The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

By Stieg Larsson
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Knopf, (5/25/2010)
Language:English



Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)


Buy Now From
buy it now from Amazon
buy it now from Barns and Noble
buy it now from Indie Bookstore


 
The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy

Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.
 
 

Harriet's thoughts on "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"
updated on:12/21/2010



DEFINITELY Unleash it



Lizzy's thoughts on "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"
updated on:10/26/2010



DEFINITELY Unleash it



NormaJean's thoughts on "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"
updated on:8/10/2010

I honestly did not want to put this book down...great read from beginning to end.

Very Unleashable


"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"
By Stieg Larsson

Average Rating:
Very Unleashable
4.67 out of 5 (3 Clubie's ratings)


The Gentleman
The Gentleman
By Forrest Leo

 
 
 General reading guide discussion questions to be used with ANY book your book club or reading group might be discussing.
 
 

1. Have you read the two previous novels in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattooand The Girl Who Played with Fire? Which of the three did you find the most compelling, and why?

2. What is the “hornet’s nest” of the title?

3. Each part of Hornet’s Nest begins with a brief history lesson about women warriors. What was Larsson trying to say? Is Salander a modern-day equivalent of these women? Is Berger?

4. What are some of the major themes of this novel? Of the trilogy?

5. How does Larsson’s background as an expert in right-wing extremist organizations inform this novel, and the trilogy as a whole?

6. Many characters in Larsson’s trilogy have some good and some bad in them. Can you name a few? What makes them different from the clear heroes or villains in the books?

7. After everything that happened in the first two novels, why does Salander still distrust Blomkvist? How would you describe their relationship?

8. On page 134, Clinton describes the Section: “What you have to understand is that the Section functions as the spearhead for the total defence of the nation. We’re Sweden’s last line of defence. Our job is to watch over the security of our country. Everything else is unimportant.” Aside from Clinton, who else believes this? Why are they so convinced?

9. Can you imagine a group like the Section operating in this country? Why, or why not?

10. On Berger’s first day at her new job, the departing editor in chief offers his theory about why she was hired (page 152). Do you agree with his assessment? How does this notion play out?

11. Armansky tells Blomkvist, “For once you’re not an objective reporter, but a participant in unfolding events. And as such, you need help. You’re not going to win on your own” (page 159). Why is this situation different from those in the previous two novels? How does becoming a participant change Blomkvist’s behavior? Does Blomkvist cross any ethical lines?

12. On page 168, Larsson writes about Salander, “She wondered what she thought of herself, and came to the realization that she felt mostly indifference towards her entire life.” What has made her feel this way? Do her feelings change by the end of the novel?

13. Again and again, men underestimate Salander because of her size. Why do they make these assumptions? How does she turn this into an advantage?

14. What is the significance of Borgsjö’s involvement with a company that uses child labor? How does this tie in to Larsson’s overall themes?

15. On page 295, Salander discovers a gruesome fact about Teleborian. “She should have dealt with Teleborian years ago. But she had repressed the memory of him. She had chosen to ignore his existence.” How does this jibe with Salander’s behavior in the present day? When did she decide to stop letting people get away with things?

16. Discuss the notion of revenge in this novel, and throughout the trilogy. Who, besides Salander, exacts revenge? What motivates them?

17. What role does Annika play in the novel? And Ekström?

18. On page 359, Salander reaches out to Berger and offers to help. Why?

19. What is the significance of the subplot about Berger’s stalker?

20. During his interview with She, Blomkvist agrees with the host’s suggestion that the Section’s behavior is akin to mental illness. Do you agree with that idea? How are accusations of mental illness wielded elsewhere in the trilogy?

21. “When it comes down to it, this story is not primarily about spies and secret government agencies; it’s about violence against women, and the men who enable it.” So says Blomkvist on page 514. What else is it about?

22. If she’s not in love with Miriam, why does Salander go to Paris?

23. When deciding what to do about Niedermann, Salander thinks of Harriet Vanger. Where do their stories diverge?

24. The very last sentence of the trilogy is, “She opened the door wide and let him into her life again.” How do you imagine things proceed from here for Salander? For Blomvkist?

Clubie Submitted Discussion Questions
Have a good question? If your a clubie add one now.
 
