The End of Salander and My Love Affair With Mikael Blomkvist

Published July 9, 2012 by jrm17

As much as I love The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, I have actually found it rather difficult to find someone to discuss the series with.  I would have thought that by now, considering I’ve been reading all three books over the course of Christmas until now, that I would have found at least one person that I could really get into conversations with about it.  No such luck on my part. I did run end up having a customer at the jewelry store who read it and really liked it but her husband was more interested in talking about it.  She wanted to shop, and who can blame her with all our awesome stuff?  However, he’s only seen the American movie and knew about the books with the limited knowledge of what his wife told him.  I can only explain so much to my mother who enjoyed the movie but refuses to read the books.  That’s why I’m dedicating this post to the last book in the series.

I got The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest for my birthday and I was actually relived that I had the last book in my possession.  I also got the newest Vampire Diaries book (I’m a little behind) and the third John Carter book, both of which got read before I started Stieg Larsson’s final masterpiece in the series.  When I first picked it up, I looked at my mom and said that there was 818 pages between me and Stephanie Plum (I’m reading that series next).  Things have certainly changed since then.

My goal became to read at least half the book before we left for the beach because I felt that way I’d only have like 400 pages, which I basically consider a book, to read while we are gone and then I can get to some Stephanie and Morelli.  I started reading the book and haven’t really been able to put it down since.  The woman in the store did make the point to say that the first book is the hardest to read and get into when Cindi asked if she should read them now that she’s seen the film.  Lord knows that this woman couldn’t be more right because it took me months (with like 5 books in between) to start and finish The Girl Who Played With Fire.  Not so much with this one.  I’ve been dedicating about 50-100 pages a night and I’m really into this story.

I think what keeps this one moving so quickly is the different subplots that all form the main plot.  As I see it, there are different subplots for every important character and the way these subplots intertwine is what makes the whole story.  There’s no actual main story or main character.  The gist is the trial and what will happen to Salander but so many people are involved in that.

First, you have Salander herself who I think is my favorite subplot.  She’s bedridden and making a recovery after what happened at the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire.  She’s paranoid about Zalachenko being right down the hall.  She’s paranoid about what’s going to happen to her because of all the injustice she has incurred throughout her life.  She has to learn to trust Gianni and her doctors.  I relate to her in the way she has trust issues and she intrigues me.  I like that everyone is finally seeing that she is completely competent, just weird.  I especially love that they have brought Palmgren in to support her.  He’s one of my favorites 🙂 .

You’ve got the Blomkvist subplot, too.  Now, normally I’m so head over heels for him that he’s my favorite but things are a little different this time.  He’s not really being the hero so much as the paranoid writer who is trying to serve justice but just seems kind of crazy.  I know he is trying to help Salander.  I know that I still have a crush on him.  However, he just isn’t playing the role that I associate with him.  He’s too busy researching and writing his book while I think he should be yelling and confronting people and being the sneaky little journalist we all know he is.

Interestingly, I am really into the Berger subplot.  I’ve always kind of found Erika to be a character I’ve liked.  She’s a strong female like Salander but she’s a lot more stable and normal.  I think she handles all the craziness around her really well and I think her and Blomkvist are adorable.  I know that I’m not far enough in to really know what her new job means to the case (She just proposed the solution to fixing the paper that results in no profit) but I know that it’ll play an important role (It has something to do with the toilets, right?).  I’m not really sure what I like about her plot–I think it has something to do with the magazine and changing jobs aspect and how gossipy they are at her new offices (Feels like home)–but I really enjoy turning the page and seeing I’m going to be reading about her.

As always, there’s more bad guys and police officers than I can name or remember.  There’s a little plot around each one and I get them all confused and just hope to get the gist of what’s going on.  I assume that I have such a problem because the names are all Swedish and ones that I can’t really pronounce even in my head.  The best part of this book is that it’s lost it’s symptoms of Stephen King syndrome.  We are no longer being dragged along with copious and unnecessary details that flood our brains with things only remotely important to the story.  We are moving along at a good speed with just enough detail to keep my detail-oriented mind occupied but not too much to put my brain on overload.  Well done, Larsson (Posthumously or not, he deserves praise for this.  Stephen King syndrome is not easily overcome.  Stephen King himself has fought a long, hard battle and relapses every so often).

Okay, granted I am only a half of the way through or so–page 420-ish –so I can’t really make any solid judgements but I’m making this conjecture (one that has been supported by the woman in my store who read it): the third book in the series is the best book in the series, wrapping up the series beautifully, and bringing us the conclusion we all needed by that point.  I would love to say I will finish this book before we come back from the beach on the 8th but that’s asking a lot.  I plan on reading as much as I can (I’m still really looking forward to Stephanie Plum) but we’ll see where I get and go from there.  I mean, we are talking about the beach here.

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