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This really is as gripping and un-put-downable as they say; a brilliant detective story set in contemporary Sweden, as an investigative journalist is asked to research a murder in a wealthy family from the mid-1960s, and recruits the eponymous girl as his partner. The plot is topped and tailed by a largely separate vendetta with an Evil Capitalist (as opposed to the old man who wants the 1960s mystery investigated and is a Good Capitalist). But apart from that I was captivated both by the central mystery, whose brutal nature only gradually becomes apparent - and the solution to the original murder took my breath away - and by Lisbeth, the hacker and investigator of the title, a damaged but super-competent heroine. Excellent reading.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
bellinghman
Sep. 8th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
Indeed so - I think Lisbeth is a true heroine for our times.

I think you'll find the other two novels equally good. It's a real shame Larsson died so early.
bart_calendar
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:29 am (UTC)
I think the second one is the best, but the third one is awesome in the way that it shows you what the three novels are really about (the way that the patriarchy itself is a form of violence) rather than what the books appear at first to be about from a straight plot point point of view.
bart_calendar
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:28 am (UTC)
The second book is even better.
rparvaaz
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh nice. I had this book recommended strongly last month and was wondering if I should pick it up.
bellinghman
Sep. 8th, 2011 04:02 pm (UTC)
Oh do. Yes, it was very much the fashionable book to read, but unusually there was a good reason: it is actually pretty good.
rparvaaz
Sep. 10th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
I hate it when people try to sneak good books past you by rendering them fashionable. No constancy in this wicked world, I tell you...one ought to be able to dismiss everything fashionable without any worry about missing out on something well-written.
girfan
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)
Loved the books and the films!
tree_and_leaf
Sep. 8th, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
The plot's good, but I wish his editor had made him take out all the technical details about what electronic devices people were using. It doesn't add verisimilitude, it just suggests he was being paid by the line. And it will look really dated in about five years.

I have to admit I also thought that the author is a bit too keen on describing sexualised violence in loving detail for me to be totally convinced by it as a Great Feminist Work. But perhaps I would feel that less strongly if someone hadn't sold it to me on that basis...
unwholesome_fen
Sep. 8th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
The original title was "Män som hatar kvinnor" ("men who hate women"). I wonder if that foregrounds it a bit more for Swedish readers?
artw
Sep. 8th, 2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
I agree, and the publishers appear to feel that the violent passages are a key selling point (I read the sample chapter at the end of book one). Also not feminist but kind of endearing is the way the central male character, who happens to be a similar age to the author, gets to enjoy sex without ties with 1)married old friend with understanding husband 2)older woman who throws herself at him and falls painfully in love with him and 3)much younger woman who throws herself at him and falls painfully in love with him; all of this without him showing any sign of the discomfort of being in love with anybody himself.
nickbarnes
Sep. 9th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed all three books, but found the utterly dispassionate writing style a bit much. One might call it 'bloodless', were it not for the occasionally very bloody subject matter. By the third book I was reading for plot only, and in fact I skimmed the second half.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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