 

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2010
 As the finale to Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is not content to merely match the adrenaline-charged pace that made international bestsellers out of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. Instead, it roars with an explosive storyline that blows the doors off the series and announces that the very best has been saved for last. A familiar evil lies in wait for Lisbeth Salander, but this time, she must do more than confront the miscreants of her past; she must destroy them. Much to her chagrin, survival requires her to place a great deal of faith in journalist Mikael Blomkvist and trust his judgment when the stakes are highest. To reveal more of the plot would be criminal, as Larsson's mastery of the unexpected is why millions have fallen hard for his work. But rest assured that the odds are again stacked, the challenges personal, and the action fraught with neck-snapping revelations in this snarling conclusion to a thrilling triad. This closing chapter to The Girl's pursuit of justice is guaranteed to leave readers both satisfied and saddened once the final page has been turned. --Dave Callanan
From Publishers Weekly
The exhilarating conclusion to bestseller Larsson's Millennium trilogy (after The Girl Who Played with Fire) finds Lisbeth Salander, the brilliant computer hacker who was shot in the head in the final pages of Fire, alive, though still the prime suspect in three murders in Stockholm. While she convalesces under armed guard, journalist Mikael Blomkvist works to unravel the decades-old coverup surrounding the man who shot Salander: her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a Soviet intelligence defector and longtime secret asset to Säpo, Sweden's security police. Estranged throughout Fire, Blomkvist and Salander communicate primarily online, but their lack of physical interaction in no way diminishes the intensity of their unconventional relationship. Though Larsson (1954–2004) tends toward narrative excess, his was an undeniably powerful voice in crime fiction that will be sorely missed. 500,000 first printing. (May) 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Booklist
*Starred Review* When we last saw Lisbeth Salander, she was teetering between life and death. And who wouldn’t be after having been shot by her father and buried alive by her brother? Salander was rescued, at the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009), by journalist Mikael Blomkvist. She’s now in a Swedish hospital, slowly mending and awaiting trial for three murders she didn’t commit. Meanwhile, her father, a former Soviet spy, is down the hall, recovering from the injuries he sustained when Lisbeth stuck an ax in his head. Blomkvist, Salander’s loyal friend, sets out to prove her innocence, but to do so he must expose a decades-old conspiracy within the Swedish secret service that has resulted in, among other travesties, a lifetime of abuse heaped upon Salander, whose very life threatens to expose the deadly charade. The late Larsson (this third novel in his Millennium Trilogy is his final book) can be accused of heaping too much plot between two covers—in addition to the Salander story, there is an elaborate subplot involving Blomkvist’s lover, Erica, and her travails as the first female editor of a major Stockholm newspaper—but he is remarkably agile at keeping multiple balls in the air. But it wouldn’t really matter if he weren’t a skilled craftsman because Salander is such a bravura heroine—steel will and piercing intelligence veiling a heartbreaking vulnerability—that we’d willingly follow her through any bramble bush of a plot. She spends more than half of this novel in a hospital bed, but orchestrating the action from her Palm computer, she dominates the stage like Lear. There are few characters as formidable as Lisbeth Salander in contemporary fiction of any kind. She will be sorely missed. --Bill Ott
Review
Reviews from the United Kingdom:

"Fans will not be disappointed: this is another roller-coaster ride that keeps you reading far too late into the night. Intricate but flawlessly plotted, it has complex characters as well as a satisfying, clear moral thrust."
Evening Standard
 
"Salander is a magnificent creation: a feminist avenging angel . . . I cannot think of another modern writer who so successfully turns his politics away from a preachy manifesto and into a dynamic narrative device. Larsson's hatred of injustice will drive readers across the world through a three-volume novel and leave them regretting the final page; and regretting, even more, the early death of a mastery storyteller just as he was entering his prime."
Observer
 
"Larsson has produced a coup de foudre, a novel that is complex, satisfying, clever, moral . . . This is a grown-up novel for grown-up readers, who want something more than a quick fix and a car chase. And it's why the Millennium trilogy is rightly a publishing phenomenon all over the world."
Guardian
 
"[The trilogy] is intricately plotted, lavishly detailed but written with a  breakneck pace and verve . . [Hornet's Nest] is a tantalizing double finale—first idyllic, then frenetic . . . Larsson has made the literary moods of saga and soap opera converge—with suspense as the adhesive. And, behind the quickfire action, those great chords of moral and political witness continue to resonate."
Independent
 
"[These are] extraordinary novels [with] astonishing impact . . . breakneck plotting, sympathetic characterization and the kind of startling denouements that occur more frequently than is conventionally considered possible. There is a comparison with that other great work of contemporary entertainment, The Wire, in the rage and clarity with which injustice becomes the driver of a novel way of looking at a society. Be warned: the trilogy, like The Wire, is seriously addictive."
Guardian (editorial)


How can we make BookBundlz even better? Tell us what you think would make this website teh best for book clubs, reading groups and book lovers alike!
 
