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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 602 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press; First Edition edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906694168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906694166
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 5.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,953 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor-in-chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on anti-democratic, right-wing extremist, and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A young girl lies in a hospital room, her tattooed body very close to death -- there is a bullet lodged in her brain. Several rooms away is the man who tried to kill her, his own body grievously wounded from axe blows inflicted by the girl he has tried to kill. She is Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker and investigator, and the man is her father, a murderous Russian gangster. If Salander recovers from her injuries, she is more than likely to be put on trial for three murders -- the authorities regard her as a dangerous individual. But she won't see the inside of a courtroom if her father manages to kill her first.

This is the high-tension opening premise of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s phenomenally successful trilogy of crime novels which the late author (a crusading journalist) delivered to his publisher just before his death. But does it match up to its two electrifying predecessors, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire? The success of Larsson’s remarkable sequence of books is, to some degree, unprecedented. Crime fiction in translation has, of course, made a mark before (notably with Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, published, in fact, by Larsson's British publisher, Christopher MacLehose). But even the success of that book gave no hint of the juggernauts that the Salander books would be (the late author's secondary hero is the journalist Blomqvist -- who bears more than a passing resemblance to Stieg Larsson himself).

There are two overriding reasons for the hold that this massive trilogy has attained on the public: machine-tooled plotting which juggles the various narrative elements with a master's touch and (above all) the vividly realised character of Lisbeth Salander herself. She is something of a unique creation in the field of crime and thriller fiction: emotionally damaged, vulnerable and sociopathic (all of this concealed behind a forbidding Goth appearance), but she is also the ultimate survivor, somehow managing to stay alive despite the machinations of some deeply unpleasant villains (and the new book has a slew of those) as well as the hostility of often stupid establishment figures, who want her out of the picture quite as passionately as the bad guys. She is, of course, aided by the protective journalist Blomqvist, despite the fact that she had dumped him as a lover. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest brings together all the elements that have made the previous books of the sequence so successful. Its relentless pace may be a bit exhausting for some readers, but most will be happy to strap themselves in for the ride. It's just a shame that this will be the final book in the sequence (though conspiracy theorists are hinting that Larsson began another manuscript before his untimely death…) --Barry Forshaw


'A cyclonic force of a story, I experienced the same happiness and feverish excitement with which I read Dumas's Three Musketeers or the novels of Dickens… exceptional… I repeat, without any shame whatsoever: fantastic' Mario Vargas Llosa in El Pais.

'By some alchemy, Larsson has made a character who ought to be completely unbelievable into one of the most compelling and convincing in modern fiction … one wonders what Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple would make of her, but Lisbeth Salander bids fair to join them in the ranks of crime fiction's true immortals' Daily Telegraph.

'The pace rarely lets up … it's an exhilarating read … this is a strong and satisfying conclusion to a massively ambitious, richly textured trilogy' Daily Express.

'There is comparison with that other great work of contemporary entertainment, The Wire, in the rage and clarity with which injustice becomes the driver of a novel way of looking at society. Be warned: the trilogy, like The Wire, is seriously addictive.' Guardian.

'Complex, satisfying, clever, moral ... a grown-up novel for grown-up readers ... this is why the Millennium Trilogy is rightly a publishing phenomenon all over the world' Kate Mosse.

'Fans will not be disappointed; this another roller-coaster ride that keeps you reading far too late into the night. Intricate but flawlessly plotted, it has complex characters as well as a satisfying, clear moral thrust … most compelling is the character of Salander … I cackled with glee as she turned the tables on her enemies in a climactic courtroom scene … Who'd have thought a Swedish geek could set British pulses racing' Evening Standard.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Petersen VINE VOICE on 19 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I began this trilogy of books, I was sceptical; critical acclaim upon the scale that these works had received, often leads to disappointment. In this case, I have not been let down once: this final instalment rounds off all the major threads of the story and, yet again, six hundred pages fly past. It is quite an achievement to write three thick tomes and not lose the pace once.

