Friday, March 04, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest: A Review

By John Cheeran
I just finished reading Stieg Larsson’s final part of the Millennium trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. I’m yet to figure out the storm around Larsson’s trilogy. The book can hardly described as riveting writing or a thrilling piece of crime fiction. Yes, Larsson deals with individual freedom in an advanced society such as Sweden where personal liberty counts a great deal.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest is not a book that you would return to. It is too detailed, too long and lacks the element unknown to sustain the reader’s interest. I, however, found that Larsson’s depiction of newsroom tension quite interesting. It is hardly surprising when you consider that he was a journalist and an editor in Sweden. The other striking thing about Larsson’s work is the role of women. Lisbeth Salander is unusual heroine by Indian standards. She is the central figure in Millennium trilogy, warts and all. Not just Salander. A whole lot of feisty, independent women play crucial roles to take the story forward in Larsson’s long winding effort, including editor Erica Berger, lawyer Giannini and security agent Figuerola. All of them know what they want from life and go about getting it without less drama and less fuss. Compared to them the investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist is a wallflower.
Men, too, are from a different world, with their actions determined to a large extent by individual freedom with society taking a back seat in determining what is wrong and what is right. I did not enjoy The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest as crime fiction but it helped me to understand how life gets unspooled in a society where individual comes first, most of the times.
Disclosure: I’m yet to read the first two books – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire in the Millennium trilogy.

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