Friday, August 27, 2010

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

(hb; 2007, 2009: third book in the Millennium series. Translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland.)

From the inside flap:

"Lisbeth Salander -- the heart of Larsson's two previous novels -- lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her frind, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge -- against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

"Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back."


Hornet's Nest sports all the charms of its two predecessors: intriguing characters, (mostly) fleet-footed plot and action, and life-true character-based twists.

Where Hornet's Nest differs from its prequels is that the pace slows down midway through the novel, when the history and internecinic political manueverings of the "Zalachenko Club" are given full expression. While this is necessary, up to a point, to logically link the characters and their motives, it does run a bit deep and long; during this chapter I thought I was reading a John le Carré novel, not a Stieg Larsson novel.

This doesn't ruin Hornet's Nest, but it does provide a short pause in the action.

The ending echoes those of Dragon Tattoo and Played With Fire while satisfactorily wrapping up the events and characters of Larsson's amazing trilogy.

Worth owning, like the first two Millennium books.


A Swedish film version was released in Denmark and Sweden on November 27, 2009. A stateside release date of October 29, 2010 has been announced.

Michael Nyqvist played Michael Blomkvist. Noomi Rapace played Lisbeth Salander. Lena Endre played Erika Berger. Annika Halin played Annika Giannini.

Jacob Ericksson played Christer Malm. Sofia Ledarp played Malin Erikson. Tomas Köhler resumed his role of Plague (from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Michalis Koutsogiannakis played Dragan Armanskij. Mirja Turestedt played Monica Figuerola. Johan Kylén played Inspector Jan Bublanski. Tanja Lorentzon played Sonja Modig. An uncredited Per Oscarsson played Holger Palmgren. Tehilla Blad played "Young Lisbeth Salander".

Georgi Staykov played Alexander Zalachenko. Micke Spreitz, billed as Mikael Spreitz, played Ronald Niedermann. Niklas Falk played Edklinth. Hans Alfredson played Evert Gullberg. Lennart Hjulström played Fredrik Clinton.

Anders Ahlbom (billed as Anders Ahlbom Rosendahl) played Dr. Peter Teleborian. Magnus Krepper played Hans Faste. Niklas Hjulström played "Richard Ekström - Prosecutor".

Daniel Alfredson directed the film, from a script by Jonas Frykberg and Ulf Ryberg.

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