The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The ExposeMillennium publisher Mikael Blomkvist has made his reputation exposing corrupt establishment figures. So when a young journalist approaches him with an investigation into sex trafficking, Blomkvist cannot resist waging war on the powerful figures who control this lucrative industry.The MurderWhen a young couple are found dead in their Stockholm apartment, it's a...

Title:The Girl Who Played with Fire
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0307269981
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:752 pages

The Girl Who Played with Fire Reviews

  • Grace Tjan

    ILLUSTRATED!

    What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

    1. Swedish billionaires furnish their multi-million dollar apartments with IKEA --- well, at least ONE peculiar Swedish billionaire.

    Poang Chair $40

    2. Asperger's Syndrome may give you the idea that a T-shirt that says ‘I’M AN ALIEN’ is acceptable office wear, but also photographic memory and phenomenal mathematical ability.

    3. "Sweden is one of the countries that imports the most prostitutes per capita from Russia and

    ILLUSTRATED!

    What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

    1. Swedish billionaires furnish their multi-million dollar apartments with IKEA --- well, at least ONE peculiar Swedish billionaire.

    Poang Chair $40

    2. Asperger's Syndrome may give you the idea that a T-shirt that says ‘I’M AN ALIEN’ is acceptable office wear, but also photographic memory and phenomenal mathematical ability.

    3. "Sweden is one of the countries that imports the most prostitutes per capita from Russia and the Baltics". Naughty Swedes.

    4. The best computer in the world is a Mac, but no matter what computer you have, Asphyxia WILL suck up all your digital secrets.

    5. You can live on Billy's Pan Pizza for days on end and STILL look like an anorexic teenager.

    6. All rapists and violent sex offenders should have these words tattooed on their stomachs: "I AM A SADISTIC PIG, A PERVERT AND A RAPIST". The tattoo should be done by an amateur and not be removable even by laser. Repeat offenders will be tattooed on their foreheads. It is recommended that the subject be tasered first before undergoing this involuntary procedure.

    7. "There were not so many physical threats that could not be countered with a decent hammer". Buy a good-sized one from the hardware store and keep it in your bag always.

    8. Failing that, a girl must always have the following ready:

    a. keys (to scratch an opponent's face);

    b. a can of mace, though it's illegal in Sweden; and

    c. a taser (a 50,000 volts jolt to the crotch will incapacitate even the burliest of men).

    9. "Men could be as big as a house and made of granite, but they all had balls in the same place". A crucial fact to remember in a fight, especially if you are fighting a 300 pounds, six foot six giant with hands as big as frying pans.

    POTENTIAL SPOILER

    10. A cigarette case is a useful tool for digging yourself out of a grave.

    My review of

    :

    and

    :

  • Lisa Eskra

    The first book was for the most part plot-driven. The 40-year old mystery took a while to unfold, but was interesting when it did. So was Lisbeth, although she wasn't the main focus. Enter, The Girl Who Played With Fire. The story has now turned character-driven with Lisbeth as the protagonist. But instead of having much of a plot of any character revelations about her early on, we read about her buying a new apartment, grocery shopping, and what furniture she picked out at IKEA in *great* detai

    The first book was for the most part plot-driven. The 40-year old mystery took a while to unfold, but was interesting when it did. So was Lisbeth, although she wasn't the main focus. Enter, The Girl Who Played With Fire. The story has now turned character-driven with Lisbeth as the protagonist. But instead of having much of a plot of any character revelations about her early on, we read about her buying a new apartment, grocery shopping, and what furniture she picked out at IKEA in *great* detail. Seriously, you could go down to the store and decorate the same way if you wanted, that's the level of description he gave. I was bored out of my mind. This goes on for a staggering 172 pages.

    Mystery thriller? Surely you jest! This book wasn't a mystery whatsoever for me. The fact that the police and everyone else working to solve the case chose to ignore it was pitiful.

    The turning point didn't happen until page 172, which was about 100 pages too late to hold the interest of any reader who's not a masochist. The quick pace and interest it generates rapidly disappears until 375.Really. It was more bloated than a rotting whale.

    The

    was a better book. I wanted to throw this one against the wall a few times.

  • Brad

    I am confident that

    has a reason for this, but Lisbeth Salander is not much of a heroine. Let's list her transgressions from

    (and these will be deliberately out of context):

    1. She forces herself on a 16 year old boy in Granada.

    2. She kills a man on the beach during a hurricane.

    3. She shuts out Blomkvist for a very long time for a perceived slight, giving him no explanation.

    4. She fails to take or show the necessary care with her ex-guardian after his s

    I am confident that

    has a reason for this, but Lisbeth Salander is not much of a heroine. Let's list her transgressions from

    (and these will be deliberately out of context):

    1. She forces herself on a 16 year old boy in Granada.

    2. She kills a man on the beach during a hurricane.

    3. She shuts out Blomkvist for a very long time for a perceived slight, giving him no explanation.

    4. She fails to take or show the necessary care with her ex-guardian after his stroke.

    5. She alienates everyone else who cares about her.

    6. She lives off billions that she stole.

    7. She invades the apartment of her "guardian" and threatens his life in the middle of the night.

    8. She endangers the lives of friends and innocents.

    9. She very nearly burned her father to death when she was a teenager.

    10. She pulls a gun on the owner of a car rental agency and shuts him in a broom closet to control him.

    11. She commits multiple computer violations, including the hacking of government computers.

    12. She carries and uses illegal weapons.

    13. She is genuinely ultraviolent.

    14. She shoots a man in the foot after macing his eyes, and she tasers another in the testicles.

    15. She steals a motorcycle.

    16. She chops her father's knee and skull with an axe.

    17. She is vengeful in a way that makes Edmond Dantès look like a sissy.

    Let's face it, Lisbeth is more than a little bit nasty. And taken a step further, it is safe to say that she is not particularly likable. She is cold, calculating, emotionally irrational, mean, detached, abrasive, unapproachable, unfriendly, selfish, mercenary, vengeful, and more than a few other things most of us would classify as unlikable.

