My favourite anti-heroine

by Ahalya on January 7, 2010

Lisbeth Salander intrigues me. I have never ever read anything like her before.

She is quiet when she should speak, she is violent when it is least expected, she refuses warmth and affection, she can focus like as if she is inhuman, she is super independent, brainy, and practical, and she is detached to the point of being unalive. Stieg Larrson has created an unforgettable anti-heroine in Lisbeth. I can never understand what she will do next.

A little history: Larrson was a journalist, and from what I can see in his books, he was an excellent researcher. He had delivered three manuscripts to his publisher, and died before the first one was published. They say that there is a fourth book, to the Millennium series, but it is unfinished.

So, the books in the Millennium series are:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (you must start with this one, but it is VERY gruesome)
The Girl Who Played With Fire (less violent when compared to the first one)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (the fattest fattest one in the series, and according to me, ties up all loose ends)

It is so rare for an author to be able to sustain interest in a series of books that have the same characters. But, I was hooked from the first time I heard about this tattooed, bisexual, violent, petite, anti-social, brilliant woman (who rides a Harley Davidson in the second book, good lord!).

I tend to gush about Lisbeth, I think I may like her… a lot.

Coming back to the book, I wonder how the book is in the original Swedish, has anything been lost in translation? There are no literary flourishes in the book. The language is simple, to the point, and journalistic. The other characters, especially the journalist Mikael Blomkvist (very well drawn-out character), and his colleague and lover Erica Berger are very interesting too. The story goes back years, and there is lot of information about the war, the secret police and computer-stuff (I can’t reveal much about this).

A word of warning to those who are thinking about picking up these books: there are gory descriptions of violence, especially violent acts directed towards women. Trust me, I can’t stomach reading about a slap, so it is very strange that I read each word in these books, some of the rape scenes are so unflinchingly described. All the sadists, rapists, violent b*******… you get the idea. But, what kept me reading is how Salander gets out of the elaborate plot to get her locked away, and how she manages to help others, sometimes grudgingly.

Try reading the first one, and then you won’t want to stop. Unfortunately, for those who are surprised at finding how much they liked the books, there won’t be any more. There might be movies, which I am sure I won’t see, but there won’t be more Salander. Pity.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Puja January 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

Hmmmm…. am intrigued…. in fact was about to buy the books and ur say happens to strike the right spot….. must go and get the trilogy over the weekend…

Tthe reason I delayed getting to know Salander lies in the fact that the character emerges fully over three books… I can never stand waiting for the sequel…. its probably the one thing that i find tougher than resisting freshly baked chocolate cake…so i always buy a series of books only when the entire series is out…. bought my Phillip Pullman’s as a set of three books…bought all Narnia chronicles at one go….the only exception was Harry Potter cos i knew it would take years for all the seven books to be out….can’t understand why an author would want us to wait months on end to find out what happens next…. I mean sure patience is a virtue and everything but there is something called testing somebody’s limits as well

Anyway coming back to may main say was waiting for the third book to be out so i could buy all the three books by Larrson together….

The time has come…. Good evening Salander, thought we should get to know each other a bit:)


Aditya January 31, 2010 at 2:10 am

You have been busy! I checked back often, but not often enough. Will add this to my list. Ploughing through Pratchett now – based on your recommendation… amazing reads, and great depth. Will pick up this trilogy next.


admin February 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Hope you have been well, and reading lots of books! What are you reading now? And do let me know what you think of Lisbeth Salander!


Jayadev March 24, 2010 at 12:18 am

Salandar kicks ass big time. I have a weird crush on her 😛


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