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The Girl Who Played with Fire Audiobook

The Girl Who Played with Fire: The Millennium Series, Book 2

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government. On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Stieg Larsson was a crusading Swedish journalist, committed to the fight against political extremism and racism in his home country. In his spare time he completed a trilogy of striking crime novels, which he delivered to his publishers just before his untimely death in 2004. The first novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, centred on Mikhail Blomkvist, a crusading journalist with a social conscience; its sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, shifts focus onto the socially awkward computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, who becomes entangled in an investigation into sex trafficking, murder, and establishment corruption. This unusual central character is the story's main strength, allowing it to stand apart from the raft of contemporary and classic crime novels which Larsson fondly draws on. An expert hacker and mathematics-obsessive, Salander is a clenched fist of a character; difficult, psychologically traumatised, and capable of extreme violence.

Simon Vance endows her with the accent of an East London street urchin, a fitting voice for this embattled woman. While his narration is crisp, Vance's other characters range from working-class Northern English accents for Blomkvist, assorted police, and journalists, while others are given accents somewhere between Scandinavian and Bela Lugosi. However, as the plot thickens, such incongruities are forgotten, and a compelling social reality is created by Vance's skilled performance, which includes a sensitive rendition of a stroke victim's voice. Vance's cool delivery also suits the reportage feel of much of the writing; characters are introduced through their occupation, address, and educational background, while a mass of tiny observations (such as coffee mugs decorated with the logo of the civil service union) at times convey the tone of a police report. It is a tribute to Vance's delivery that the narrative thrust carries the accumulation of detail effortlessly from one action-packed set-piece to the next.

Larsson's published books have been a European phenomenon, due less, perhaps, to any narrative or thematic innovations as to the author's visceral anger at social injustice and the mistreatment of the vulnerable, particularly women. Violence against women is the work's central motif: the Swedish title of the first book in the series translates as Men Who Hate Women, and Salander is "the woman who hates men who hate women". In fact, there is an element of salacious revenge fantasy to much of her actions as she fights fire with fire; the story treads a fine line between condemning sadism and revelling in sadistic imagery. The real enemy of the tale is institutionalised machismo: policemen are loutish, rape is endemic, and villains enjoy guns, motorbikes, and magazines about motorbikes. Everyone, meanwhile, summers in wood shacks in the Swedish countryside.

While very much part of a larger whole (there are numerous references to events that occurred in the first part of the trilogy), The Girl Who Played with Fire stands alone as a highly enjoyable, if not always smooth - and often disquieting - mixture of classic crime tropes, searing violence, and vivid characterization. —Dafydd Phillips

Publisher's Summary

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal best seller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ("An intelligent, ingeniously plotted, utterly engrossing thriller" The Washington Post), and this time it is Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, who is the focus and fierce heart of the story.

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to publish a story exposing an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

On the eve of publication, the two reporters responsible for the story are brutally murdered. But perhaps more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander.

Now, as Blomkvist, alone in his belief in her innocence, plunges into his own investigation of the slayings, Salander is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

Listen to the rest of The Millennium Trilogy.

©2009 Stieg Larsson; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Boasts an intricate, puzzle-like story line . . . even as it accelerates toward its startling and violent conclusion.” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

“[A] gripping, stay-up-all-night read.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Gripping stuff. . . . A nail-biting tale of murder and cover-ups.” (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (21633 )
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Performance
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  •  
    kelley Lake in the hills, IL, United States 02-27-11
    kelley Lake in the hills, IL, United States 02-27-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Might be the best.."

    "The Girl" trilogy had a lot to prove given all the hype surrounding it. I almost expected to be disappointed and after the first couple hours I thought I might be right. I stuck with it and as the story developed I became hooked and couldn't download the other two books quick enough. Of the three great books I feel "plays with fire" was phenomenal. It was far more centered around one of the most intriguing characters ever developed, Lizabeth Salander.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Hollywood, FL, United States 02-17-11
    Barbara Hollywood, FL, United States 02-17-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    16
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    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Enjoyable!"

