. He turns the tables on her and brutally raped her. With a presence of mind that is beyond most of the rest of us she recorded the rape and even as he is doing the most sadistic things to her she is going over and over in her head where she made the mistake and what she was going to do to him if he allowed her to live. Interesting enough she lets him live, but holds the video over his head like the sword of Damocles.
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Besides the video she does administer her own form of brutal vengeance, but there is a practicality to her decision not to kill him. The courts would simply assign her another mentor that she doesn’t have control of and of course she would have to weather an investigation into his murder. In this book she makes a similar mistake in her pursuit for the man responsible for inspiring the rage and the violence that swirls around her.

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Mikael Blomkvist is back and when his team of writers unearth a white slavery ring he finds himself battling a controversial issue that may impact the highest levels of society. Underage girls are being brought from Russia and forced into prostitution. It would be an easy assumption to make that every member of society would want to eliminate a situation that allows young girls to be exploited against their will. One of the problems is that men in government, in positions of power, enjoy the availability of such young, beautiful girls for their own sexual perversions. Despite the fact that Salander is not talking to Blomkvist, he is baffled as to why, she is drawn into the investigation because of the use of the name of one man... Zalachenko. As she becomes the main focus of the investigation she is forced to go underground, a skill she is particularly adept at, and as the rocket fueled plot comes to a conclusion this reader couldn’t have put this book down even if the building was burning down around my ears because Salander... always... puts out a fire with gasoline.

See these tears so blue
An ageless heart
that can never mend
These tears can never dry
A judgement made
can never bend
See these eyes so green
I can stare for a thousand years
Just be still with me
You wouldn't believe what I've been thru

You've been so long
Well, it's been so long
And I've been putting out fire
with gasoline
putting out fire with gasoline
David Bowie
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,966 followers
August 1, 2017
Very short review due to the glitches on GR.

This is the second book in the trilogy. I loved it and I loved the movie. The book bogs down a little but it's all good.

Lisbeth is back and doing her own thing.

Lisbeth has been away from Mikael for some time. But, they come back together when Lisbeth is accused of killing that jerk rapist of hers.


Lisbeth looks into a sex trafficking ring that Mikael is involved in and finds out some things about her past she didn't want to know.

Her evil arse father is alive and she has a brother and they need to be taken out.

But this almost gets her killed.

Thank God Mikael was able to find her!
Profile Image for ♡ ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ♡.
2,747 reviews449 followers
January 9, 2022
Der Journalist Mikael Blomkvist arbeitet gemeinsam mit seinem neuen Kollegen und Informant Dag Svensson sowie dessen Freundin Mia an einem brisanten Fall von Mädchenhandel. Da werden Dag und Mia ermordet, und Mikaels frühere Freundin und Partnerin Lisbeth Salander ist die Mordverdächtige!
Mikael versucht alles, Lisbeth´s Unschuld zu beweisen...
Auch der zweite Teil der "Millennium"-Trilogie hat mir sehr gut gefallen, allerdings ist es hier wie beim ersten Buch. Spannend wird es meiner Meinung nach erst nach den ersten 200 Seiten. Teilweise ist der Erzählstil mir ein wenig zu umfassend und zu ausführlich...
Profile Image for Ken.
2,207 reviews1,330 followers
February 4, 2019
I’ll always consider the Millennium series as a trilogy, this is due to all three original novels being adapted into movies in 2009.

It’s only taken me 10 years to finally read the books!

It’s true that the second volume isn’t as strong as the first, but the character of Lisbeth is so strong and fascinating that it’s hard to not get hooked by her exploits.

The trilogy is so good because this second volume explores her backstory and the reader gets a better sense of what makes her tick.
This part is crucial to enjoying the third outing in the series.

It’s testament to Larsson’s writing that I was instantly drawn into the story way before the main plot of Lisbeth being accused of three murders and subsequently on the run takes shape.

It probably helps that it’s been a decade since I’d watched Noomi Rapace’s portrayal of Lisbeth, it helped to give enough distance for me to really enjoy these novels a fresh.
That’s why I have to give this volume the same rating, as they are a complete set.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,186 reviews213 followers
June 26, 2019
Awesome! Incredible! Inspiring! 10 of 10 stars!
Profile Image for Lazaros.
271 reviews525 followers
August 4, 2015
A downright masterpiece. The action sequences, the constant tension continually building up to lead to a tremendous ending. Lisbeth freaking Salander, she may actually be one of the best, and most complex characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. Introverted, extremely genial, and dangerous if need be, she's the epitome of the formula to the creation of a super-intriguing character.