 
 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
chapter 1

Friday, April 8

Dr. Jonasson was woken by a nurse five minutes before the helicopter was expected to land. It was just before 1:30 in the morning.

"What?" he said, confused.

"Rescue Service helicopter coming in. Two patients. An injured man and a younger woman. The woman has a gunshot wound."

"All right," Jonasson said wearily.

Although he had slept for only half an hour, he felt groggy. He was on the night shift in the ER at Sahlgrenska hospital in Göteborg. It had been a strenuous evening.

By 12:30 the steady flow of emergency cases had eased off. He had made a round to check on the state of his patients and then gone back to the staff bedroom to try to rest for a while. He was on duty until 6:00, and seldom got the chance to sleep even if no emergency patients came in. But this time he had fallen asleep almost as soon as he turned out the light.

Jonasson saw lightning out over the sea. He knew that the helicopter was coming in the nick of time. All of a sudden a heavy downpour lashed at the window. The storm had moved in over Göteborg.

He heard the sound of the chopper and watched as it banked through the storm squalls down towards the helipad. For a second he held his breath when the pilot seemed to have difficulty controlling the aircraft. Then it vanished from his field of vision and he heard the engine slowing to land. He took a hasty swallow of his tea and set down the cup.

Jonasson met the emergency team in the admissions area. The other doctor on duty took on the first patient who was wheeled in-an elderly man with his head bandaged, apparently with a serious wound to the face. Jonasson was left with the second patient, the woman who had been shot. He did a quick visual examination: it looked like she was a teenager, very dirty and bloody, and severely wounded. He lifted the blanket that the Rescue Service had wrapped around her body and saw that the wounds to her hip and shoulder were bandaged with duct tape, which he considered a pretty clever idea. The tape kept bacteria out and blood in. One bullet had entered her hip and gone straight through the muscle tissue. He gently raised her shoulder and located the entry wound in her back. There was no exit wound: the round was still inside her shoulder. He hoped it had not penetrated her lung, and since he did not see any blood in the woman's mouth he concluded that probably it had not.

"Radiology," he told the nurse in attendance. That was all he needed to say.

Then he cut away the bandage that the emergency team had wrapped around her skull. He froze when he saw another entry wound. The woman had been shot in the head, and there was no exit wound there either.

Jonasson paused for a second, looking down at the girl. He felt dejected. He often described his job as being like that of a goalkeeper. Every day people came to his place of work in varying conditions but with one objective: to get help.

Jonasson was the goalkeeper who stood between the patient and Fonus Funeral Service. His job was to decide what to do. If he made the wrong decision, the patient might die or perhaps wake up disabled for life. Most often he made the right decision, because the vast majority of injured people had an obvious and specific problem. A stab wound to the lung or a crushing injury after a car crash were both particular and recognizable problems that could be dealt with. The survival of the patient depended on the extent of the damage and on Jonasson's skill.

There were two kinds of injury that he hated. One was a serious burn case, because no matter what measures he took the burns would almost inevitably result in a lifetime of suffering. The second was an injury to the brain.

The girl on the gurney could live with a piece of lead in her hip and a piece of lead in her shoulder. But a piece of lead inside her brain was a trauma of a wholly different magnitude. He was suddenly aware of the nurse saying something.

"Sorry. I wasn't listening."

"It's her."

"What do you mean?"

"It's Lisbeth Salander. The girl they've been hunting for the past few weeks, for the triple murder in Stockholm."

Jonasson looked again at the unconscious patient's face. He realized at once that the nurse was right. He and the whole of Sweden had seen Salander's passport photograph on billboards outside every newspaper kiosk for weeks. And now the murderer herself had been shot, which was surely poetic justice of a sort.

But that was not his concern. His job was to save his patient's life, irrespective of whether she was a triple murderer or a Nobel Prize winner. Or both.

Then the efficient chaos, the same in every ER the world over, erupted. The staff on Jonasson's shift set about their appointed tasks. Salander's clothes were cut away. A nurse reported on her blood pressure-100/70-while the doctor put his stethoscope to her chest and listened to her heartbeat. It was surprisingly regular, but her breathing was not quite normal.

