Sunday, November 28, 2010

hornet's nest

So I finished! I just finished up reading the The Millennium Trilogy, by the late Stieg Larsson. As everyone probably knows by now, the last in the series is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and I'll add my two bits to the endless number of folks who have already written about this series. Lazy, four-day holiday weekends are sweet.

Larsson brings the female hero--heroine, if you prefer, or anti-hero as I've said in my reviews of the first two books--to the fore of the narrative by opening parts of this book with stories and myths about the Amazons. Larsson's Salander represents this legendary female warrior, who struck fear into the hearts of men, and accentuates the prevalent contrast between power and femininity by making Salander a tiny, sprite of a woman. He revels in the satisfaction of watching men laugh her off when they see her, to their unfailing dismay, when they realize, much too late, that they have not only met their match in the 90 pound woman, but their better.

This book, while it does address issues raised in the first novel, seems more like the second part of The Girl Who Played With Fire. The first is a stand alone, and if you didn't read anymore, you'd probably be satisfied. The second leaves you hanging, and wanting to come back and read the third. Intentional? Maybe, but it probably means that neither of these last two would be a very satisfying read on their own.

The scope of this novel also broadens, and begins to tangle with a series of real political scandals in Sweden in the recent past, and there is a note in the backmatter explaining these scandals--as they are sometimes referred to in an explanatory way in the text--so us foreign readers can follow along.

Satisfied? Yes. Have that creeping feeling that there is more to the story, and wishing that it could go on and on? No.

That being said, there are reports that Larsson had a fourth novel under way, and ideas for a total of perhaps ten novels in this series. How much time before someone decides its a good idea to finish the fourth, or perhaps even take a shot at some of the others? I guess we can't stop the marketing machine, but we can ignore it when it tries to foist crap on us. I would be more interested in an unfinished novel, but maybe its too much to ask for. They'll probably figure more saps will buy the slapped together version, than would be interested in the writing process of a modern writer of fiction.

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