Like the first book, this was a complete investigation-kind-of-book. But unlike the first one, this has nothing to do with third parties, and everything to do with Lisbeth. It's a more personal book, and it cements the core of this series, which is Lisbeth. There are lots of new information about Lisbeth, and she becomes somewhat less enigmatic as we begin to get a glimpse at the troublesome, dark past.

Sex trafficking, Russian hitman, murders. What else does a book need to be freaking thrilling? Salander in this book becomes obsessed with math, she takes it up as a hobby, and up until the last moments when her life is hanging by a thread, she finds the solution to a mathematical problem. Such a peculiar protagonist, I feel constantly intrigued by her and I always have to expect the unexpected from her.

Up until half of the book, nothing extraordinary really happens, it's just plot building up but there's lots of Salander, so it's interesting and gripping to read. Then, at about halfway into the book everything changes. A police hunt begins. You'll have to guess who the hunted is. And how the hell they ended up into this mess.

Surprisingly, there's less Blomkvist in this than the first book. Although, he's still a prime character to the story, he takes the role of the secondary character rather than the first one, as we saw him in the first book. In the entirety of the book, Blomkvist and Salander hardly ever meet.

So, summing everything up, I'll admit that I liked this better than the first because of the more personal storyline the author followed.

Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
July 8, 2023
Español - English

El libro comienza con Lisbeth Salander alejada de Estocolmo y de los problemas que había enfrentado en el pasado. Sin embargo, pronto se encuentra envuelta en una nueva trama cuando se ve acusada de un triple asesinato. A medida que Mikael Blomkvist investiga el caso para probar la inocencia de Lisbeth, descubre una red de corrupción y secretos que involucra a altos funcionarios del gobierno y a figuras poderosas.

Conocemos los traumas y abusos sufridos por Lisbeth en su infancia, lo cual arroja luz sobre su personalidad reservada y su desconfianza hacia los demás. Mientras tanto, Blomkvist lucha por mantener su revista, Millennium, a flote y se enfrenta a sus propios desafíos personales y profesionales.

A medida que la trama avanza, se revelan conexiones entre el pasado de Lisbeth y los eventos actuales, y se desvela un complot aún más peligroso y retorcido. La historia aborda temas como la desigualdad social, la corrupción, el abuso de poder y la lucha por la justicia.

Este libro tiene una trama emocionante y llena de intriga, con personajes complejos y bien desarrollados. La novela combina elementos de suspenso, acción y crítica social, manteniendo al lector en vilo hasta el final.


The book begins with Lisbeth Salander distanced from Stockholm and the troubles she had faced in the past. However, she soon finds herself entangled in a new plot when she is accused of a triple murder. As Mikael Blomkvist investigates the case to prove Lisbeth's innocence, he uncovers a web of corruption and secrets involving high-ranking government officials and powerful figures.

We discovers the traumas and abuses suffered by Lisbeth in her childhood, shedding light on her reserved personality and distrust of others. Meanwhile, Blomkvist struggles to keep his magazine, Millennium, afloat and faces his own personal and professional challenges.

As the plot unfolds, connections between Lisbeth's past and current events are revealed, unveiling an even more dangerous and twisted conspiracy. The story tackles themes such as social inequality, corruption, abuse of power, and the fight for justice.

The story presents an exciting and intriguing plot, with complex and well-developed characters. The novel combines elements of suspense, action, and social critique, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat until the end.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,728 followers
January 7, 2020
Book Review
4 of 5 stars to The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the Millenium thriller series written in 2006 by Stieg Larsson. Although I am very fond of this book, it wasn't quite as good as the first one, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But it's a very strong follow-up sequel worth reading. It packs an even larger punch as far as violence and drama, as well as brings out the sexual chemistry and tension between Mikhail and Lisbeth. But this book is all about Lisbeth... and in a strange way, I root for her. Despite the crazy that comes with her, she's been through the ringer more than once. And when she gets revenge on those who harmed her in the past, I was a big fan of her tactics... despite what that may say about me. What's great about these books is the intensity they bring to the entire story.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
March 10, 2012
Three people are dead and Lisbeth Salander's finger prints are on the murder weapon. Can Mikael Blomkvist clear her name before the police find her? And what does Lisbeth's situation have to do with an expose of the Swedish sex trade two of the murder victims were working on?

