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4.8 out of 5 stars380
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on 9 December 2010
Stieg Larssons Millenium Trilogy ia a masterpiece and a priceless legacy to us all, the like of which will probably never be seen again. His premature death is such a tragedy. The books are gripping, challenging and intriguing - real edge of seat, "unputdownable" thrilling stuff! I found the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo amazing, only to be surpassed by the Girl who Played with Fire which in turn was bettered by the Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest - I wanted the series to go on and on and on! It would have meant that no housework got done, only fast food on the menu and very little sleep but what an exciting way to escape from the drudgery of everyday life!
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on 25 December 2012
Thank you Amazon. I already had Dragon Tattoo but the next two books were on my Wish List so I just had to snaffle this. I love being able to read a trilogy in one go.
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on 6 October 2014
This review is about the trilogy by Steig Larsen published as ‘Millennium. in 2009. The story is powerful, the setting familiar to a certain degree – the characters sleep little, drink amazing amounts of coffee and exercise an enlightened view towards sex (Are the three linked?). ‘The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ is the investigation of a disappearance 40 years before; ‘The Girl who Played With Fire’ concerns the conspiracy to eliminate Lisbeth Salamander; ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’ is the denouement of that battle. It’s a great book for those interested in computers (especially hacking), conspiracy theories and violent crime. The original title of volume one was ‘Men Who Hate Women’ and that should give the reader the whole theme of the trilogy. Sometimes that feeling is expressed in argument (e.g. Faste) and sometimes (e.g. Zala) but more often it ‘floats’ under a mask of indifference (e.g. Ekstrom). It’s invasive propaganda if, for example, the reader takes the abusive and dismissive stereotype used throughout the book and compares it with the behaviour and attitudes revealed in extremis by Salander but also by most of the NAMED female characters. It can be highly recommended and well worth 5 stars
However, the main point of this review is to compare / contrast book and film because, as everybody knows, they are different genres. I read ‘Millennium’ first in 2009 and then got the DVDs which I’ve seen over 3 times. Now I’ve just reread the book and throughout have been comparing the two genre and I found 3 areas of difference. To simplify references I use the terms Film1, Book1 etc. in the following paragraphs as regards the components of the trilogy.
The films omit content in the book. Obviously this includes details of thoughts of the main character with the result that Lisbeth Salander, operating almost as an automaton throughout the films, is revealed as a very complex (and confused!) character – at the end of Book3 actually thanking her lawyer, then negotiating terms and finally the story has a defined state re’ her relationship with Blomkvist. Robert Niedermann is really afraid of the dark (Book3) and not invincible,. Documents, details of organisations and past history, as well as much descriptive detail are not in the films – but, as I read, I saw the actors and the locations of the films which fitted in nicely. The sexual free-ranging of Blomkvist is far more apparent in the books than the films (e.g. re’ Harriet Vanger and Monica Fuengirola – was that due to character simplification?). The whole sub-plot of Erica Berger’s venture into the enormous (but financially fragile magazine) SMP is left out in Film3and the campaign of intimidation she endured is switched to Millennium and the main plot.
The films usually condense what appears in the book – so both Blomkvist and Salander uncover far more clues than in the books. This is probably to reduce the number of characters – so Salander discovers the biblical allusions to murder (Film1)whereas in Book1 Blomkvist acts on a remark by his daughter. Various members of Hacker Republic help Salander throughout the books but in the films she’s dependent on Plague.
The films add to what is in the book. Obviously this considers the impact of violence and sexual activity – plus all those other features which stem from the ideas or activities of director, actors, photographer, costume etc. For example, the beauty of Sweden’s landscape, the generous structure of many rural ‘cottages’, the performance of Noomi Rapace etc. and the use of flashbacks (e.g. re’ Martin’s collection in F1).
There are straight differences between the two genres, usually for dramatic effect. Salander visits Miriam Wu in hospital in F3 but not in B3 (in which Miriam disappears until the very end). Erika’s visit to Blomkvist on the island in B1 is planned between them and not a surprise(F1). The whole sequence covering the trial of Salander is enhanced by F3 – partly because certain features (e.g. the revelations re’ Peter Teleborian) are ‘discovered’ DURING the trial and not, as in B3, weeks before.
I do not understand why some differences exist. They may be crucial – in B1 to get Blomkvist’s support Henrik Vanger promises him revenge on his enemy, Wennerstrom, as the clincher which is far better than mere money as in F1. Anita Vanger survives in B1 but not in F1 However, surely others aren’t for example in the final trial scene why in F3 the judge female but the B1 judge male?
All in all, both the books and the films deserve 5 stars. If you’ve enjoyed one I’m sure you’ll enjoy the other.
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on 31 March 2011
To be absolutely honest,my purchase of The Millenium Trilogy was driven by the desire to own in a fine quality edition of arguably one of the finest three books written for a very long time.Each book is stand alone and bears plaudits richly deserved.
Over the past 20 years or so,the vast majority of thriller writing has been written by "system" in that the basic plots are very similar and minor changes to people,places and times has all that has been required to produce the "next" Best Seller.
Stieg Larsson,now sadly not with us has produced an "original".Maybe the majority of purchases have been made on the back of huge publicity but these three books are without doubt a combination of fine writing,fine plots and above all very individual with writing from detailed knowledge of the subjects through personal knowledge and no doubt massive research.
It may be a long time before we see such a book let alone a trilogy of such quality.
Jo Nesbo has been designated as the next Larsson.It will need a lot more than so far written to get near.
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on 3 January 2014
Having watched both the original and the Anglo-American films of ".....Dragon Tattoo" on tv, I was intrigued enough by both the story and the characters to feel that I wanted to read the whole trilogy. When I found it available as a single Kindle book, I decided to buy it just before Christmas, but given that each of the books is long I'm only 5% of the way through. So far, it's largely living up to expectations, but I suspect that having seen the films helps. There is quite a lot of back exposition in the early stages - about Blomkvist's clash with Wennerstrom and about the history of the Vanger family - that might otherwise have been confusing or offputting. At least I already know how all the disparate elements ultimately fit together. I shall be interested to find out how the other two volumes match up with the original.

