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1,014 of 1,066 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Conclusion to an Almost Perfect Trilogy, October 8, 2009 Just as Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" is held up as the trilogy to which all fantasy trilogies are inevitably compared, I've little doubt that Larsson's Millenium series will play that benchmark role for mystery thrillers over the next few decades.
"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest" is an incredibly worthy successor to the previous two books in the trilogy. And toward the end, there will be moments when tears are brought to your eyes. Larrson knew precisely how to play with timing, rhythm, and wording to pace the story and its ending just right. I'm hard pressed to even guess how else he could have ended this series.
The story follows the natural conclusion of the events in the first two books as everything dovetails toward a "behind-closed-door" trial. Larrson did a very good job of the first part of this book that takes place in the hospital where Lisbeth is recovering. I really enjoyed reading things from her perspective, then spinning out to others involved and each of their limited pieces of the evolving puzzle. And things just get better as the book moves along.
Frankly, once you hit part three of the book, it's almost impossible to put down. I picked it up just once...just to read a chapter or two in the second half of the book...only to find that three hours had gone by and the book was over.
Larrson's tying up of many loose ends throughout the book - and this is key - throughout the book (not all in the last few chapters like so many other writers) is masterful. And that emphasizes the one tragic aspect of this final book: knowing that we will never again be graced with Larrson's storytelling mastery.
633 of 694 people found the following review helpful: 3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for fans of this trilogy, but..., December 28, 2009 For the ending of this book alone, it is worth reading. However, while I wish I could say that this book was of the same caliber as that of the prior two books, in my opinion it was not. The book picked up right where the last left off, with Salander in the hospital being treated for her injuries. Blomkvist continues to sleuth on her behalf in order to expose those who have made her life hellish and attempted to frame her for all manner of crimes. Of course, in his spare time he also still manages to attract every woman within a 500-yard-radius like a bee to honey, but I digress. All of the other familiar characters from the prior books return.
I don't want to spoil the plot of the book, so I will give a general review. The overall feel of the book to me is that it was the least edited and least considered of the three. This would make sense if Larsson had intended to go back and do some more tweaking and editing before publication, but he was obviously unable to do so after his death. There are entire sections of the book that meander on and on with no apparent purpose with regard to moving the story forward. These sections would have benefited greatly from some serious editorial paring.
To me, the plot did not at all move along at the same clip as the prior books. The suspense just wasn't there to the same degree. I recall that I simply could not put down the previous books, but I was nowhere near as riveted by this one. In addition, there were a number of somewhat annoying grammatical errors, sentence fragments, etc.
For the good points of the book, the ending (if that is what we can call the last 150-200 pages) is a very nice, tightly written section that ties everything together beautifully. Again, it struck me that perhaps Larsson had written the ending earlier than the rest of book three, as it appeared to be the best-constructed section of the entire book. For the ending alone, this story is worth reading. I wavered between a 3-and 4- star review for this reason. Ultimately, I considered whether the book, standing alone without the other two, would be a 4-star book, and I don't believe that would be the case.
As an aside, one minor issue is that on the book cover of the copy I picked up while in Belgium, the first blurb says "The Trial", as if the book is mostly about Salander's trial itself, which it is not. The trial itself takes up about the last tenth of the book. Whether this type of advertising will occur with the North American edition I don't know, but I write this warning simply so you might know what to expect.
In summary, anyone who has read the first two books simply will not be able to deny themselves the final installment, nor should they. Although I did not find the book to hold the same level of suspense and I sometimes found it rather dull, the ending of the book makes it very worthwhile reading. It is a great loss that Mr. Larsson passed away before he could really fine-tune the final book, and before he could write another.Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you?
217 of 242 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars Complex, Satisfying, Clever, Moral; Evil Versus Good, October 13, 2009 For those of you who have not read the first two volumes of this trilogy, I urge you to start on Volume one and proceed. The characters are so complex and real that an understanding of their background seems to me to be a must. The first two novels set up the reader for this wonderfully clever conclusion. The tale of good versus evil is one that is a history in time, and Stieg Larsson has given us a treat to savour.
The first one hundred pages of the third novel brings us up to date, and then we start the real read. More characters are introduced and at times during this 600 page read, I wondered if I could keep them straight. For the last two hundred pages, this book is very hard to put down. This is a tale of a series of conspiracies and how they come to cloud the Swedish democracy. How did Lisbeth Salander become the abused young woman, and will the people and times trying to destroy her win? And, Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist, will he be able to expose through his words, the wrongs that have been done. Will he regain Lisbeth's confidence?
Lisbeth Salander is in the Intensive Care Unit, she has been shot in the head. Her father is in a room down the hall, reportedly shot by Lisbeth. How did this come to be. Why are the Swedish Secret Service surreptitiously going in and out of his room? Why do we pick on those we do not understand? It is easier for us to believe those that are in power than to question the truth. The theme of the trilogy is that women are equals. There is no unnecessary overt sex and even though there is violence, it is believable. Blomkvist is a hero, he is the main antagonist and the muscle behind the investigation. He is out to assist Lisbeth Salander in becoming the woman she is meant to be instead of the woman who was looked at as the mad lesbian killer. He says, "When it comes down to it, this story is not primarily about spies and secret government agencies; it's about violence against women, and the men who enable it." The characters who surround them are wonderfully sketched out. We can picture in our mind's eye their faces and their countenance. This novel sums up the story of Lisbeth Salander, but leaves us wondering what is to be. Unfortunately, Stieg Larsson. because of his death, won't be continuing the series, it is up to us to find her rightful place.
It is easy to understand why this trilogy of Stieg Larsson's has become such a phenomenon. The search for justice and truth from a young, abused woman who has the nerves and strength of steel gives us all hope. We can believe through this wonderful narrative that the world is indeed a good place.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 10-13-09
The Girl Who Played with Fire
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you?
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