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The Girl in the Spider's Web: A Lisbeth Salander novel, continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 1, 2015
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“Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever . . . Fans of Stieg Larsson’s captivating odd couple of modern detective fiction will not be disappointed.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Rest easy, Lisbeth Salander fans—our punk hacker heroine is in good hands . . . A twisty, bloody thrill ride . . . seamlessly woven together by Lagercrantz—in fact, if you hadn’t seen his name on the book jacket, you’d likely assume it was Larsson’s own handiwork . . . An instant page-turner.” —USA Today (4 out of 4 stars)
“Without ever becoming pastiche, the book is a respectful and affectionate homage to the originals . . . Lagercrantz’s continuation, while never formulaic, is a cleaner and tighter read than the originals.” —Guardian
“Lagercrantz has more than met the challenge. Larsson’s brainchildren are in good hands and may have even come up a bit in the world.” —Wall Street Journal
“What of Lisbeth Salander? Given that Lagercrantz knows she’s what readers want, her long and suspenseful introduction is masterful.” —Lee Child, New York Times Book Review (cover)
“A worthy, crowd-pleasing fourth installment . . . Lagercrantz, his prose more assured than Larsson’s, keeps Salander’s fiery rage at the white-hot level her fans will want.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Lagercrantz does an excellent job . . . Anyone craving more Salander bad-assery should get their hands on a copy of Spider’s Web faster than Lisbeth can hack into the NSA.” —People
“Lagercrantz’s real achievement here is the subtle development of Lisbeth’s character; he allows us access to her complex, alienated world but is careful not to remove her mystery and unknowability. Lisbeth Salander remains, in Lagercrantz’s hands, the most enigmatic and fascinating anti-heroine in fiction.” —Financial Times
“Lagercrantz deftly blends the spirit of Larsson’s work and characters with his own literary skills and bright imagination. Spider’s Web is an intelligent novel that has Salander entangled in one of the most contentious issues of our times . . . Riveting . . . Pyrotechnic.” —Chicago Tribune
“A thrilling next installment . . . In spinning a complex and intriguing new chapter in the adventures of Blomkvist and Salander, Lagercrantz has written a worthy successor to one of the more uniquely compelling thriller sagas of his generation . . . An engrossing novel.” —Paste
“Action-packed and thoroughly enjoyable . . . [A] finely-wrought thriller . . . I will eagerly devour the next adventure for Salander and Blomkvist, especially now that we know their fate lies in the hands of a writer worthy of their story.” —The Daily Beast
“Lagercrantz stays true to Larsson’s vision . . . No doubt about it, Lagercrantz has done a skillful job.” —Sydney Morning Herald
“[A] smart, action-packed thriller that is true to the spirit of the characters Larsson created while adding interesting new ones and updating the political backdrop that made the Millennium series so compelling.” —Buffalo News
“Fans of the original trilogy will be pleased with Lagercrantz’s new installment. The novel is a smart, propulsive thriller and espionage tale with a timely digital age plot (think Snowden and Wikileaks).” —Hollywood Reporter
“Passion and fire, check: there are plenty of both here . . . Fast-moving, credible, and intelligently told. Larsson fans won’t be disappointed.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Lagercrantz pulls it off . . . One devours Larsson’s books for the plots, the action, the anger, and most of all for Lisbeth Salander, a character who resembles Sherlock Holmes or James Bond . . . Lagercrantz has caught her superbly.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)
“David Lagercrantz was set an almost impossible task by Stieg Larsson’s estate when they asked him to write a ‘continuation’ novel featuring Lisbeth Salander. He has carried it out with intelligence and vigour. The Girl in the Spider’s Web conveys the essence and atmosphere of Larsson’s Millennium novels. He has captured the spirit of their characters and devised inventive plots.” —The Times (UK)
“Fans of the original trilogy need not fear . . . The novel is well-researched and more intelligent than the average thriller.” —The Independent (UK)
“Lagercrantz makes sensible decisions in this fourth volume . . . . Blomkvist is given a cleverly and very contemporary storyline . . . A worthwhile read for anyone who’s zipped through the trilogy and finished wanting more.” —Daily Express (UK)
“Sometimes you almost forget that the spine of the book says David Lagercrantz and not Stieg Larsson . . . There is definitely the same narrative zest and love of intrigue, and also the impressive research . . . Lagercrantz has written a thriller that is captivating in its own right.” —Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)
“A real page turner.” —Borås Tidning (Sweden)
“Lagercrantz has studied the first three parts of the series well, and the reader will recognize not only their Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander and the social criticism, but also other essential parts of the story’s DNA . . . David Lagercrantz has proven that he deserves both attention and respect. ” —Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
“An excellent thriller . . . elegantly constructed.” —Stern (Germany)
About the Author
DAVID LAGERCRANTZ is an acclaimed Swedish journalist and author. He has worked as a crime reporter for Expressen, and has written several novels, including the forthcoming Fall of Man in Wilmslow. He worked with international soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović on his memoir, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović, which was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and was nominated for the August Prize in Sweden.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well if you are Wasp and one of the best hackers in the world you tackle the biggest game in town, the United States National Security Agency, or the NSA. And if you are Blomkvist you find yourself in the middle of a murder investigation by the strangest of circumstances.
