Book Review #2 – Millennium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson

Hello guys!

Today I bring you something a bit different: instead of one review, I’ll do three. I’m doing this since this is a trilogy and it’s easier not only for me to write but for you as a reader, since you can keep up with the story lines and characters. This is going to be another long one!

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I’m going to talk about the Millennium Trilogy, which is consisted on three books: The Girl With The Dragon TattooThe Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. I’ll go through a little bit of each book, the author and my overall thoughts on the trilogy. Enjoy!

Warning: This trilogy contains a lot of violence, both sexual and physical. 

Stieg Larsson was a swedish journalist (and later, writer) who died in 2004. Some say there’s some mysterious circumstances involving his death since he often received a lot of death threats. According to something I read, when Larsson was young he saw a girl being gang raped on the street. Even though he didn’t do anything to help her, he couldn’t help to feel guilty. Later, he tried to apologise to the girl but she refused it. I believe this event never actually left the author’s mind and that inspired him to write about violence against woman. Some even say that this is his way of apologising to her.

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The story begins with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (pt. Os Homens Que Odeiam as Mulheres). Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist that ends up in a very bad place in his professional life because of something that he wrote about a very famous financial man on his magazine, Millennium. He decides to take a break from journalism and is asked to write the story of the Vanger family, who once were one of the most powerful families in Sweden. Blomkvist discovers a great mystery: one of the Vanger’s woman has been missing for almost forty years. While he tries to discover things about the missing woman, he recruits the help of Lisbeth Salander, a very tattooed and pierced woman who also happens to be one of the best hackers in the world. Let’s just say there’s more about the Vanger family that you could ever imagine.

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The second book is called The Girl Who Played With Fire (pt. A Rapariga Que Sonhava Com Um Lata De Gasolina E Um Fósforo). After the events of the previous book, Blomkvist and Salander loose track of each other. The first one is contacted by a couple of journalists that say they have some information confirming the presence of famous people in a network of women traffic. They end up being murdered and the primary suspect is Lisbeth. On this one, we go deeper on Salander’s personal life, especially her background and childhood. The story gets even darker and darker.

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The final book is The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest (pt. A Rapariga No Palácio Das Correntes De Ar). It’s a bit difficult to talk about this one since there’s so many plot lines that culminate on here. Lisbeth was badly injured on the end of the second book but she’s still a suspect in many juridical cases. On the meanwhile, there’s a strange organisation in the middle of Säpo, the national security police, that’s trying to eliminate everyone who gets in their ways. Here, we see the end of Lisbeth’s family problems even though that doesn’t mean she’s finally safe.

Unfortunately, if you read this three books, you won’t have an ending. The author died before he could publish the fourth volume. You end book three with a lot of questions about the characters, their relationships and their lives. But that doesn’t take away the magnificence of these literary works. I don’t usually read crime/thriller books (actually I think these were the first and only books of this kind that I went till the end) but these completely blew my mind. At times the violence and the injustice against these women will drive you crazy but that’s what the author wishes to alarm you about. Even in a progressive and modern country like Sweden, women are still treated badly, in a lot of ways. If you’re a women’s rights advocate this is totally a must-read. Not only are the characters and their stories great, but it also brings awareness to a lot of issues. Lisbeth Salander is probably one of my favourite characters of all time. She’s just a bad-ass woman, with an amazing mind and body. I’m completely fascinated by her.

There’s movie adaptations of these books. There’s three swedish movies, one for each title, staring an amazing actress called Noomi Rapace. There’s also an american remake of A Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, staring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. I didn’t enjoy the american one as much as the swedish because it just felt like a copy. I also think that the american movie was a bit unnecessary since the three swedish movies cover all story and they do it perfectly. But it’s your choice! All movies are very faithful to the books and that’s always a plus.

I have a special love for these three books since they introduced me to feminism. I read them while I was pretty young and it made me aware towards all the injustices against women. Feminism is now something very important to me and my views of life but I’ll talk more about that in a next post.

In summary, these books are amazing. They are beautifully written and it’s impossible to put them down until you reach the end. It’s a genre I don’t usually read but that didn’t stop me from loving this trilogy. If you read them, let me know what you thought.

As always, thanks for reading!

Cat.

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