"Edited" June 23rd:

It's taken me 6 months but I've finally reached the end of Book 3. I was gripped by the main story and impressed by the way Larsson made all the pieces fit together so that incidents from Book 1, for example, become relevant in the denouement in Book 3. I did possibly flag a little at times while reading Book 2 but by the final stages of Book 3 I could hardly read it fast enough. Like others I did find remembering the names of all the characters difficult, especially for all the (good and bad) cops, but this might have been partly because of the unfamiliarity of the names or because I was reading the Kindle version where it is not so easy as in a real book to flick backwards and forwards. I would also agree that some of the background detail (like the back exposition I mentioned originally) can hold up the progress of the story, but this is a minor niggle. I can now see that the impression created by Book 1 is perhaps misleading in that the Vanger family story seems to dominate over that of Lisbeth Salander whereas the other 2 books focus more directly on the Salander story itself, but that probably means that of the 3, Book 1 is the one which can most stand alone. At times, perhaps, certain events do stretch credibility, but the sheer grip of the story means that the reader overlooks this in the rush to read on. Developments during the long anticipated court hearing in Book 3 (I will say no more to avoid any spoiler) almost had me cheering aloud. I'm glad that I have read the whole trilogy and that I could carry it around very easily, thanks to my Kindle Fire.
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on 9 June 2013
I've just finished reading the Millennium Trilogy (all three novels back-to-back) and am now suffering withdrawal symptoms. These are the best novels that I've read in a long long time and it's a great pity that the author died shortly after writing them.

I was drawn to the novels (partly by recommendation from a friend) after having watched the 2009 Swedish language versions of the films* and although the films are good, the books are much better.

The writing is brilliant: there are multiple threads in complex plots but presented in way that is both engaging and easy to follow, giving a clear insight into the leading characters. The novels deal with some tough issues and at times make uncomfortable reading but overall they are handled in a sympathetic way - there is nothing gratuitous in them. There are a couple of flaws in the plot of the second novel (The Girl Who Played with Fire) but I suspect that most people won't spot them and if you do they're easy enough to ignore. The first novel could be read as a stand alone story but the second and third novels are really one long novel split into two and you should be prepared to read them back-to-back.

I bought the three novels as a collection from Love Books via Amazon for £5.99 plus p&p which represents great value for money (a 75% discount against rrp).

Overall - highly recommended.

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*(directed by Niels Arden Oplev with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth)
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on 29 December 2012
I was lent a hard copy of these books over the summer. I found the first a bit difficult to get into, with all of the large cast of characters being introduced, but was soon enthralled. It has been some time since I found any book "un-put-down-able", but this trilogy had just that effect, so I was very pleased to find a collected trilogy for my new toy, the Kindle. Persevere with the first book, don't let the start drag you down, and sit lightly to the Vanger family tree, and just plow on to the brilliance. Enjoy!
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on 27 January 2014
If you like a thriller with twists, unusual characters that grow on you then stick to you like shadows on a bright sunny day, and a story more believable for its shockingness than less, then this trilogy is a must.
Don't see the film first. Let Blomkvist and Salander immerse themselves into your psyche from the powerfully written books. Accept that the first book is just a tiny taste of the whole and don't give up. The reading grows into a compulsion.
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on 25 December 2012
I've already read all three of these in book form and they are so good I plan to read them again, something I rarely do. I lost the first book through loaning to a "friend" and was thinking of replacing it when along comes this offer, for less than the price of one book!!

As for the books themselves they are an excellent read and match all the hype I've seen about them. If you like the crime genre buy this today, I'm confident that you will be very glad you did.
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on 12 July 2014
I've read all three, watched all three on DVD and still find them a terrific read, compelling you to read on and either find out what new twists and turns are going to happen or to be reminded of them as you read them again. So sad that Larsson died - he showed had the ability to be a really great writer, and the potential to go much further
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