The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire

by Stieg Larsson

Gail Reid: Need one more person to weigh in on this book? The Girl Who Played With FIre is a page-turner of the first order and definitely a compelling read. But, it is not flawlessly written in my opinion. There are about one hundred extra pages of extraneous plot and gratuitous sex. Where is a good editor when you need one? It might be a better book with 400 pages instead of 500.

The novel, as many readers have learned, is the second in a trilogy and the author skillfully provides back history in the event that you have not read his first work, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In spite of my cranky observations, I really look forward to the publication of the third novel.
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss: While I really enjoyed this newest novel by Stieg Larsson, I must admit that I enjoyed "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" more (sorry I have to disagree with you, Dale). Perhaps it is just the "sequel syndrome" but the original book in this series was so unique and exciting, I am not sure any author could follow up with an even more exceptional book.

In "The Girl Who Played with Fire" we learn many details of Lisbeth Salander's youth and we begin to understand why she is as quirky as she is. Like Wanda, I am fascinated with Lisbeth's character, a brilliant and troubled young genius. I missed not seeing her and Mikael Blomkvist contuing their relationship from the first book. I definitely suggest reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" first so that all the relationships of the main characters fall into place nicely for you.

There were quite a few characters in the book with similar-sounding names so I did get confused sometimes. None-the-less, there were excitement and surprises along the way and I highly recommend the book and I, too, look forward to book #3 in the trilogy.
Rating: ****

Wanda Cohen: I love this book. The writing, the story line, the characters, all come together to create the perfect book. It was hard for me to put it down and toward the end I was pretty much carrying it with me everywhere I went. If you read Larsson's first book, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," you are already familiar with two of the main characters in this book, Mikael Blomkvist a journalist and publisher for a magazine that specializes in telling stories that others are afraid to tell, and Lisbeth Salander, a young, troubled, brilliant, street wise, genius computer hacker who travels on the fringe of society. Their relationship might be over but there is still a connection. Lisbeth finds herself the center of a murderous hunt where the police are not exactly protecting her and the bad guys are around every corner. Many of the bad guys are easy to pick out, others are hidden from everyone but Lisbeth. Mikael seems to be the only one that is willing to stand up for her. Time is running out. The enemy is getting closer and closer and there is nowhere to hide. This is suspense at its loveliest. Larsson was extremely brave to create such a complex and interesting character as Lisbeth who is the most messed up hero I've ever met in a book. She's one of my favorite new characters. It's so sad that Larsson passed away after only three books in this series. Here's to you Stieg, if you can hear me, Congratulations on a job well done!
Rating: *****

Erna Schneiderman: My only problem with this book is that it ended. I was so engrossed reading on my recent cruise vacation, that folks walked up to me and wanted to know what book was "that" good. I love this book - the characters are fantastic, I feel that I know Michael, I can picture him. Lisbeth is a wonderfully complex character. so much is revealed about her in this book, her actions and reactions begin to make a little sense and I can cheer her on her socially-impaired, brilliant way. Now, I've got to wait for the third book and am so sad that it will the last from Larrson. What a tragedy. This is a thriller, insight into Swedish life (coffee, anyone?) and quite humorous in an ironic way.
Rating: *****

Kathy M: This "latest" US release of Larsson's trilogy is gripping. A few months before, I had read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and would strongly recommend starting with that first book of the trilogy. In Dragon Tattoo, we meet all of these rich characters and develop a relationship with them, and particularly with the lead woman, Lisbeth, we want to understand more about her, her background, and what drives her character. Dragon Tattoo kept me up into the wee hours - an excellent, tightly woven thriller.

The Girl Who Played With Fire picks up with the primary characters the provides more of the information that we were seeking and adding the layers of dimension to the leads. I read this within a few days of its release, and again - several late nights of being riveted to the story.

Like everyone else, I was deeply saddened to hear of the author's pre-mature death - he was an incredibly talented writer and storyteller.
Rating: *****

Arlene Almas: I agree with Dale on two counts: I'm rating this book a 5, and I'm really upset that the author died after completing his trilogy, not only because it's a sad event in itself but also because I was looking forward to future works from him. Be that as it may, this is a very exciting adventure-thriller with the petite, amazingly adept Lisbeth Salander at the center of the action performing incredible feats of physical force and computer hacking. (I must confess that I found some of her feats implausible, but they're still fun and exhilarating to read about.) Lisbeth is a very unusual person, and this narrative goes into more of her personal history than the first book, giving insight into what made her the way she is. Many of the characters from that book, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," including the dedicated journalist Mikael Blomkvist, reappear here, so if you've read "Dragon Tattoo" you feel like you're meeting up with old friends. Now we can only wait until the release of the last book in the series, and the last from this author, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest."
Rating: *****

Dale Israel: This is the second book by Steg Larsson who submitted 3 manuscripts and then promptly died of a heart attack which is a real bummer because his books are so good. While I enjoyed his first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire is sooooooooo much better. I think the reason for this is because the central character, Lisbeth Salender is so interesting. I could not put this book down and really, really enjoyed it. The only criticism I have of the book is that I needed a score card to keep up with the list of many characters...their names all sounded alike and I couldn't keep them all straight. However, that was a small price to pay for such a great book. While I'm going to rate it a "5," because I really enjoyed it, it is not "delicious" in the same way that Pillars of the Earth was...it's a little more light weight but still an excellent read.
Rating: *****

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