Posted by: Corri van de Stege | July 26, 2009

Stieg Larsson – the follow up

The girl who played with fireAfter becoming very annoyed with Marilyn Robinson’s characters (see previous blog),  reading the second volume in Stieg Larsson’s  Millenium Trilogy came as a huge relief – these characters are in the here and now, they are punk, modern, completely versed in computer technology and hacking, and they have done away with old-fashioned detective methods.  Yes, I’m talking about The Girl who Played with Fire.  It is nailbitingly good, and even though I probably would be quite taken aback by a real life Liesbeth Salander (or she by me, more likely), in the book you take to her.  You cannot but help be on her side, she is real, feisty, a fighter who will not let go, and does not let go until nearly dead she nevertheless manages to pay-back all the wrongs done to her and others, in particular her mother and best friend Mimi.  She is a female hacker, who outhacks the best and gets hold of whatever information she needs in order to fight her cause.  The plot is just too good to give away, the writing is superb and the story, this second one, just absolutely believable. 

Vanessa Thorpe in today’s Observer writes:

‘The novels have all the nostalgic, seedy components of Hollywood film noir: chainsmoking sleuths, underworld contacts, nedless cups of coffee and a smattering of casual sex.’  Absolutely.

I cannot wait  for the third volume  (The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – out in October) – and it is just incredibly sad that the author is dead: too many cigarettes, coffee and bad living basically – he died, just 50,  of a heart attack after having to climb 7  flights of stairs because the lift had broken down.

Great book.  Needless to say, I find it very hard now to find anything else to my liking. ..


  1. You have convinced me, seachanges. I’ll try and get the two books and be watching for the third one.

    Perhaps if Larsson hadn’t smoked so much he wouldn’t have written what he did? And from what I read in your post the girl in the novel was a reflection of his way of living.

    I must read the books anyhow.

  2. Thanks for your kind words on the translation, and here’s a recommendation of an author I’ve been reading who has something of Stieg’s charm and drive: Brett Battles. Start with The Cleaner. And then there’s Ian Rankin for great Edinburgh cop stories. –Reg Keeland

  3. That sounds very interesting! A female hacker. Too bad you can’t give away any of the plot because I’m already hooked…

  4. Jose, the girl in the novel was partially based on his niece, partially on Astrid Lindgren’s rebellious character Pippi Longstocking.

    Kim L, check Amazon in US or UK for plenty of clues to what the story involved.

  5. Thank you for the indication, Reg. You’ve reminded me of Amazon something I had forgotten.

  6. Hmmm…”looks” like a good book. Bookcover trends are also blog-worthy…glad you put this cover in…helps me remember when I get to the bookstore which one I might be looking for!

  7. Jose: yes, as Reg says, the Liesbeth Salander’s character was partly based on Pippi Langkous (the Dutch translation for Longstocking….) – however I was not aware of the niece!

    Kim, there are lots of reviews all over the place, I just wanted to share with you my enthousiasm for Larsson’s books so that you all go out and read them… 🙂 and definitely, Amazone is as good a start as any. Mind you, if you follow Reg’s link above, he has a link to the New York Times Book reviews – which is very good.

    Reg, I’m very glad you popped by and will take up your suggestions. I’ve never come across Brett Battles before, so great advice. I’ll add your site to the blog roll so that we can pop by every so often to find out more about the third Larsson volume!

    Oh, the book cover definitely is a good one, catching and attractive I think. Also, as you say, this will help you find the book immediately – I really do think about how to make life easy for you 🙂

  8. I got it! I bought Larsson’s first book today, the “tatoo” one – I am SO excited. I might just let it sit there on the desk, shining in its brand new-ness. I am excited to (finally) get on the bandwagon and see what his book is all about!

  9. Oh – Enjoy – don’t let it fester on the shelves 🙂

  10. Latest rumor from Knopf is #3 will be out next May. Who can wait till summer?

  11. Reg – indeed, who can wait that long? Once you’re hooked you want more!

  12. […] two (remember: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Girl who Played with Fire…  reviewed here) you really want to enjoy them all.   I think you can read this one separately, enough is being […]

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