Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest is the third book in Stieg Larsson's trilogy. These novels should be read (listed to) in order starting with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire".

I don't post spoilers on the books I discuss here - and there is no exception for my review of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" - unfortunately there's not a lot I can tell you about this third installment of the trilogy without revealing important plot points of either Dragon Tattoo or Played with Fire. So I'll keep this post brief and limited to a few points.

This audio book is a staggering 20 hours and 20 minutes. That means in total I spent over 55 hours listening to the trilogy - typically when I think about that much content I imagine lots and lots of useless irrelevant content. That just isn't the case with this series. There was a moment in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest that I thought Mr. Larsson was jumping the shark - you'll get there too - probably on the topic of toilets. Yes, toilets. Swedish Toilets. BUT, even as I indulged in that moment of "wow, this should have been caught by his editor WAY before publication" I trusted the characters to work it out and make it relevant - and it was - and it's really GOOD too!

I was unsatisfied by the ending of the "The Girl Who Played with Fire" - the audiobook ended without any closure on any of the plot lines specific to that novel and it was incredibly frustrating. I understand that the print publication of Played with Fire contains the first few chapters of Hornet's Nest which cleans things up considerably. I am totally satisfied with the end of "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" though and there's an opening for a 4th novel if Larsson's widow decides to finish and publish his partial manuscript posthumously - but it's not necessary.

Lastly, if you haven't started the series - do so. Yes it can be a very intense read. This is not a light and fluffy story of bad girl goes good. There's a fair dose of brutality, some abuse and some moments where I squirmed with discomfort, but these scenes aren't overly so and they aren't exaggerated without making a point.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest was released to Audible on May 24th, 2010 by Random House Audio and has a run time of 20 hours and 20 minutes. The entire Stieg Larrson series was narrated by Simon Vance.

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