Sunday, April 22, 2012

Larsson, Stieg (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest)

About 2/3 of the way through this last part of the trilogy I started to get worried. All 2000+ pages lead you to care deeply about what happens to Lisbeth Salander. Knowing that Larsson left at least one more book in draft form, and the outlines of several more, and having just finished the second book with its semi-cliffhanger, I did not want the last book he ever wrote to come to a dismal end.

So in case you're also concerned about that, and it has kept you from continuing with the series, this is not something you should worry about. Since the story lasted as many pages as it did, you are just as happy with the ending as Lisbeth ought to be. You've deserved it, having rooted for her for so long. However, I now think there's a more ulterior motive to Larsson's crime fiction.

I think he wrote all this to make a case for the importance of media, and the necessity of integrity in journalism, police work and even the government. He hangs a thrilling crime and courtroom drama off it, but almost every character and every vignette has a little teachable lesson in it. Case in point: Erika Berger's off-camera difficulties in this final book. Perhaps I'm slow, and this was obvious from the get-go, but I'm okay with it taking me that many pages to understand. It was that many pages to enjoy reading.

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