I was afraid The Girl Who Played With Fire would suffer from the sophomore jinx. I'm pleased to say it did not.

Larsson must have figured out he had a good thing in Lisbeth Salander while working on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo because she's the primary focus of this, the sequel. Actually, it's not all that much like its predecessor. TGWTDT was a mystery and TGWPWF is a faster paced thriller.

The structure of the two books is fairly similar: a slow build up to a lightning storm. Honestly, I can't figure out why these books work so well for me. They both begin slow and have a lot of extraneous details I think might have been pruned had Larsson been alive when they were accepted by a publisher, notably the oddly specific minutae of the characters' everyday life and the prominence of brand names. Still, once I started reading them, they kind of took over my life for a few days.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is, in a way, an exploration of Lisbeth Salander's past. Where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo barely scratched the surface, this book did some strip-mining. Since the villains were players in the sex trade, they were not sympathetic and quite vile. The action was even more brutal than in the previous book and there was a lot more of it. Without giving too much away, Lisbeth Salander is so tough there should be an internet meme dedicated to how much of a bad ass she is. "If Chuck Norris had a sex change and gained 50% more damage-inflicting skills, he would be Lisbeth Salander" or something to that effect.

I felt that the parts of the story about Lisbeth eclipsed the other parts of the story by a wide margin, a good thing in my book. I wasn't that interested in the everyday business of running Millennium or who was falling for Mikael "The Ladies Man" Blomkvist anyway.

I guess I should bring this review to a thrilling conclusion before I start giving away plot points. I enjoyed The Girl Who Played With Fire even more than I did the previous volume. Five easy stars.
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
December 23, 2017
“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”

Wow. Stieg Larsson did it again. He took my breath away.
Larsson's style of writing is unique. It is so very detailed and everything seems to be perfectly planned.
The characters are diverse and interesting and I am not only talking about Lisbeth Salander, the novel's heroine, but about most side characters as well.
This novel is full of nerve-wracking suspense and thrill, especially the beginning and the middle.
However, I wanted the novel to end faster. For my taste the finale didn't have to be a hundred pages long.
Still, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a more than worthy sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
September 7, 2011
Unfortunately not as good as Män som Hatar Kvinnor. He has gone too far, and Lisbeth Salander is no longer a fully credible person; also, the puzzle isn't as satisfying as in the first one.

Start geek-rant: as a former mathematician, I was annoyed by his sloppiness concerning Fermat's Last Theorem. To start off with, he misquotes it several times. And the whole idea that Lisbeth is able to solve it on her own in just a few months, with no formal mathematical training, is cheap. If this were the only thing wrong, it wouldn't of course matter very much. But it's more a symptom of the lack of care he is displaying... the whole book has an unfinished feel to it.

But, before I get too critical, I must admit that I couldn't put it down, and that the main characters, especially Lisbeth, are wonderful creations. I'm sure I'll read the third volume soon.
Profile Image for Helene Jeppesen.
688 reviews3,625 followers
July 1, 2017
4.75/5 stars.
This sequel to "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is brilliant! This is some of the best crime fiction that exists, in my opinion, and Lisbeth Salander remains one of my favourite fictional characters of all time.
The plot of this novel is clever and the diverse set of characters fascinating. The only reason why this novel is not just as good as the first one, is because it contains some passages that at times seemed dwelling and somewhat repetitive. That being said, the conclusion makes up for it and also contains one of my favourite fictional scenes. Read this, also even though you're not that much into crime fiction, like me ;)
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,258 reviews1,131 followers
September 8, 2023
The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second novel in Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy”. It is longer and more consistently written than the first. Lisbeth Salander is the central character in a plot about sex-trafficking. Women are being transported from Russia and The Baltics for prostitution and torture; furthermore some highly placed members of the Swedish government, police and business are implicated. There are twist and turns a-plenty, as Salander herself spends much of the novel being hunted down for a double murder which the reader is invited to believe she did not commit.

Having a more defined storyline than the first novel certainly draws the reader in, and Stieg Larsson makes his loyalties crystal clear. Women are repeatedly shown to be categorised and disempowered by society, and in the worst cases to be victims. The original title of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was “Men Who Hate Women”, and this is another version of the same idea. Sometimes it seems as if the plot of both novels is devised to be as unpleasant as Larsson can make it, so that there will be no mistaking the message. In the first novel the reader learns aspects of Salander's character naturally as the story progresses. In this one we learn much more about Salander - including a “revelation” about one family member near the end (which I personally had guessed, and think others will have too.) But Stieg Larsson seems to be hammering points home repeatedly and rather too often. It needs editing.