    Out of context, Lisbeth Salander is the kind of person who most people would be more than happy to see locked up forever. And if all we had to go on were the reports of newspapers and descriptions of trials, we'd all see it as a failure of the "justice system" if she went free.

    Yet we cheer for her in the

    ; we can't seem to help ourselves. And therein lies what Stieg Larsson is trying to tell us with his challenging protagonist -- context is everything.

    Larsson isn't simply writing a compelling series of thrillers (and I haven't been so locked into a book, as I was with GWPWF, for a very long time). He isn't simply fishing for a film deal. He isn't just sitting down to write a vapid bestseller. I'd even go so far as to say that Stieg Larsson is not a hack. Nowhere near. He is criticizing the very efficacy of what we so proudly call the "rule of law."

    Larsson is suggesting that the "rule of law" fails because it has no room for context. It deals in absolutes (unless you're one of the super-rich or super-influential), and it doesn't give a damn whether you perceived a threat before you lit someone on fire; it doesn't care whether the sixteen year old you're having sex with is mature, in love with you and is totally willing; it doesn't care that you stole the car or killed someone to save a life; it doesn't care that you withheld evidence from the police to protect yourself or someone you love; it doesn't care that you hacked into computers for altruistic reasons; it doesn't care that you were bred to ultraviolence through nature and nurture; it doesn't care about you and it doesn't care about context. It just doesn't care, and because it doesn't care Larsson suggests that we should have a healthy disdain for the "rule of law" and recognize its terrible shortcomings because it is the structure we have to live with whether we like it or not.

    Yet with all this,

    is -- most importantly -- a cracking read. It is fast paced, cinematic in its noirishness, full of suspense, has a genuine twist or two (one of which actually took me by surprise), a cast of characters it is almost impossible not to love and hate (as the mood takes you) -- even thought they are all rather static -- and it ends with a cliff hanger of the first order (I am guessing this is a problem for some readers, but I am a fan of the cliff hanger).

    What a shame Stieg Larsson passed from us so soon. I could have read his books for the rest of my life.

  • Nataliya

    Stieg Larsson doesn't really do subtle.

    But since he is condemning misogyny and violence towards women, I'm ok with that.

    This book, much more than its predecessor, focuses on the tiny-but-tough Lisbeth Salander. We learn quite a bit about the fascinating and horrific backstory that led to Salander developing her unique, defensive, prickly personality.

    Stieg Larsson doesn't really do subtle.

    But since he is condemning misogyny and violence towards women, I'm ok with that.

    This book, much more than its predecessor, focuses on the tiny-but-tough Lisbeth Salander. We learn quite a bit about the fascinating and horrific backstory that led to Salander developing her unique, defensive, prickly personality.

    But don't let the focus on Lisbeth fool you -

    (

    was the original title of the first Swedish book, before it was changed to include a more marketable dragon tattoo) as its main theme remains the same as its predecessor's, repeated and restated countless times. And that's why I liked this otherwise far from perfect book.

    Yet again, Larsson determinedly exposes the unlikable aspects of society - misogyny and adherence to judgmental standards and gender norms that are ever-present even in the European paradise of Sweden. The surface mystery is just that - a plot device, an excuse to get a new angle on Larsson's favorite topic.

    This is reflected first and foremost in the awful treatment that Salander receives, but also in the treatment of Lisbeth's mother, Sonia Bodig, and the helpless and easily ignored by the society victims of sex trafficking.

    However, I could not help but sigh and eyeroll at Larsson's less-than-perfect prose.

    My gripes are similar to those of many other readers - the

    of every minute detail, the never-ending parade of

    reading like an ad at times, and what feels like

    making a special appearance. This diary-like filler could have been easily cut out, leaving a much shorter and much sharper book. I also giggled at the author's self-insertion and

    in the memorable figure of incorruptible and irresistible journalist Blomkvist. And how can I forget a grating pet-peeve of

    .

    The final grade is

    - full marks for the awesome message of the story, but points taken off for far-from-perfect execution.

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  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    Very short review due to the glitches on GR.

    This is the second book in the trilogy. I loved it and I loved the movie. The book bogs down a little but it's all good.

    Lisbeth is back and doing her own thing.

    Lisbeth has been away from Mikael for some time. But, they come back together when Lisbeth is accused of killing that jerk rapist of hers.

    *****Spoiler*****

    Lisbeth looks into a sex trafficking ring that Mikael is involved in and finds out some things about her past she didn't want to know.

    He

    Very short review due to the glitches on GR.

    This is the second book in the trilogy. I loved it and I loved the movie. The book bogs down a little but it's all good.

    Lisbeth is back and doing her own thing.

    Lisbeth has been away from Mikael for some time. But, they come back together when Lisbeth is accused of killing that jerk rapist of hers.

    *****Spoiler*****

    Lisbeth looks into a sex trafficking ring that Mikael is involved in and finds out some things about her past she didn't want to know.

    Her evil arse father is alive and she has a brother and they need to be taken out.

    But this almost gets her killed.

    Thank God Mikael was able to find her!


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