Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spoiler Alert!

So you know how much I've been hanging out for the new Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest? I loved loved loved the first two in the Millennium series and counted the moments until I could read this latest and last installment. The second book was better than the first so by that logic I was expecting the third book to be better again.




I am very sorry to report that Hornet's Nest was a giant let down. There were many problems, here are the main points:

a) Lisbeth Salander, our heroine and super kick-arse protagonist, barely features at all. She appears in a very vague capacity and only has one great action scene in the last 50 pages. While the story seems to revolve around her, she is very much in the background.

b) There is no tension, no suspense, no which-way-will-the-arm-wrestle-end. The bad guys are stupid and bumbling and are portrayed as such incompotents that they would be pushed to find their own arse with a torch and a map. The good guys are so clever and insightful and good looking and just plain fantastic they can't put a foot wrong and don't. From the very beginning it is clear what the outcome will be. Thus no suspense. Boring!

c) I am no expert on the Swedish legal system (which may be a surprise to some of you!) but I am fairly confident when I say it wouldn't work as portrayed in this book. If it does, whoa baby, that country is truly fucked up.

d) This books makes it doubly clear that poor old Stieg Larsson was using the character of Blomkvist as an alter-ego for himself. Not only does Blomkvist screw everything that isn't nailed down (and strangely the ladies seem to find this out of shape, obsessive journalist irrisitable) but he can do no wrong, including dodging bullets.

Look, I know my expectations were high but this book was thoroughly disappointing. I read it at super speed (for me) hoping against hope that the next page, or the next, would bring that twist or drama I was expecting. But nothing eventuated. The occasional piss weak "twist" was so pathetic that the author didn't even resolve it because it was bleeding obvious that it was a sad construct which a three year old could see around.

If I was a conspiracy theorist I would go as far as to suggest that Stiegg Larsson died before (instead of after) he completed this third installment. Perhaps he had the bones of this book with the publisher and upon his untimely death the publisher had a ghost writer finish what was obviously going to be a gold mine the third book. Or perhaps Mr Larsson caught a bit of Stephen King disease (I clearly remember reading The Dark Half and thinking "what the fuck?!" - I couldn't believe the same person who had written The Stand and It and Carrie had written that piss poor crock of shit).

Whatever the explanation Hornet's Nest is not a shadow of the Dragon Tattoo and Played with Fire.

So now I'm looking forward to the next Sue Grafton Kinsey Millhone mystery in December. Surely dear Kinsey wouldn't disappoint....


Kath Lockett said...

Well you've made my mind up now. I was tossing up whether to get the third one (esp after the brilliant ending of the second) but I'll save my moolah for something else. Like dark Lindt raspberry balls...

Big Pissy said...

I tried to read the first one and just couldn't get into it.

I'm going to have to try it again sometime.

Everyone who reads it,loves it.