We already know that Salander has a strong ethical code, but is excessively violent. Despite being short and skinny she will always get the better of her opponents. The action scenes in this novel are pure comic-book, with “our heroine” always downing the dumb, slow-witted muscle-bound baddies. And do most of the males have to be quite so twisted and evil?

We know too that she is a genius with a photographic memory. And we do not really need to have Fermat’s last theorem or snippets of mathematical formulae dotted around the novel to convince us how intellectual she is. It is irritating to find that this all fizzles out to nothing at the end of the novel, as Salander just “giggles” at her interpretation of Fermat’s jotting in the margin. At least let us in on the act!

We get that she is not interested in anything domestic. She lives on apples and ... Billy’s Pan Pizza! Just as in the first novel I could not believe how many sandwiches Michel Blomkvist made, in this one Larsson seemed to have an obsession with Billy’s Pan Pizza. We also get that Salander is not interested in her appearance, except to disguise it as circumstances demand. The part where she opts for breast enhancement just does not ring true with this character. It is not followed up on, and just lends a sour note to the otherwise worthy credentials of the novel.

And why, in the middle of the novel, was the reader subjected to a long detailed description of Salander buying a flat - and even worse all the furnishings from IKEA. Had Stieg Larsson lived, of course, all this may have been edited out. The novel is certainly over-long with too many characters. We have a group of journalists, two of whom we remember from the first novel (Michel Blomkvist and Erika Berger). But in addition to this we have a group of police detectives, various politicians, doctors and businessmen - many of whom have similar names. It is just too complicated.

The translation is pretty good and only in a few places does the vernacular not sound quite right. The novel starts in Grenada, and the Caribbean feel is a welcome contrast to the iciness of the first novel. After only a few chapters though we are back in Sweden again, coping with names of places, streets and people. Burman, Bjorck, Blomkvist, Bohman and Bublanski. Svenssen and Johanssen. Ekstrom, Sandstrom and Hedstrom - sometimes printed with accents over the “o” and sometimes not. These are a few of the (male) characters. Then there are the place names ... Swedish names are always going to be more difficult for a non-Scandinavian to deal with. Cropping a few of the inessential ones would have been a wise move.

All in all this is a good yarn which can move at a fast pace. But it really needs quite a bit cut out. I can see the appeal of the anti-hero Lisbeth Salander, but am still surprised at the success of this trilogy, since there is nothing strikingly original or even devious about the stories, and many of the characters are rather one-dimensional.
Profile Image for notgettingenough .
1,035 reviews1,187 followers
June 21, 2011
Much later. After such insistence on preserving my idea of my father, my memory of our last meeting, this happened a couple of Fridays ago. I opened up some photos taken by my brother and there my father is, dead in his coffin. I must confess to being quite distressed. And I still don't understand why on earth is this something to preserve? I don't get it one little bit.

Hooked. Totally, completely, utterly hooked. I read this book yesterday during lunch even though I was with two perfectly nice interesting people.

And then today. Today we cremated my father without any ceremony, but first there was what they call a ‘viewing’. I so didn’t want to do that and still have absolutely no comprehension whatsoever as to why one would want to look at a dead body. So while the others did their dead body thing I sat in the lounge area with my nose buried in Stieg. And, although, it would not be true in the least to say I didn’t go next door to look at my dead father because I couldn’t put the book down, the fact is that people kept coming in to talk to me, like…I don’t know exactly….but maybe like they thought that this would create some link between me and whatever was happening next door, like maybe they were worried I’d feel left out and what I wanted to say to them was ‘Can’t you see I’m reading?’ ‘If I miss you all, honestly, I’ll drop by next door, I will, really.’ I didn’t, doubtless you will be relieved to hear. Instead I chatted amiably to whoever wanted to interrupt me. But. I so wanted to say ‘go away’.

And there I find myself having to put my book down for a bit to talk to my aunt, thinking why do I have to do this, my aunt probably doesn’t even like me. My mother has two sisters, one’s a nun, and hence she’s an absolute trooper, but the other one seems a little fragile to me in some way that I can’t connect to. And I know it is all my dead father’s fault. I almost went next door to remind him of that. It was like this.

