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Daily Archives: November 26, 2011

The Series That Used the Allen Key – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Played With Fire and then Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

The name Lisbeth Salander, thanks to millions of readers, has practically become a household name. She is, of course, the heroine of Steig Larsson’s multi-million bestselling Millennium series, which comprises The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Like many, I was sucked into this series, and I am also guilty of contributing to the thousands of trees that have been felled in its production. Running close to 3,000 pages in total, I think it’s fair to say that its huge number of printings in the United States (and by extension, Canada, thanks to distribution) has contributed a vast amount of cash to the Virginia forestry and lumber economies.

Why Lisbeth’s life and adventures have captured the imaginations of readers is subject to debate. Many consider her a caricature and a farce; others consider her a perfect anti-hero who spits in the face of authority and convention. I suppose both are true, in their way. Pierced, unconventional, bizarre – she strikes me as a knock-off from a bad comic book about someone who has heard of a Goth, yet she is also a fiercely strong woman who refuses to balk at the slightest comment or action against her person. She takes people to task and makes them pay for what they’ve done to her or the people she cares (but perhaps cared is more appropriate in this context) about. She’s deeply flawed, but she has an undeniable conviction.

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