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on 31 May 2011
Made famous by the Millennium trilogy, the author Stieg Larsson died in 2004 at the age of 50 before the books were ever published. In this book Kurdo Baksi his best friend, describes what drove the man and the back drop to Larsson's eventual outstanding success as an acclaimed author.

During Larsson's career as a journalist he was a crucial protagonist in the battle against racism and democracy in Sweden and in Europe and one of the co-founders of the anti-fascist magazine Expo.

The book describes that he was `a tireless hero in the fight against racism - there was no battle for democracy and equality that he was unwilling to take part in. He was aware that there was a high price to pay attached to doing so, but it was a price he was prepared to pay. The constant threats , the lack of financial resources and the sleepless nights. It was a struggle that shaped his whole life'.

The magazine Expo was one of the most important projects of Larsson's life which was founded in 1995 as a result of his belief that it was essential to create a Swedish version of Searchlight. Due to the increasing popularity of the Swedish Democratic Party Larsson felt compelled to act, the established parliamentary parties weren't sure of how to deal with it and had washed their hands of the party as an aberration, but one that grew bigger and in 2006 the Swedish Democrats won 281 local council seats. Expo's remit is `to study and survey anti-democratic, right wing extremist and racial tendencies in Swedish society. All activities are idealistic and non-profit making. The foundations policy is to safeguard democracy and freedom of expression against racist, right-wing extremist, anti-Semitic and totalitarian tendencies in society.'

I have to admit that I was drawn to read this book after reading the beautifully written and complex plots and inter plots of the trilogy, (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl that Played with Fire, The Girl that kicked the Hornet's Nest) first published in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively, and subsequently being astounded at the real story that lay behind the authors inspiration.

It caused me to consider, what have I stood up for and against in the pursuit of equality and the greater good in my life? When we see atrocities in the media do we sit back and think that would never happen and that of course we would step in if we saw the same treatment of others in `our own back yard'.

Whilst in business we may not directly exposed to the type of extremes Larsson fought to uncover, speaking out and standing up for what is just and fair takes courage and bravery. Along with that, it's the sensitivity and ability to handle the conflict and potential fallout that may ensue. The longer issues are left; often the more difficult they are to manage.

In closing I would say this book gets you to question yourself and delve into your own personal value system whilst being a heart wrenching farewell from a friend, thoroughly recommended.
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This book is not so much a biography but a tribute to a best friend from one of the people who knew him best. It's rounded, it allows the reader to see the personal side to one of the best known Scandinavian authors and also allows the reader the chance to get to know him after he passed. In addition to this, this title takes the reader on this journey of discovery, of spiritual cleansing and of course from the start of Steig's life to the end.

All in, whilst not for everyone, this book is a loving and personal tribute from Kurdo and all in helps keep an author's memory alive for all which is perhaps the best tribute to anyone.
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on 9 December 2010
A great book with a good insight into Stieg's professional life and to an extend, personal life and beliefs.

I had been very disppointed with another so called biography of Stieg Larsson, which wasn't one. This one is the one. It is written by his best friend and colleague, someone he saw pretty much every day.

You will learn a lot about the politicial and human views of S. Larsson.
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on 31 October 2010
.. from a member "of the prominent Baksi family" Kurdo Baksi features in 'Hornet's Nest' as editor of Black/White Publishing who enables Blomkvist's provision of Internet access to Salander in the hospital.
Credentials thus established - Kurdo Baksi provides a personal view of Stieg Larsson the man and investigative journalist - and what drove him: his beliefs and influences, his commitment to equality and justice.
I found this book gave me a greater understanding of the Millennium Trilogy, and what drove Larsson to write it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Book 1)The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy Book 2)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (Millennium Trilogy Book 3)

this is an excellent book to add to the Millennium list, another book is in the publishing pipeline,
 Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm
pity they didn't combine the two
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on 11 March 2013
I have been puzzling just who Stieg Larsson was and Salander is. This has given me some valuable background without hyperbole. Nicely and simply written and well translated into English.
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