Jonasson did not hesitate to classify Salander's condition as critical. The wounds in her shoulder and hip could wait until later, with a compress on each, or even with the duct tape that some inspired soul had applied. What mattered was her head. Jonasson ordered tomography with the new and improved CT scanner that the hospital had lately acquired.

Jonasson had a view of medicine that was at times unorthodox. He thought doctors often drew conclusions that they could not substantiate. This meant that they gave up far too easily; alternatively, they spent too much time at the acute stage trying to work out exactly what was wrong with the patient so as to decide on the right treatment. This was correct procedure, of course. The problem was that the patient was in danger of dying while the doctor was still doing his thinking.

But Jonasson had never before had a patient with a bullet in her skull. Most likely he would need a brain surgeon. He had all the theoretical knowledge required to make an incursion into the brain, but he did not by any means consider himself a brain surgeon. He felt inadequate, but all of a sudden he realized that he might be luckier than he deserved. Before he scrubbed up and put on his operating clothes he sent for the nurse.

"There's an American professor from Boston working at the Karolinska hospital in Stockholm. He happens to be in Göteborg tonight, staying at the Radisson on Avenyn. He just gave a lecture on brain research. He's a good friend of mine. Could you get the number?"

While Jonasson was still waiting for the X-rays, the nurse came back with the number of the Radisson. Jonasson picked up the phone. The night porter at the Radisson was very reluctant to wake a guest at that time of night and Jonasson had to come up with a few choice phrases about the critical nature of the situation before his call was put through.

"Good morning, Frank," Jonasson said when the call was finally answered. "It's Anders. Do you feel like coming over to Sahlgrenska to help out in a brain op?"

"Are you bullshitting me?" Dr. Frank Ellis had lived in Sweden for many years and was fluent in Swedish-albeit with an American accent- but when Jonasson spoke to him in Swedish, Ellis always replied in his mother tongue.

"The patient is in her mid-twenties. Entry wound, no exit."

"And she's alive?"

"Weak but regular pulse, less regular breathing, blood pressure one hundred over seventy. She also has a bullet wound in her shoulder and another in her hip. But I know how to handle those two."

"Sounds promising," Ellis said.

"Promising?"

"If somebody has a bullet in their head and they're still alive, that points to hopeful."

"I understand... Frank, can you help me out?"

"I spent the evening in the company of good friends, Anders. I got to bed at 1:00 and no doubt I have an impressive blood alcohol content."

"I'll make the decisions and do the surgery. But I need somebody to tell me if I'm doing anything stupid. Even a falling-down drunk Professor Ellis is several classes better than I could ever be when it comes to assessing brain damage."

"OK, I'll come. But you're going to owe me one."

"I'll have a taxi waiting outside by the time you get down to the lobby. The driver will know where to drop you, and a nurse will be there to meet you and get you scrubbed in."

"I had a patient a number of years ago, in Boston-I wrote about the case in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was a girl the same age as your patient here. She was walking to the university when someone shot her with a crossbow. The arrow entered at the outside edge of her left eyebrow and went straight through her head, exiting from almost the middle of the back of her neck."

"And she survived?"

"She looked like nothing on earth when she came in. We cut off the arrow shaft and put her head in a CT scanner. The arrow went straight through her brain. By all known reckoning she should have been dead, or at least suffered such massive trauma that she would have been in a coma."

"And what was her condition?"

"She was conscious the whole time. Not only that; she was terribly frightened, of course, but she was completely rational. Her only problem was that she had an arrow through her skull."

"What did you do?"

"Well, I got the forceps and pulled out the arrow and bandaged the wounds. More or less."

"And she lived to tell the tale?"

"Obviously her condition was critical, but the fact is we could have sent her home the same day. I've seldom had a healthier patient."

Jonasson wondered whether Ellis was pulling his leg.

"On the other hand," Ellis went on, "I had a forty-two-year-old patient in Stockholm some years ago who banged his head on a windowsill. He began to feel sick immediately and was taken by ambulance to the ER. When I got to him he was unconscious. He had a small bump and a very slight bruise. But he never regained consciousness and died after nine days ...
 Apple iTunes

 
 
Stieg Larsson, who lived in Sweden, was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a leading expert on antidemocratic, right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He died in 2004, shortly after delivering the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.


Also, Don't Miss BB's
Author News Page!
Look for advice on everything from how to get your book published to promoted. We are looking to help you get the word out about your book!

 
 
Check out our...

of the Month


Gifts