We’d been separated for many years from both sides of my family, but as a grownup I did start seeing just these two sisters again now and then. The first time my aunt Rosemary was with a bunch of nuns including my other aunt. Paul introduced me to them ‘This is Cathy, my eldest, she is a divorcee who plays cards for her living.’ All true, if you want to put it like that. My father said it with great relish and satisfaction, I might add. Not with a long mournful face, shaking his head. Not like, what am I doing to do with her? More like he’d just bought a red car and didn’t everybody know they go faster? He loved shocking people. But I do think the only person who might have been the least bit shocked is Rosemary. And ever since when I see her, I feel like she looks at me in some slightly dubious way. Like I’m a riverboat gambler. Or a scarlet woman; that it follows in some way from being a divorcee who gambles that one is a certain colour as well.

And the thing about scarlet is that it is one of those colours that is bigger than others. I was wearing a black party dress today with just the tiniest bit of scarlet on it, but it feels like more. It’s a colour that stands out. In the literal definition of the word I’ve never been a scarlet woman, but I have certainly done things for money in my life that don’t feel much different. There too, it’s a bit like the dress. A little bit of scarlet goes a long, long way.

There is a most earnest statistical analysis of this book that will come later on the weekend when I’ve finished. It’s about breasts and punctuation and honestly, it will be a serious, weighty contribution to the understanding and critical analysis of this book.

Update. To keep you interested while I'm still preparing my groundbreaking statistical analysis.

Oh. Reading Paul’s comment I’m thinking okay, I need to put a bit more about this book here. So.

I happened to recall, earlier today, a conversation I had twenty years ago when I was living in Sydney. The phone rang and it was an acquaintance, John. A bit of chitchat and he says ‘Remember you said how much you were into mangoes.’ DidI? I was slightly taken aback. ‘Yeah, yeah. Last time I saw you, you were talking about them.’ I cast my mind back. It was a Victory Dinner after a bridge tournament. We’d snuck outside and shared a few joints between courses. But what on earth would have made me say that? Was I so wasted? ‘Well, John, I’ve never been averse to a nice mango…’.

He was really being quite intense about the whole thing, ‘I wondered if you wanted me to send you some. Send you some mangoes’. This was really getting a bit silly. For heaven's sake, I lived in Sydney. I merely had to put my hand into the outside air and a mango might fall into it.

And suddenly the penny dropped. He wasn’t talking about mangoes. He was talking about Northern Territory’s finest. He was asking me if I wanted him to send me some dope. Of course! He just didn’t want to say, on the telephone. I was with it. ‘Oh, Mangoes…sorry John. You’re right, I do still love mangoes. Great idea, please do send me some.’

Later that night I told Michael about the whole exchange. He was in complete agreement, clearly John was sending us dope. We are expert bridge players, after all. Like we can’t analyse a situation like this. Like it wouldn’t be obvious in a Stieg Larsson book, what we were really talking about.

A week later a box of mangoes turned up.

Michael, with the desperate conviction of a drug addict, took the box apart and then each mango, still sure he was right. Me, I figured straight away, we weren’t in a crime thriller after all.


The last word on this book.

Okay. I’ve, um, read the book now, so here goes. A book review. After a bit of an argument early on with somebody who had read this, I decided to keep some stats. But just as I figured this book was all about the new, busty Salander and the story line was going to be dominated by people sucking on silicon, (people, sic; dykes, yawn), she disappears from the story altogether! What a device. What a piece of creative trickery by the Stieg. What a way to skew my statistics.

You will find her tits on pages:


and then – well, she’s scarcely in the story for the next few hundred pages. So, although I began the story positively indignant that the superhero had a self-esteem problem that could be resolved by a bit of body mutilation, after a while the whole issue vanished along with the rest of her. I simply don’t understand why Salander would behave in such a tediously average way. I was ready to be really disappointed with this direction (pp. 106-8 is when her friend Wu points out to her that she is hung up about, and obsessed by, her body) but I’d forgotten it soon enough. In fact I wondered if the Stieg got rid of her just so as he didn’t have to find anything more to do with these new possessions of hers.

Setting aside the whole pretend breasts thing, do I have to say anything else about the book? It’s fun, un-put-downable, just like the first one. A dissertation it does not require.

