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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Novel I've Read So Far in 2009
"Godly people find life; evil people find death." -- Proverbs 11:19

If you enjoyed Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you're in for a treat: This is Lisbeth's story, explaining how such a brilliant woman came to be a ward of the state, taken "care of" by a pervert lawyer. What's more, she's on the run . . . first from her disappointment in...
Published on Aug. 10 2009 by Donald Mitchell

versus
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's all about coffee and sandwiches...and more coffee and sandwiches
"The Girl who Played with Fire" is the second book in the Millennium Trilogy by author Stieg Larsson. The book is 724 pages in length. Although not a direct continuation of book I, there are obvious connecting references.

*SPOILER*

A line from page 667 of this book sums up the theme for this book perfectly, I quote...

"Salander was a woman...
Published on July 16 2010 by R. Nicholson


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Novel I've Read So Far in 2009, Aug. 10 2009
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
"Godly people find life; evil people find death." -- Proverbs 11:19

If you enjoyed Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you're in for a treat: This is Lisbeth's story, explaining how such a brilliant woman came to be a ward of the state, taken "care of" by a pervert lawyer. What's more, she's on the run . . . first from her disappointment in loving Mikael Blomkvist, and later from the authorities who rely on circumstantial evidence to decide that she's a murderer. With all of Sweden after her, can Lisbeth outwit her foes?

The story is very much a David and Goliath conflict: Tiny Lisbeth is pitted against rich, powerful, and evil enemies who wish her the very worst they can wish. In developing that theme, Stieg Larsson raises fascinating fundamental questions about duality in the reader's mind such as when strength is weakness and weakness is strength, when doing good leads to evil and when doing evil leads to doing good, when friendship is more important than love and love leads to friendship, what the basis for personal morality should be and when public morality is immoral, and how the family bonds can be horrible while friendship bonds can be redeeming. You'll walk away from this book with a more objective view of the next news story you read about a crime and its punishment.

Stieg Larsson makes quite a bit of Lisbeth's extraordinary intellect. When she's running circles around conventional people, you'll feel like you are reading all about Robin Hood again. Those sections provide something of a letdown however for readers when they have to go back to following the conventional people as they bumble around. I found myself impatient for the next dose of Lisbeth several times in the book's middle.

As in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this book pulls off the respectable front of the rich and powerful to reveal the evil underneath, the sick predators who will stop at nothing to satisfy their every whim. Be ready to be dragged through the mud of gross human depravity. Like a modern-day Joan of Arc, Lisbeth doesn't let the muck stick to her as she slogs through it.

Enjoy!!!!!!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PIPPI LONGSTOCKINGS - THE GROWNUP VERSION, Aug. 21 2009
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Lisbeth Salander is one of the most original and intriguing characters to appear in modern literature for a very long time. When was the last time you came across a featherweight female boxer with more than a touch of Asperger's syndrome; with strong kung-fu when it comes to computer hacking skills and an unstoppable fighting spirit when it comes to physical blows; with a photographic memory and an uncanny ability to grasp mathematics; a master of social engineering and a ghost of disguises; a formidable chess player and an enemy few people could afford to make?
It is Pipi Longstockings with breast implants, real guns and a killer PowerBook!

Whereas the first installment of the MILLENNIUM Trilogy was more on publisher Mikael Blomkvist and his quest to solve a decades old locked-room/island mystery, this second book gives us a ample view on Lisbeth's history as she straggles to clear her name of a triple murder. She had both motive and opportunity and all physical evidence points to her. Was she desperate enough to actually have done it? What could possibly push her over the edge?

Women trafficking, rogue agents of the Soviet GRU and the Swedish Sapo trying to keep their crimes in the shadows, biker gangs and obscure members of Lisbeth's family all interweave in a very absorbing story that kept me turning pages into the morning hours.
And amongst the fog of all this war, Lisbeth comes up with Fermat's alleged elegant solution to his Last Theorem on her own (no, unfortunately the solution is not described in detail).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's powerful writing that draws you in and holds on!, Aug. 21 2009
There's a reason why Mr. Larsson's series of three Millenium books is so hot in Europe. The books are based on excellent character development and elusive, but ultimately credible plots. Knowing that the third book in the series won't be available in English until January 2010, I didn't want the "The Girl Who Played With Fire" to end, but that didn't stop me from putting on a full-court press to finish the book - that's how keen I was to read on! It's a great piece of mystery fiction. Lisbeth Salander, the "Girl" referred to in the title, is an extraordinary character who lives on in the imagination well beyond the pages of the books.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's all about coffee and sandwiches...and more coffee and sandwiches, July 16 2010
By 
R. Nicholson - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Paperback)
"The Girl who Played with Fire" is the second book in the Millennium Trilogy by author Stieg Larsson. The book is 724 pages in length. Although not a direct continuation of book I, there are obvious connecting references.

