Book Review–The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest–Stieg Larsson

HornetsNextWhen I sat down with Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, I expected it to take me a week or so to finish.  I got it in hardcover around Christmas (which I almost never do) by accident when I clicked the buy button on without checking to see what edition I was ordering.  Oops.

My wife and I had just watched the the Swedish version of The Girl Who Played with Fire the night before I started reading and I was anxious to find out what was going to happen next.  Like I said, I expected to read it over the next week or so, because it is long (550 pages) and because it’s heavy.  I wouldn’t be hauling it on the train with me to and from work.

I never had to make  the decision whether or not to bring it to work.  I started it Saturday morning and finished it Sunday night.  I could not put it down.  Every waking free moment of those two days I spent reading.  Like the other two books in the series, it’s a great read, continuing the story of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, starting from just moments after the end of the last book.  It had me right from the start of the story and kept me in it all the way to the end.

I’ve already said my peace about Larsson’s wordy style, and his complete disregard for what the ‘experts’ say about writing and editing.  The man knew how to tell a tale despite all that, and once you get used to the excruciating level of detail, you almost begin to like it.  I really do wonder if the style guides I have read are all specific to the American culture.  I don’t read a large number of books targeted to European audiences (except, you know, for all that writing by Bernard Cornwell that I read).  Perhaps the lack of intense procedural driven language is a purely North American thing.

You do have to read the first two books in this series for this book to make any sense.  That’s pretty standard with any series.  But make sure than when you sit down with this one, you don’t have anything else you want to get done that day.  You’re going to be held captive by this story until the end.  And you’ll love it.

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