I was disappointed with the chess, p. 143 which is badly done. Although this doesn’t matter in a sense, because none of us know enough to care, if you extrapolate from that, you get to the book itself. If you happen to be in the general field of murder mystery conspiracy, journalistic exposes, police-procedurals etc and think this book is badly done, does that mean it’s badly done? If we all don’t know and don’t care, then it isn’t badly done, is that right? It’s believable because it’s believable. This is just a hypothetical, nothing in particular to do with the book itself.

I hope somebody understands what I’m saying here because I’m not sure I’m with the plot…even though it’s mine. Maybe this is a better way of putting it. If somebody with a modicum of chess knowledge says the chess is badly done we don't care for obvious reasons. But if a crazed killer said to you 'Nup, sorry, that is just so unbelievable the way...This book is just so not like it is.', wouldn't we care then? Yes? No?

On the usage of the comma in relationship to ‘and’, a source of some discussion recently as I'm confused by how often it is used and why.

p.270 We have the sentence ‘But we do have to stay on top of what the police uncover and worm out of them what they know.’ I had to read that a couple of times before I understood it meant: ‘But we do have to stay on top of what the police uncover, and worm out of them what they know.’ I thought it meant that the police were uncovering and worming, though of course that sentence doesn’t make sense.

Then, what about these:

p. 231 ‘They had heard no sound from the apartment, and nobody had answered the bell. They returned to their car and parked where they could keep watch on the door.’

Why? Why a comma before the ‘and’ in the first of these back-to-back sentences? And if so, then why not in the second?

Profile Image for Amanda.
282 reviews313 followers
June 23, 2011
If loving the Millennium books is wrong, baby, I don't want to be right.

In scanning through the other reviews, I have to concur with many of the problems mentioned: superfluous detail (specific IKEA furniture is mentioned several times--as if I know what any of it looks like just because I have the model number provided, sandwiches are made, coffee is brewed, Billy's Pan Pizzas are consumed); there's a real dearth of poetic or stylized language; there's a cast of hundreds (maybe not quite, but it can certainly feel like it); people whose physical injuries should kill them miraculously survive; there's suspense build-up that has all the subtlety of dramatic chipmunk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73s....

And you know what? Don't care. Don't give a shit. Because all I ask of genre literature is that it tell a helluva good story and Larsson, for all of his sins against the church of high literature, can tell a helluva story. Because a book like this relies so much on plot, here's the basic summary without any spoilers: Lisbeth Salander returns to Sweden after months of living abroad on the billions she stole from Wennerstrom; Mikael Blomkvist is now a media celebrity, though he continues to doggedly search for Salander; Millennium plans to publish a book on the Swedish sex trade (and they plan to name names of police officers and politicians who are involved, as well as bring charges against them upon the date of publication); both Salander and the author of the book become obsessed (for very different reasons) with finding a man named Zala; IKEA's 2010 spring catalog is described in detail; Salander is accused of a double murder and has to go into hiding; Blomkvist doggedly attempts to prove an uncooperative Salander innocent. Of course all of these plot threads, as well as many others, are brought together in the end.

What makes this novel really work is the character of Lisbeth Salander. In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Salander is established as a bad ass you do not want to tangle with. In the movies, we have become accustomed to our female action characters as being towering Amazons with pouty lips, glamorous wardrobes, and double D's spilling out of Victoria's Secret push-up bras. The irony of strong women in film (and many books) is that they have to be model beautiful and highly sexualized femme fatales that are desired by fanboys everywhere. And in Lisbeth Salander, Larsson has created the antithesis to all of that hyper-feminine-but-I'll-kick-your-ass-and-look-good-doing-it bullshit. Salander is not tall, she is not glamorous, she is not beautiful. She's described by others as looking like a rag doll or a teenage boy. She's the last person you would expect to hand you your ass on a silver platter. But if you cross her, you can expect things in your life to go very wrong very quickly.

The other genius thing Larsson has done with Salander in this novel is that she's beginning to evolve. Using her unexpected wealth, Salander has traveled the world and learned more about herself. She's begun to question her previous lifestyle and has realized that she has few true friends--and that it's her fault. Being anti-social and emotionally closed off has always been a defense mechanism for her, but it's beginning to dawn on her that the price she has paid for keeping her guard up may be too high. For the first time in her life, she has the opportunity to live a different life, but she's not quite sure how to go about it. There's an unexpectedly poignant scene in which Blomkvist looks around Salander's mansion-sized apartment and finds that she is only living out of 3 of the 21 rooms. He notes that, despite all of the new furniture, her home is soulless and completely devoid of mementos, photographs, or anything personal; it's as if she's uncertain how to make this a home and the loneliness of her life is evident. Despite this, she certainly hasn't lost her edge and she still lives a life of stringent moral standards, punishing her enemies without mercy and basically ignoring her friends. I also appreciate that Larsson does not set her up as someone who should be emulated (when Blomkvist blames Salander's mental state on her past, Holger Palmgren tells him, "I hope you understand that there really is something wrong with Lisbeth . . . Her problems go way beyond problems she had at home"). To me, Salander is a tragic figure. Sure she's MENSA-level intelligent, has a photographic memory, the ability to kick ass and take names, but who would want to be her? We also learn much more about her troubled background in this novel, which further explains some components of her behavior.