Larsson's characters are always consistent to their attributes: it must have been tempting to subsume Salander's anti-social attitudes when she finds herself before a court of law; but no, he maintains her shortcomings and the character remains true.

One of the satisfying sidelines of reading these books has been in trying to understand the author: the heroic journalist, Blomkvist, is clearly an idealised self portrait. His women are all 'good guys', they are often physically stronger than the men, and always morally superior: even Blomkvist is blamed for his lack of concern for the women he beds - ironically, by the married Berger who has an 'open marriage' which seems to have only one opening!
Larsson's interest in the Swedish secret service is also fascinating; whilst this fable is clearly all fiction, one does wonder if he is extracting a certain revenge for stories that might have crossed his journalistic desk and which he was unable to follow through. Sadly, his untimely death in 2004 means that there will be no more novels through which to hone these observations: a great pity.
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188 of 211 people found the following review helpful By M. Harrison on 14 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If by any chance you are reading this review wondering if you might get a taster of this much talked about trilogy by diving in at the end, my advice is simple: don't. 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' was a brilliantly original start to this series, and introduced us to one of the most compelling anti-hero creations in Lisbeth Salandar. The second volume - 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' - lost much of the sophistication of the first, and was a lesser book for it - but actually managed to be even more gripping. This third volume could not be more different.

It might have been titled 'The Girl Who Got Lost Between The Covers', since our heroine Salander is present for only around twenty percent of its gigantic 750 pages. Without the benefit of the first two books this volume would be utterly bemusing. The scene-setting and recapping takes around three hundred pages - with Larsson introducing a seemingly endless cast list of spies, policemen and women, journalists and officials. For Swedish readers this may be more satisfying, since he appears to be fictionalising modern Swedish history through conspiracy. But for us it is largely bewildering.

And how we miss Salander. Such is the power of this fictional creation that during her brief appearances the book roars back into life. Sadly however she doesn't become the central figure again until around 600 pages in - and it is only then that the book truly becomes a page turner. Happily Larsson recaptures the vulnerable, complex Salander of the first volume, and again makes this dysfunctional Aspergers girl compelling and adorable.
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73 of 82 people found the following review helpful By still searching TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With this, the third and final part of the utterly brilliant Millennium trilogy, Larsson brings to a close the compelling story of, what must surely be, one of literature's most compelling heroines, Lisbeth Salander. As said elsewhere, Larsson ties up all of the loose ends clearly visible at the end of the second book and, as such, this is really not a standalone book but a continuation. It is essential reading for Larsson addicts but like all addictions it will never be enough to sate the appetite induced by reading the first of the series. Gobble up this one just like its predecessors - sadly, there ain't plenty more where they came from!

Larsson's writing was obviously motivated by powerful emotions reflecting his views on certain social ills but I never felt, as I have with certain other writers, that I was being preached to. The books are moving, exciting, intelligent, compelling and superbly written (and, I imagine, translated) but above all, entertaining. The whole experience of reading all three is so affecting that the structural faults, most obvious in the second in the series, simply didn't matter - to this reader at least. Yes, I did get slightly tired with the too frequent references to women warriors from history and the utterly redundant sub plot of Berger's cyber stalker but was able to overlook these relatively minor irritants in view of the fact that there are just too few writers of such excellence around who can sustain the interest of their readers over 1600 or so pages and therefore his passing is truly to be mourned.

Now I'll wait some time to get my 'fix' and then begin with 'dragon' again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NAB on 15 July 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
It was a great read for me and brilliant writing and I won't argue on that.

It made me laugh first when I read doctor orders 2mg Morphine per hour for shoulder gun shot wound injury. Simple mistake could have corrected.

Then two murder suspect in two different rooms with 30 feet apart with no security personal whatsoever. Writer must be living in a cuckooland land if that is the setting he wants us to believe.

Then telling about Congenital Analgesia.

At last giant and the girl in one compound locked with no exit only to tell girl survives.

It is truly a fiction!
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