*SPOILER*

A line from page 667 of this book sums up the theme for this book perfectly, I quote...

"Salander was a woman who hated men who hate women."

In this book we are reacquainted again with journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer-hacker extraordinaire, Lisbeth Salander. Journalist friends of Blomkvist have been murdered and the suddenly missing Salander is the main suspect. A wild and expansive police hunt is begun in order to bring the 'fugitive' to justice.

*END SPOILER*

Comment:

The book reads like a summertime bestseller meant to be consumed at the beach while the kids are off making sand-castles. Although a fast and easy read, it is not particularly well written and I don't feel that this is something entirely related to the book being translated from Swedish to English. There is a degree of shock, sex, violence and doing things to inexplicably put oneself in harms way that smacks of amateurish bestseller-ism.

The police force seems at least as interested in its own sense of hierarchy as it is in solving the murder. Talk about a dysfunctional group with their own agendas! Clues are not followed up on correctly...some problems are solved (or not) by random luck or convenience.

Many characters in the novel missed important communications by leaving their cell phones turned off or lost contact because of low batteries. Just hard to believe in a murder investigation that has riveted the country.

And finally, the coffee reference (in my title)...don't think I've ever seen so many references to coffee either being made, brewed, sipped, drunk or refused in one book. And of course, what's a cup of coffee without sandwiches, they simply go together...over and over and over. No wonder the different groups in this book were incompetent...they were on a continual caffeine buzz.

Conclusion:

The actual story. i.e. the plot, was full of promise and hope...this could have been a great detective/murder novel. But the writing was poor and the plot from a believably point of view, was a real stretch, resulting in a over-rated best-seller. 2 Stars.

Coffee anyone...anyone?

Ray Nicholson

P.S.
I would be greatly indebted if someone could explain to me, the reason for the inclusion of mathematical references and formulas in the introduction areas of each major section of this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PIPPI LONGSTOCKINGS - THE GROWNUP VERSION, Oct. 20 2011
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Lisbeth Salander is one of the most original and intriguing characters to appear in modern literature for a very long time. When was the last time you came across a featherweight female boxer with more than a touch of Asperger's syndrome; with strong kung-fu when it comes to computer hacking skills and an unstoppable fighting spirit when it comes to physical blows; with a photographic memory and an uncanny ability to grasp mathematics; a master of social engineering and a ghost of disguises; a formidable chess player and an enemy few people could afford to make?
It is Pipi Longstockings with breast implants, real guns and a killer PowerBook!

Whereas the first installment of the MILLENNIUM Trilogy was more on publisher Mikael Blomkvist and his quest to solve a decades old locked-room/island mystery, this second book gives us a ample view on Lisbeth's history as she straggles to clear her name of a triple murder. She had both motive and opportunity and all physical evidence points to her. Was she desperate enough to actually have done it? What could possibly push her over the edge?

Women trafficking, rogue agents of the Soviet GRU and the Swedish Sapo trying to keep their crimes in the shadows, biker gangs and obscure members of Lisbeth's family all interweave in a very absorbing story that kept me turning pages into the morning hours.
And amongst the fog of all this war, Lisbeth comes up with Fermat's alleged elegant solution to his Last Theorem on her own (no, unfortunately the solution is not described in detail).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `A philosopher would have had a better chance of solving this riddle.', July 7 2010
By 
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Paperback)
Mikael Bloomkvist, Millenium publisher, has been approached by a journalist with a well-researched investigation into sex trafficking. Bloomkvist cannot resist becoming involved: he has built a reputation through exposing corrupt Swedish establishment figures.

Bloomkvist's attempts to contact Lisbeth Salander (`The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) have largely been unsuccessful: she is avoiding him in person while closely monitoring his activities via his computer. Salander's own past draws her inexorably into the sex trafficking investigation.

And then there are three murders. Evidence indicates that Salander was involved, but she disappears. Bloomkvist believes that she is innocent and tries to find her, and to work out who the killer really is. It's a race against time as Salander is not only being sought by Bloomkvist and the police.

Two stories unfold simultaneously in this novel. First, there is the investigation into the murders which encompasses the sex trafficking investigation. Secondly, there is Lisbeth Salander's traumatic past. The action moves between different sets of characters: the police investigation; an investigation by the private security investigator who once employed Salander; by Bloomkvist and also Salander's own activities.

