Customer Review

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A 700 page comic book, June 2, 2010
This review is from: The Girl Who Played with Fire: Book 2 of the Millennium Trilogy (Paperback)
This is not really a full review as much as a critique of an aspect of this book which drove me crazy. Why is it that in airplane novels everyone has to be not just good at something, but superhuman in every way. I read the first book of the trilogy and thought it was implausible, but ok. I didn't buy that a 20 year old middle school dropout with aspbergers could actually be a world renowned hacker, but whatever. In the follow-up, she is not just the world's best hacker (there is no system she cannot break!), she is also a world-class boxer (at 90 pounds, no less), a master of disguise rivaling James Bond, a chess grandmaster, an unparalelled math genius (she solves Fermat's Last Theorum in her head...seriously), and a billionaire white collar criminal. She's kind of like a genetically-modified Rain Man on steroids.

This just drives me bonkers. I would really like to see what would happen if you put Lisbeth Salander up against Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - after all, he was a Navy SEAL, saved the world at least twice, and eventually became president (he filled the role with honor and humility). It would be like one of those irresolvable debates that 10 year olds have about whether Superman could beat up Batman.

In all seriousness, this convention made this novel really more of a comic book than a read for serious adults. The ultimate effect on me was that I found the book to be juvenille and felt silly reading it.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 6, 2010 7:35:45 AM PDT
J. Romeo says:
Rain Man on steroids! Love It!

Posted on Sep 6, 2010 7:36:01 AM PDT
J. Romeo says:
Rain Man on steroids! Love It!

Posted on Sep 6, 2010 7:36:44 AM PDT
J. Romeo says:
oops...double post..my bad.
Anyhoo...what is an airplane novel?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2010 6:42:52 AM PDT
David Bee says:
A book you read to pass the time on a flight; a quick easy read...nice review btw.

Posted on Oct 16, 2010 8:52:40 AM PDT
Flatboat says:
You expressed my opinion very well, except you insult the comic book genre. Stan Lee would never come up with such inconsistent powers. The characters in The Watchmen were really much more plausible and stayed "in character" even if the charactes were flawed and somewhat complex. You could have also highlighted she has excellent social engineering skills (including impersonating a variety of people to uncover information) but cannot figure out how to avoid trouble. Salander also writes outstanding reports and gives great verbal summaries, but becomes uncommunicative when it helps the plot move along. But if your reveiw helps explain it to the pseudo-science people that rave on this book I support your review completely. I wish I had read more reviews before I wasted my time with this. (But as far as trusting reviews, I was concerned that your only good reviews are for DVDs. No books that you like?)Watchmen

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2010 12:34:37 PM PDT
Good riposte. The characters in Watchmen at least had some degree of proportionality and vulnerability.

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 1:43:42 PM PST
nurwho says:
Haha! great title!

Posted on Aug 18, 2011 10:42:37 AM PDT
You totally nailed the problem here. In the first book, Salander is a real seeming person -- she's sort of Aspergerish, she doesn't have money, she has shabby clothes and lives in a shabby apartment, and works at a very ordinary job at a security company for minimum wages. She has a dark history, but beyond a photographic memory (possible), she is a believable human being. That book ALSO has a plot beyond "what happens to Salander"; she is a character in the story, but not THE story herself.

The 2nd book throws this all away. It's all about HER and her problems as if she was the most important person ON EARTH. She's a total "Mary Sue" who can do anything, is irresistible sexually to men AND women, now has big boobs (! paid for by the Swedish health care!) and the author has no moral judgement at all that she stole $250 million from the Swedish taxpayers, and nobody (Interpol?) is even looking for the lost funds. She is the greatest computer hacker who EVER LIVED, literally and a math genius on the Einstein level (solves Fermat's Last Theorum in her spare time between solving cases)...also is a boxer and fighter despite being the size (literally) of a 10 year old child.

She isn't human anymore. I have the same complaint against Tom Clancy; I loved "Red October"! and in that book, Jack Ryan is a recognizable (if heroic) human being. By Clancy's later book, he's a stick figure hero "Gary Stu" who isn't human anymore -- he's SuperPresidentMan.

Larrson fell right into the same trap. This book was a huge disappointment; the first book was flawed but interesting. This book, "Girl who Played with Fire" is little more than a very fat copy of the IKEA catalogue.

Posted on Dec 27, 2011 9:03:51 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 28, 2011 4:05:05 AM PST]
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