The funny thing is, once I got it, like capricious child who forgets their desired toy once it is acquired, I put off reading it for a few months. At first, it was (I told myself) out of desire to avoid overkill – I don’t read the same genre or series back-to-back to prevent over saturation and to keep my reading versatile. Then it was a matter of practicality – the book itself is 700 pages in hardcover, and not very conducive for reading on planes or traveling.
Finally, as my (future) wife got impatient with me and started reading it for herself, it was wistfulness. One of the reasons I picked up the series in the first place was the story of the author and how it was written. Stieg Larsson wrote the first three manuscripts, submitted them, began working on a fourth and then died suddenly, before the first book became an international phenomenon. He couldn’t have known his character of Lisbeth Salander would become one of the most beloved modern heroines in many years.
I couldn’t have predicted how reluctant I was to read what was very likely to be the last Salander story. It was a mixture of the eagerness of Christmas morning with the hope that you would have some kind of closure, and incidentally not suck. And I wanted to savor having one more book to read for a while before I read.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest met my expectations, using the trial of Lisbeth Salander as the major plot piece. Larsson used the first three books in his series to set up the background of Salander and bring that story arc to a conclusion. Without spoiling any of the content, the feeling at the ‘conclusion’ was that I had just finished reading the origin story of Salander and Blomkvist, and there would be many adventures to come. It was a tale that stands entirely by itself without need of follow-up, yet presents a strong foundation with a blank slate of possibilities to come.
Perhaps someone will finish the fourth book, or gain the rights to write continuing adventures. But for now I’ll be satisfied with the memories of a great story of a remarkable author. (Until the Fincher movie that is!)