Sunday, 28 November 2010

Stieg Larsson – Millennium trilogy, Part 1

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(original title in Swedish: Man som hatar kvinnor. “Men who hate Women”)

Stieg Larsson was a Swedish journalist and writer and he is most known for his bestselling trilogy about the journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the intelligent hacker Lisbeth Salander. Larsson died in 2004 and left manuscripts of three unpublished but completed novels that he did not intend to publish until just before he died. Unfortunately Larsson did not live to see just how famous his novels would be, and in 2008 he was the second best-selling author in the world, behind Khaled Hosseini. And by March 2010, the millennium trilogy had sold 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.
The Swedish film production company Yellow Bird created film versions of these novels where the first film opened in Scandinavia in early 2009. All three films have been very well received, and in 2011 a Hollywood adaption of the first novel will be released with Daniel Craig as Blomkvist. Why Hollywood needs to remake these films are a question many people are looking for an answer to and time will show if they will be just as good as the Swedish ones.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first novel in this trilogy and we here get to know the main characters, Mikael Blomkvist, Lisbeth Salander, Henrik Vanger and Erika Berger. The story revolves around the journalist Mikael who is hired by Henrik Vanger to solve the “cold case” of the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet. She disappeared 40 years ago, and Mikael is asked to write the Vanger family history in exchange for information. This information will help him with a court case that claims he has published a story based on false facts about billionaire Hans-Erik Wennerstrom and this will save Mikael’s career.

Next to Mikael’s life we read about the antisocial but very intelligent Lisbeth Salander. She is a hacker and researcher, specialising in investigating people. Next to having a photographic memory, she does not have an easy life with a guardian who rapes and tortures her. She is a strong and independent person and she is determined to prove that she is the victim in her life. Being a hacker she manages to hack into Mikael’s computer and that is how the two of them meets and the real story begins.

Lisbeth and Mikael start working together in order to solve the mystery of Harriet Vangers disappearance. It is not an easy case and they encounter several obstacles as they are getting closer to the truth and what really lies behind the history of the Vanger family.

I cannot express how amazing this trilogy is. It took my breath away and it is without a doubt one of the best novels I have ever read. You are on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and you simply have to buy the second book of the trilogy the minute you’re finished with the first. The language used in this novel is fairly easy but cleverly written as you have no idea what will happen next. There will be sleepless nights when you start reading this book as you cannot put it down until you have finished it. If you haven’t already read the books, then I suggest you go out and buy the first one; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I promise you will not be disappointed. This is a trilogy that everyone should have as this is art of first class. 

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