Lisbeth is on the hunt for an elusive group of hackers responsible for some of the biggest intellectual heists in the century, and a couple of murders and Blomkvist is hot on her trail.
This group who call themselves the Spiders have targeted Lisbeth and a Swedish scientist on the cusp of breaking through to A.I. Driven b vengeance and a sense of her own brand of justice Lisbeth is going to hunt them down to the last line of code and Blomvist will shine a light on their illegal activities of its the last thing he does...and it might just be.
Opening Line: "Frans Balder always thought of himself as a lousy father."
The Good: LISBETH IS BACK!!!!! I can't tell you how excited I was when this book was announced. I fell in love with Blomkvist and Salander after the first book. I admit I waited for all the hype to die down before I dove into the books, but once I did I was in a fan hook, line and sinker. I was gutted when I found out Larsson had died. Beyond the loss of a short life the world lost a literary gem. Larsson singlehandedly changed the game of crime novels in Sweden and indeed the world. Since the publication of the Millennium trilogy Sweden has seen an explosion of crime novels with brilliant leads and wonderful plots. I've found myself thumbing through the crime section more than the fantasy aisle since I first read Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.
Lisbeth is the sort of person you want to have on your team when you're in a jam. She's the hail mary everyone needs in their life. And Blomkvist is better than Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and all of it if you want the world to know your story.
The Bad: We all know about the controversy surrounding the publication of this book. Eva Gabrielsson, his writing partner and his life partner has been vocally against the publication of the book, especially its author, but Larsson'd brother and father have literary rights over his estate and they approved the book and its author. So its a sticky situation with family on both sides of the issue. I bought the book all the same.
The Girl in the Spider's Web is like your favorite article of clothing that your mother accidentally shrunk in the dryer. It's still yours and it fits, but something just feels off about it. The shoulders don lay down like they used to. The color is a smidge lighter than it was yesterday. Its still the same garment but its not. That's what this book was like. Of course I wasn't expecting the writing to be the same. Larsson and Lagercrantz are two different people and sometimes I appreciated their different writing styles, but more often I wanted Larsson's flair for cutting through all the purple prose and getting to the meat of the issue. Larsson has a way of introducing characters with such clarity that I could describe them to a sketch artist and everyone in the world would recognize who it was and with Lagercrantz he jumps right into the action and then we get a little background on the character, but its not lasting. I had to go back and reread the first chapter about Balder to remember who he was when he was mentioned again.
Larsson didn't mind breaking the rules of fiction. He didn't start his book off with action. He didn't open up in the middle of a scene. He didn't have to. He had a compelling story to tell and you either sat down to listen to it or you didn't. He wasn't going to use trickery or slight of hand to capture your attention. Lagercrantz just falls right in line with the rest of the Fiction Hall Monitors. Every rule is followed to the letter, and yeah the story is compelling but the rigidity with which the rules are adhered to is distracting and disorientating to say the least.
The book is only 431 pages long and it took 410 pages to get to the point. This book felt like it was pandering to us the audience and to the characters. In the past books, Lisbeth's abilities came into play because the situation called for them. In this book its like the book that calls for the abilities. Lagercrantz has put the cart before the horse. Everything revolves around Lisbeth's abilities. Ok so if you want everything to revolve around Lisbeth and her hacking abilities then this book should be her book, but she is largely absent. The bad guys get more page space than she does. Which is a shame. Lisbeth Salander is a literary treasure and she should be treated with the respect she has earned.
The Girl in the Spider's Web feels like poorly conceived fan fiction.
My Hope if the Series Continues: That Lagercrantz sits down and reads the Millennium till he can quote a line from any page and the he really starts to study it. I want him to find a way to stick to the Larsson school of writing fiction because following the rules is boring and Salander and Blomkvist deserve better than that. I think it would really open up his writing and give him a freedom he might enjoy.
More disappointingly, Lagercrantz has reduced the scope of Lisbeth. Larsson’s underlying premise is the crime that lies in confining people to descriptions set by social norms. Yet Lagercrantz’s characters seem primarily interested in her unusual appearance. What is more upsetting is the stench of victimhood that is attached to Lisbeth through the title. In the first three books she has a dragon tattoo, she kicks a hornet’s nest, she plays with fire. She has made choices and is taking actions. Here she is caught by a spider’s web. She is passive.
I can go on, and talk about the fact that Lagercrantz has cut out two strong female characters (Mimi and Sonja), and that he misrepresents Blomquist and Berger’s relationship. (Larsson’s Berger doesn’t sleep around with just anyone. She is faithful to Blomquist and Beckman. Yet in this book Blomquist jokes about her relations with another man.) I couldn’t bring myself to read past the first third of the book, so I suppose maybe these issues are resolved later on.
Let me finish by saying that Lagercrantz may be a good writer, and that taken on its own this may be a good book, but that I probably won’t finish reading it, because these are not the characters I love. They have been deflated, and as a result, the whole story falls short of the standard of literature set by Larsson