I have just finished Millennium III, the final book in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I can’t say that I have ever read any three books like these. In truth it is in fact just one story split into three books. I am certain that the publishers thought that it would not sell as just one book of about 2000 pages. I am sure they were right.
I normally only read in bed at night time. I read a few pages and fall asleep. Not with these. I found myself eager to get back to the story and I therefore started reading at any opportunity during the day.
All the publicity surrounding the books suggest that the novels revolve around Lisbeth Salander, describing her as the heroine of the story. I think I would argue with this. The real hero of the book is Mikael Blomkvist. Without him Lisbeth would not have survived. It was his moral convictions, and his courage, that slayed the wicked.
I think the story is so well written that I kept having to remind myself that this was fiction and that these people do not exist. Now that I have finished I have to remind myself to stop wondering what is happening to them now.
There is an awful lot of detail in this book about various subjects. And none of it is filler. The only other author I can think of that has me turning pages like these three books did is Minette Walters. Her books are really very different but also excellent.
I learned quite a bit about Sweden as well. I had not realised that they had such a problem with neo-Nazis and other far right nut jobs. Sweden has just had an election and the far right Swedish Democrats have for the first time won seats in parliament. For some reason I had always had an image of Sweden in my mind as being a very large hippy commune with very liberal values. I am very disappointed to find out they have such a problem with racism and the far right.
If you decide to read these books do note that they are not no-brainers. They are not just wham bang wallop thrillers. They require a certain intelligence. I hope that does not sound snobby. They are an excellent read but not a mindless one.
The three novels are titled: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.