As for the central mystery of the novel, I didn't find it as compelling as that of Tattoo and there's a twist at the ending worthy of a soap opera reveal, but I still enjoyed the ride enough that I've already ordered my copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder
Profile Image for Francesc.
459 reviews222 followers
April 29, 2022
En mi opinión, la segunda entrega de Millenium es una buena novela, pero no está al nivel de la primera.
Sin desvelar nada de la trama, me parece que al Sr. Larsson se le fue un poco la mano. Vio que el personaje de Lisbeth Salander tuvo mucho éxito y se dijo a sí mismo "Ahora veréis lo que es bueno" y se pasó un poco.
La primera novela no tiene fisuras y se fundamenta en la sencillez (dentro de la complejidad de la trama) y en la veracidad. Aún siendo una novela compleja, todo entra en los límites de la veracidad. En este segundo volumen, se pierde (en mi opinión) la veracidad. La trama es enrevesada. Hay muchos personajes con conocimientos diferentes de la investigación y Larsson va pasando de uno a otro y nos va mostrando poco a poco las piezas del puzzle.
Entiendo que la fórmula de la primera novela se le había agotado y quiso demostrar que podía mantener el nivel. En cierta manera, lo hace, pero la credibilidad se pierde por el camino.
Es muy entretenida. Es extensa, pero se lee rápido y apetece mucho leer en los ratos muertos y adentrarte en sus páginas.
Una buena continuación de la saga.
Si tuviera que ponerle una nota independiente, tal vez sería un 5 estrellas, pero, en comparación con la primera novela, está un escalón por debajo, siendo una puntuación totalmente subjetiva.


In my opinion, the second volume of Millennium is a good novel, but it is not up to the level of the first.
Without giving away any of the plot, it seems to me that Mr. Larsson went a bit overboard. He saw that the character of Lisbeth Salander was very successful and said to himself "Now you'll see what's good" and he went a bit too far.
The first novel is seamless and based on simplicity (within the complexity of the plot) and truthfulness. Even though it is a complex novel, everything falls within the bounds of truthfulness. In this second volume, truthfulness is lost (in my opinion). The plot is convoluted. There are many characters with different insights into the investigation and Larsson moves from one to the other and gradually shows us the pieces of the puzzle.
I understand that the formula of the first novel had run out and he wanted to prove that he could maintain the level. In a certain sense, he does, but credibility is lost along the way.
It is very entertaining. It's long, but it reads quickly and you really want to read it in your spare time and delve into its pages.
A good continuation of the saga.
If I had to give it a standalone rating, it might be a 5 star, but, compared to the first novel, it's a step below, being a totally subjective score.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews619 followers
August 23, 2016
I LOVED THIS 2nd book by Larsson. The "Tattoo" Girl (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), is a wonderful character --even better in `this` book! Keeps getting better......
I've already ordered the 3rd book from the United Kingdom. It comes out Oct. 1st.
Profile Image for مصطفي سليمان.
Author 2 books2,101 followers
November 10, 2017



هو اللي انا قريته دا حقيقي؟
فيه واحد كدا عادي
مسك ورقة وقلم او اي الة طباعة
وبدا يكتب
عادي يعني فكرة وبعدين قعد يشتغل عليها
وطلعت الرواية دي؟؟؟؟

خليني اسئل سؤال
كام مرة حد قرأ جزء تاني
وكان بينافس او علي الاقل ف نفس مستوي الجزء الاول
بالنسبة ليا
نسبة صغيرة جدا
دايما العمل الاول بيبقي فيه تفاصيل
دا كسر الموضوع الجزء التاني من اول 50 صفحة
انت متبنج
حاسس ببنج ف عقلك
الاحداث عامله تنقلك
الفكرة عاملة تخليك تسئل مليون سؤال
رسمه للشخصيات
لا يقال عليه شئ غير سحري
متأكد ان فيه ملف كامل لكل شخصية
مفيش شئ تاني

