December 03, 2009

Free Lisbeth Salander!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I traveled on several lengthy flights, which afforded me plenty of good, solid reading time. On first leg of my trip, I began with Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This book received so many great reader reviews all over the place that I had decided I just couldn't resist it any longer, and I eagerly dug in. Unfortunately, at first for me it was a little slow going, but after about 75 pages I was hooked.

When you Google this novel, you might run across the Spanish language version - Los Hombres Que No Amaban a las Mujeres - a title which basically translates to Men Who Hate Women. Well, that's for sure. This thing is chock-full of Men Who Hate Women... But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This original thriller begins with the trial of Mikael Blomqvist, a Swedish journalist accused of libel. His career in shambles after the trial, Blomkvist agrees to take on a writing project for a business tycoon, and part of the deal is that he is to investigate details regarding the disappearance of the businessman's niece some 40 years before. Along the way he uncovers festering family secrets, business cover-ups, corruption, and plenty of hideous mysogynistic crimes to boot. Blomqvist enlists the help of one of the finest characters I have come across in a long time - Lisbeth Salander, a feral, fierce, tattooed slip of a girl who is an expert hacker and has endured plenty of her own horrors during her life. I am just fascinated by this chick. As a reader, you are not meant to "like" her, I don't think. She's not anyone's friend, really. But you root for her, and can't help but be impressed by her now and then. She is one who sticks with you.

Anyway, it's an exciting book all in all, the first in a trilogy. And... I liked it so much that the instant I finished, I bought The Girl Who Played With Fire, the sequel, because I couldn't wait to see what happens to Salander next. Equally as exciting as the first one, this book entertained me all the way home with more Blomqvist/Salander intrigue.

There is one book left in the trilogy. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest doesn't come out in the U.S. until May of 2010, and I have to admit I am sorely tempted to buy it from a UK source -- I can't help it! There was a cliffhanger after the second one! I have to know!

One more thing: This popular series is, sadly, all that we will be enjoying from author Stieg Larsson -- the author died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004, just after he turned this trilogy in to his publisher. He was the second best-selling author in the world in 2008.

Edit: Rereading this blog post, I can see that it is a little cheesy and rather uninformative. It reads like an amateurish Amazon reader review. But I don't know what to write to fix that. You'll either like these books or you won't... I think readers who enjoy thrillers (and who are not scared by a few scenes of graphic violence) should give them a go.

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