    This second book follows right where the first book left off. Keeps you interested all the way through. The end makes you pick up the third book in order to see how the story continues.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stoney 02-11-11
    Stoney 02-11-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Great Trilogy!"

    This book is good but you have to be patient it starts rather slow. I guess I had the same complaint with the first book but this one seems to start even slower! If you enjoyed the first book , you will enjoy this book but warning it’s another slow starter!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Reno, NV, United States 02-09-11
    Michael Reno, NV, United States 02-09-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "This is the only book in the series I have read"

    WIth that being said, I think the three-stars is fair. It is possible that I may have had more appreciation of the second book if I had listened to the first book as well. It was a fairly interesting with decent plot and character development. I think I would have liked more plot twists, as opposed to just building up the big "D'enouement" throughout the entire book. That kind of build up makes it very tough for the author to deliver.

    Cute story....buy it on sale.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blandina 02-02-11
    Blandina 02-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "too bad"

    "The Girl" books sets the bar so high. I think it will be a while before I find a story as amazing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aleda Glendale Heights, IL, United States 01-26-11
    Aleda Glendale Heights, IL, United States 01-26-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    "Good Book, Bad Ending"

    I liked book 1, and this book's ending wasn't that great. I felt there could have been 2 more chapters and I would have been a lot happier. Ends did not seem finished.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 12-13-10
    Karen 12-13-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    Overall
    "It was just too much new to try to price of app's."

    I hope that it works for me. More much mire time spent up front but when it's put together well , Tbe odds the home will be nicer die white a lung time. Even a chance tonouygriw childrens asthma and have these Judd come zipping on by !

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don 12-10-10
    Don 12-10-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    2
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    Overall
    "Excellent follow on; disturbing mature content."

    WARNING - this is a story for mature audiences only - and I don't mean just age, I mean one's ability to realistically understand that there is a very dark side of the human soul and separate yourself from the descriptions/events in the story. Larsen captures this darkness vividly, and Salander is a phenomenal executioner of Laresn's ire.

    SL's series may be all the rave, and while the "crime/mystery/layers/plotting" is pretty darn good, the explicit details that get you there do get in the way. This novel moves much faster than Dragon Tattoo - that one drove me nuts until I reached the 1/2 way point, and then I furiously re-listened to get all o/t details. I am seriously on the fence about the third novel, though, because as others have commented the material is quite explicit.

    I don't agree w/ the common wisdom that this story stands on its own; w/o reading TGWTDT, it would be hard to slug through the abuse/sexual stuff, and you really would not appreciate many of the characters/scenes/events. After having listened to TGWTDT, the story is compelling, and an OUTSTANDING follow up / continuation.

    On the bright side, for someone in the USA: I've remarked to several people that listening to the book and the wonderful pronunciations / scene descriptions are like taking a vacation in Sweeden. After watching the first two movies, I can honestly say "That's what I thought XYZ would look like!"

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victor Elizabethtown, PA, United States 12-05-10
    Victor Elizabethtown, PA, United States 12-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Top-Notch Entertainment, Not Much More Than That"

    This is the second of The Millennium Trilogy and the weakest book of the three. That's not much of a knock since the three books taken together are more entertaining than just about anything written in a pop thriller vein in several years. Simon Vance's narration is excellent, as it is in the other two volumes. There are some lesbian sex scenes and, as in the first installment, violent sex. If you are sensitive to that sort of thing, then take note. The homoeroticism is not pervasive by any means, but the violent sex and other violence is central to the plot, and does get quite a bit of attention, as it does in the movie versions of the books. This book sets up the finale (The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest) beautifully, and that book is worthy of five stars. But you won't enjoy Hornet's Nest nearly as much without hearing this one first, and you certainly will not be bored. All three books are fast-paced and action-packed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave 12-02-10
    Dave 12-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    245
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fun, fast book"

    Don't get every ones comments about too much freaky sex? Yes it is part of the story but its not graphic or anything more then the previous story had? Its a good story and left us with a bit of a cliff hanger unlike the last one. If you liked the first one you will like this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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