الراجل بيقول كمية تفاصيل
لا يمكن لحد انه يتخيلها
فيه نص صفحة بيوصف فيها المطبخ
انا برقت فيها

بجد بيخليك نسئل نفسك مليون
أمر من اتنين
يا اما الراجل دا واخد القصة دي من الواقع

يا اما انه ملبوس

يا اما بقي ملبوس ووخده من الواقع
ومحترف بغباء

أسلوب السرد
ليه اسلوب بديع
ف اول جزء ف اعماله دايما
اليوم الواحد متعدد الرواة
يمكن هنا كمان كملها شوية ف الجزء التاني من الرواية
وصفه تفاصيله
بنائه للاحداث
تصاعد الاحداث
كل شئ مربوط بسلاسة غير منطقية
يعني حل كل الالغاز تقريبا ولسه فاضل
بتاع 100 صفحة
وانت مش قادر تتخيل ايه تاني ممكن يحصل

كمية المفاجاءت اللي ف الجزء دا
غير منطقية
كمية الاحساس انه يالهوي
وازاي كدا
مش معقول
ولا يمكن
كتيره جدا

كمية تفاعلك وصعوبة ف التنفس ف بعض الاحيان
الراجل دا بجد الله يرحمه
كان عاوز يعمل
10 اجزاء
دا ممكن كان يكتب فيها
لغاية ما احفاده يكتبوها

الرواية لازم تتقرأ
بكل الاشكال
وبكل الطرق
دا كدا ومحمد صحبي بيقولي
الجزء التالت
اسرع واقوي من الاوائل
الطم انا صح؟؟؟
عندي امتحانات يا ظلمة

الاكيد بجد
متحكمش ابدا من الصورة اللي بره

فقرة الصور



واحد من اهم المشاهد ف الرواية
يالهوي كل ما افتكر لما..بس اسكت مش ههحكي


هنا بقي لما راحت للمحامي بيرومان اللي كان...لالالالا مش ههحكي لا مش هقول انه..جررر مش هقول

Profile Image for Fabian.
957 reviews1,623 followers
December 22, 2018
There is ample description of our titular heroine in the first third of "The Girl Who Played with Fire." Lisbeth Salander is composing and arranging a new life for herself while still maintaining the baggage left over from her early years (tons of child abuse) and the occurrences of Book #1. And she's still acting, to put it nicely, quite unconventional. It is precisely this mask, as well as people's prejudices & judgements that make her the ideal infiltrator of conspiracies in the highest echelons of modern Swedish society.

All the characters from the first make cameos (well, the ones who survived), & it is because of the magnifying glass on "The Girl (with the Dragon Tattoo)" & the slow introduction of our old pals that makes this a more enjoyable read. The focus of the book changes radically and Mikael Blomkist, the protagonist of Book 1 is more in the background this time. Lisbeth is totally more interesting than Mikael. & yet, I am not quite certain if it is enough.

New "thrillers" tend to give you pages and pages you can devour but, really, in perhaps more elegant hands these tales may have touched the Gates of LITERATURE and less trees would have been used. This is a Hollywood flick with symbolism which adds much needed relevance to the genre--& all this is good. Also good--the anti-Macho sentiment and reversal of roles (in this case--the girl with Aperger's is smarter, more agile and even richer than most of the human population) which will be undoubtedly be scrutinized furthermore in the concluding installment. But I am starting to fear that, like a way (wayyyy) more respectable and smarter "Twilight" franchise (popularity-wise), the "Millennial" books may all turn out to be more noise and spectacle than substance.
November 23, 2018
This book was pretty slow getting started, but when it did, it did it with stupendous style. Lisbeth Salander ran the show in this one, which I really loved. I liked Lisbeth in the first book, but in this one, we see more sides to her than ever before. Let me put this plainly, I want to slurp freshly brewed coffee and scoff Billy pan pizza's with this woman, even if she is a cold and calculated pain in the ass at times.

What I especially liked about this book, was all the weird twists and turns. When I thought I'd definitely got a theory to what was actually going on, the author threw another major spanner in the works, and I was back to square one. You don't really find peace with the story, until the very end of the book, and at that point, I felt kind of deflated that I'd finished it. At this moment, I need more Lisbeth Salander!
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