In the world inhabited by Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Bloomkvist, coincidence certainly seems to play a large part, yet this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. Sure, some of the action seemed over the top and some of the characters - especially the bad guys - are stereotypes. But the central characters of Mikael Bloomkvist and Lisbeth Salander are flawed and enigmatic, and that is enough for me. This is the second book in the Millennium Trilogy, and I would strongly recommend reading them in order.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating in the extreme., Nov. 22 2009
By 
Andrew Winston Tuttle (Edmonton, Alberta) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
To not like this would be to not have a beating heart. The novel crafted by Mr.Larsson flows beautifully, and there are some excellent plot devices put to use here. For instance, those who have read the first book in the trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, will know that the point of view changes quite often between the characters. Well, in this book, one of the most gripping effects is when one characters' storyline goes missing for quite sometime, making for an ultimately more-rewarding payoff when the reader finds out what did transpire with that character.
Anyhow, there is a reason these books were worthy of billboard sized advertizing in Europe in the Summer of 2009--they're terrific. Can't wait for the third to hit North America! Great gift for someone who could use some escapist fiction, but who also likes to be engaged in what they read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nordic Detective Thriller, Jan. 14 2010
By 
Bryan J. Smith (South-Western Ontario) - See all my reviews
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Steig Larsson plots this book well, with interweaving narratives of the protagonists, one an older male, one a young woman facing off against a devious and scary killer, or two. There are quite a number of highly visual scenes, some humour, a romantic subplot, and an onslaught against the free press resisted by people of principle. It is fascinating reading that I have shared with others, all of whom wanted the next volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this One, Oct. 28 2010
By 
Toni Osborne "The Way I See It" (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Paperback)
Book 2 in the "Millennium" trilogy

The heroes of the past are back in this second story which is even more eccentric than the first one. A tale that is violent, complex, outrageous , barely believable and filled with strange characters but one that is highly captivating and totally engrossing, a great sequel to " The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

Lisbeth Salander , is one of the most original and memorable characters to surface in a long time. Playing an even more central role this time as she is the prime suspect in a triple murder. Hunted both by the police and enemies from her past she goes into hiding. Blomkvist, is one of the few who believes in her innocence and makes it his mission to find her and uncover the real culprit.

Mr Larsson writing is colourful and suspense filled. The storyline is intricate, a real puzzle, it is packed with incidents, thrills and details, it juggles many stories in parallel while it moves back and forth in the life of Lisbeth and ultimately has a surprisingly violent ending. He has Criminal Inspector Bublanski and his team tracking down Lisbeth and on another level he has Blomkvist and private investigator Armansky on a quest to exonerate her. In another twist he has Lisbeth, herself on a crusade to revenge her past and come to terms with the horrors she has suffered. Many secondary characters, good guys and villains are added into the mix, a bit mind bending to keep tabs of but very entertaining.

The end is a cliff-hanger leaving some loose ends, the perfect recipe to follow up with a subsequent instalment. I am looking forward to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars All On Her Own, July 20 2010
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Girl Who Played With Fire (Paperback)
With this second story in the Millennium trilogy, Larsson truly enters the Hall of mystery-thriller writers. As Larsson was probably only beginning to whet our appetites in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", he now breaks through into a realm of murder mystery that offers basically everything the reader is looking for. There is no end to the suspense, violence and horror in this modern tale; plenty of fast action, great character development, and some unbelievable moments of truth await the reader who is prepared to open his or her mind to some new possibilities in literature. Here is my famous list of ten observations about the "The Girl Who Played with Fire" that might help any newcomers to Larrson get into this series:
A. Larrson is especially effective at creating realistically disturbing scenes that follow through to completion;
B. This particular story sets out to test the mettle of the main star, child prodigy Lisbeth Salander,in action. While she will have a supporting cast of journalists and private investigators ready to come to her defence, this particular battle with the forces of evil is hers to win with some minor twists. Be prepared for some disturbing and ironic features surfacing in her life as she becomes the target of a conspiracy to destroy her;
C. Larsson is a master at unexpectedly springing on his readers certain unsettling information that requires a lot of getting use to. I would hazard to say that this penchant for tolerating the unusual says a lot about the modern Swedish culture. After all, the multi-talented Lisbeth Salander is no ordinary woman when it comes to assaulting conventional sensibilities;
D. There is more to this story than a typical David-Goliath conflict. As usual, lots of interesting description and discussion of national issues such as sexual expression, the sex trade, right-wing politics and organized crime;
E. This novel grows in intensity as it seeks resolution to the many problems it has raised;
F. The novel allows the reader to sample a fine slice of Swedish culture with respect to dress, food, architecture, customs, and social values;
G. Even in translation, the prose in this book is smooth and enlightening;
H. While some of the scenes in the storyline may seem over the top, remember this is a well-crafted thriller that takes licence in offering up sensational descriptions at the expense of penetrating analysis. Many of the key moments in the story are so gripping as to draw the reader into the action;
I. Larrson has the knack to take his readers right to the edge of the abyss when it comes to excitement, disgust and fear;
J. In the end, survival becomes the only true redeeming factor in an otherwise bleary account of humanity.
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The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson (Paperback - March 16 2010)
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