I have been meaning to write this post for a long time now, but held off until The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest*, the final installment of Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy was finally published in the US. Starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I have been completely obsessed with this series—so much so that rather than wait for the US publication, I tracked down a copy of the UK edition at a New Delhi bookstore in December.
If you haven’t read these books, you must. You really must. Lisbeth Salander, the “girl” of the titles, is without question one of the most original—and kickass—literary heroines of all time, and the novels are as brilliant and iconoclastic as she is. But beyond that, they’re an extraordinary high-water mark in commercial fiction because, as Chip McGrath of the New York Times wrote: “[The Millenium Trilogy] also has an outspoken feminist subtext, hardly a typical feature of crime novels.”
This is not your typical “crime novel”, with a dick-swinging, hard-boiled, hard-drinking man with a gun fighting off other tough guys. Instead:
The villains are “men who hate women” (the title given the first novel in Sweden, but fortunately changed): rapists, child abusers, sex traffickers, even killers of women.
At the center of the action is the unforgettable Lisbeth Salander: