Friday, April 6, 2012

Book review(s): The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

by Stieg Larsson

Descriptions and other reviews can be found here and hereBecause I read these books one after another and because the plot stretches from one into the next, I've decided to review these together. You can find my review of the first in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo here.

Remember how the first book was really boring sometimes and really hard to get into and I had to try more than once to read it?

Not so with these books.

I think part of that is that a lot a lot a lot of the beginning of the first book was character development. Since these two books revisit familiar characters, we didn't need that so much. We could jump right into the action.

And boy, is there a lot of action.

I'll start with things I didn't like about the book:

1. Holy potatoes is it graphic sometimes. Yeah, the first one was too, but these were medical, physical, things-that-are-not-supposed-to-be-like-that-on-your-body graphic descriptions that had me cringing. Yuck. But that wouldn't bother some people, I guess.

2. A whole chunk at the beginning of the second book wasn't really important. Like at all. I'm thinking back, and it maybe filled some plot holes, but they could easily have mentioned a few things and moved on in a sentence or two instead of pages and pages. For those of you who have read it--Salander's time at the beach/hotel/with the dude she picks up? Why was that important? If you know, clue me in!

That being said, it wasn't boring. Larsson just spent so much time on it I thought it would be important. It wasn't. There are various other subplots (Poison Pen?) that seem to do nothing but get a character in the right place at the right time, or just get someone out of the way. I think this is lack of skill (creating a whole scenario to accomplish a small thing) covered by decent/interesting writing and details (a la Poison Pen--gets Berger out of the way for a while and is interesting enough to hold our attention, but really has nothing to do with anything except that it's another dude that mistreats women.)

3. I also don't know why they spend so much time on Blomkvist's love affairs. I get it. Ladies like him. Once again, not really that essential.

4. We NEVER meet one character who is mentioned again and again and again and I was dyyyyyyyyyying to meet. Never. Never even see her. *hmph*

I liked things too!

1. The second book is full of action. It gets you hooked and doesn't let you go.

2. There are fun/interesting characters that weren't in the other books, like Paulo Roberto.

3. We learn lots lots lots about Lisbeth's background and why she is the way she is and why she has a guardian and whatnot.

4. Once you've read all the books, read this. It's funny. :)

From looking at my what I liked vs my what I didn't like, you'd think I didn't like the books. But I really enjoyed them, enough so that I might read them again someday. I even recommend them! Woah!

If you've read them, please let me know what you thought!


PS. I'm linking up with Book Club Friday. How cool! Didn't know it even existed! Click the pic to see other book reviews!


Victoria said...

exactly howi felt about these books :( couldn't put them down but felt sort of yucky after reading them lol

cute blog!

Wiz said...

I loved these books! But I agree with you. While I enjoyed the whole beach thing in the second book, I am not sure what the point was...maybe character development.

And I am guessing you were referring to the twin sister? I wanted her to be introduced too! I heard that there were ten manuscripts when he died and seven wont be published unless the author's father lets ghost writers write them. I think the sister would have eventually showed up.

Shoshanah said...

I still have the first one sitting on my shelf asking to be read. Although given how graphic everyone says they are, I'm not sure how much I'll actually enjoy them. But even so, I'm sure I'll wind up reading them eventually.

Heather said...

So glad you found the Book Club & linked up! I hope you'll be back with more. :)

Kate said...

So I'm just doing a bit of back reading on all of your book reviews, and I must say. We have the SAME taste in books. :P

And I just laughed SO DANG HARD reading that passage from the New Yorker. It's sososo true!
It was impossible keeping all those street names/people names straight!


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