Millennium Trilogy a knock-your-socks-off read

9 04 2010

I recently finished books one and two of the “Millennium Trilogy” by Stieg Larsson – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

I’m so stoked about this storyline that the release date for the final book in the series – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest – can’t come soon enough (sometime in May or June – I keep seeing conflicting reports). The books follow two main characters, the journalist and publisher Mikhail Blomkvist, and the genius hacker and researcher Lisbeth Salander.

The books were originally published in Sweden in 2005, 2006 and 2007  respectively. Unfortunately, Larsson died in 2004 and so never saw the broad appeal his trilogy garnered. According to Wikipedia,

[Larsson] was the second best-selling author in the world in 2008, behind Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. By March 2010 his Millennium Trilogy had sold 27 million copies in over 40 countries.

I’m not usually into the crime book genre so I was surprised by how much I liked the storyline. There’s intrigue, take-to-the-grave secrets, murder and revenge combined with socio-political commentary and serious ass-kicking which altogether make these books hard to put down.

What I find so interesting is how the titles of the books have changed in the translation to English.

In Swedish,

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is Män som hatar kvinnor or “Men Who Hate Women”
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire is Flickan som lekte med elden (same as English version)
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is Luftslottet som sprängdes or literally, “The Air Castle that Blew Up”  with air castle representing a “pipe dream”

Now try saying those Swedish titles five times fast. 😉
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In the first book, Larsson cites some interesting statistics on violence against women in Sweden that correlate to the theme of the book. In the second book he cites mathematical formulas, and I get the feeling they are representative of Lisbeth Salander’s strict and unbending code of morality, justice and revenge.

Dude, you don’t want to cross her.

The books were all made into movies in Sweden, and an English version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is now playing in North America . See http://dragontattoofilm.com.

This story spanning three books is a seriously good read that won’t disappoint. Looking forward to the release of book three!

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2 responses

28 05 2010
Caro Z.

Hey Mel,

I read all three in French earlier this year. You have no idea what is coming your way… You may have loved the first two books, but the last one is freakin’ awesome. Have fun !!

28 05 2010
melgallant

Ha – I believe it! Can’t wait to get started on the third book. And see the movie!

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