The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (No Spoiler…hahaha)


Originally an email written on July 13, 2010 (Tuesday) :


I finished reading Stieg Larsson’s "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest" yesterday evening (Monday).  I like this better even more than the last two.  Maybe, this is partly due to the emotion invested in the characters Salander, Blomkvist and so forth.  Towards the end, I couldn’t help feeling the looming unavoidability and thus the "profound" sadness that we won’t be able to have any more adventures of Salander and Blomkvist …. because Larsson is no longer in this present universe to tell us more about them …What a pity !

If you bought the 1st two books of this "Trilogy", you have to buy the 3rd.  The 1st book "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" may be reluctantly considered as one independent novel.  But the 2nd one "The Girl who Played with Fire" is definitely incomplete and desperately needs a sequel which is the 3rd one.  In the 3rd, it seems that apparently all the doubts and mysteries from the 1st two books are explained in the 3rd.  The story may be considered complete though it’s not difficult for me to imagine to further develop the novel.  It’s really a shame that Larsson has passed away …

In this 3rd book, there is a page or two at the beginning of each of the 4 parts about the ancient female warriors, which is apparently unrelated to the novel.   To me, it’s a bit strange that Mr. Larsson seems to be strongly on the side of the women and tried his hardest to help "tip the balance" for the women.  He’s like a diversity officer (in a national laboratory) who is trying too hard … However, what’s clear is that he’s telling us, even though Sweden seems like an open and even avant garde country such that (for example) a husband is OK with his wife not coming home for some nights but sleeping with another man and this husband may be heterosexual himself, there is still serious chauvinism deep down in the minds of many Swedish men.  Perhaps many men are sadist and the difference is just a matter of extent …  Maybe similarly for the neo-Nazism in Sweden …

In the story, the no. of characters and the complexity and scale of government bureaucracies involved are just unbelievable and seemingly unprecedented to me. There are many ‘surprising twists throughout the novel.  But about halfway into this book, the truth has gradually floated to the surface and what has Säpo has done is no longer a mystery.  At that point, I (and probably most other readers) hoped so much that Salander & Blomkvist would prevail and beat their antagonists in SSA (the Section for Special Analysis).  One just couldn’t put the book down even though there didn’t seem to be any more mysteries. 

Another interesting bit is that quite a few real persons appear such as the former prime minster Thorbjörn Fälldin.  Larsson has from time to time educated us about the Swedish history and politics.  I’ve felt that I’ve learnt quite a bit about Sweden and I’ve felt so curious that I’ve booked a trip in Sweden in a month’s time.  I’ve often used Google map to check where the places, streets or buildings mentioned are. I’ve also found the easiest way in Windows to type letters such as ö, ä etc. 


About kinyip

An experimental particle physicist ...
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