The Girl Who Played With Fire

Guess how much I don’t want to study for my anatomy exam tomorrow? Enough that I am writing this blog post tonight, when I should be studying, and scheduling it to post tomorrow. I just can’t bring myself to look at another diagram of a colon.

This is great news for you folks, because now you’ll get a full analysis of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, which I finished Sunday night at the end of a 6-hour round trip car ride.

Per the usual, if you plan on reading TGWPWF, please read no further, as I will be discussing spoilers.

Alright, so…can we say amazing? I loved this story only a hair less than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo though I could definitely not see either of them in movie form. Larsson’s grotesque descriptions are riveting in written word, but seeing them depicted on the big screen would surely scar me for life, or at least make me vomit.

Svenn and Mia’s deaths came as a huge blow right as I was beginning to love them both. Mia, the go-getter with her whole life ahead of her, and Svenn, the do-gooder who wanted to “change the world with a book” as Lisbeth says. I was sad to see them go, but glad because the story was just getting started.

TGWTDT was criticized for being slow to start (though I disagree), so I suppose if you were of that mind, TGWPWF would be similar. Once the ball got rolling though, man did it go downhill fast. Side note – if I have any other criticism of the book it would be the sheer volume of characters. There are quite a lot and their Swedish names made them particularly hard to keep track of. I might have to make a list of characters for the next Stieg Larsson I read.

I loved the way Lisbeth’s perspective vanished from the story after the murders. You were left to wonder if she did it, and if she did, why? When her perspective was finally brought back in to the story, I was relieved that she was innocent. I, like Blomkvist, wanted to believe in her innocence, but certainly had my reservations.

As the story of Zala and “all the evil” unfolded, I could not put the book down. Who was this mysterious criminal? How did he fit into the triple murder? Who was the blonde giant? What on earth tied Lisbeth to Zala and Zala to the rest?

Well I darn near passed out when I read that one line from Holger Palmgren stating that Zala was Lisbeth’s father. Talk about a Star Wars moment!! But so well-played. I literally had to put the book down at that point and call up my mom and my dad who had both read the book a while back to I could have someone to freak out to. It was so thrilling to finally discover the secret behind “all the evil.” Leave it to twelve-year-old Lisbeth to take matters into her own hands…

The final 100 pages were absolutely chilling. I was breathless as Lisbeth was shot and buried and loved the cinematic way which Larsson described her emerging from the earth and scaring away the fox. How perfect that the only way to defeat the blonde hulk, the man who could feel no pain, was through darkness and terror! The description of how he saw Lisbeth (who he had buried and thought to be dead) after she’d taken an axe to Zala was amazing.

Larsson left us hanging as Blomkvist finds Lisbeth in a sorry state in Zala’s house. Though, we can pretty much draw our own conclusions. Blonde hulk is tied to a sign by the road, Zala has suffered two blows from an axe and is whimpering out in the shed, and I’d like to believe that Lisbeth is as good as saved now that Blomkvist has found her.

Crazy, crazy, stuff.

I also have to give a nod to the commentary on a corrupt government system and the portrayal of the sex industry. The political dealings of the story are unequivocally to blame for not only “all the evil” but for Lisbeth’s upbringing and the person she is today. As much as I love reading about the brilliant Salander, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She is so clearly the victim of a political game, which is disgusting. Larsson also sheds light on the sex industry, which, those of you who’ve read my blog regularly, know is a bit of a hot topic for me. I was glad to see it surface in TGWPWF and enjoyed the hunting down and punishment of the johns by both Lisbeth (she is such a bad ass) and Blomkvist.

Naturally I’m dying to start The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, but Dan Brown’s Deception Point is next on my list. I’m thirty pages in and can almost guarantee that I’ll give up studying early tonight to keep reading.

Any other thoughts on The Girl Who Played With Fire?


About MMM

Resolving to write in 2011!
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