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The Girl Who Played with Fire Audiobook

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

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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 (24733 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MnM 05-21-12
    MnM 05-21-12
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    "Engaging novel and fantastic story tellers"
    Would you listen to The Girl Who Played with Fire again? Why?

    Yes. This is a great novel. I wish Stieg Larsson had written more than this trilogy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like all the underlying messages about abuse towards women...ways that people don't commonly think about.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I almost did. Hard to stop.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Otto Yucaipa, CA, United States 05-20-12
    Otto Yucaipa, CA, United States 05-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I enjoyed the entire The Girl series!"
    Would you listen to The Girl Who Played with Fire again? Why?

    I'll listen to it again at some point, and I'll put them into the proper order.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the narration had been done by someone who actually spoke Swedish. Simon Vance's mispronunciations detracted somewhat from my experience. This is not to disparage his skill as a narrator, but more a comment on the choice of narrators for this series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila 05-20-12
    Sheila 05-20-12

    Very diverse person who enjoys good books.

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    "Good continuation of first book"

    I have enjoyed listening to all three of these books and have recommended them to others.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. webb 04-25-12
    L. webb 04-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why did I wait so long?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Girl Who Played with Fire to be better than the print version?

    I can't attest to whether the audio is better than the print, but the audio rocks.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Girl Who Played with Fire?

    I found the intricate character portraits to be so cunning and detailed that they functioned more as plot than exposition. Good fun to not-quite-get-in-the-heads of the multifaceted characters.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'm not sure I can identify a particular scene, but tonally I loved the book's head-spinning transitions from procedural information to dramatic - even shocking - scenes without damaging the narrative's cohesiveness.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yep.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Anchorage, AK, United States 04-18-12
    Cameron Anchorage, AK, United States 04-18-12

    Disabled Alaskan reader of mostly mysteries historical. Also vampires, werewolves, things that go bump in the night! Some scifi and fantasy!

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    "Book 2 as good as the firsr!!!"

    Steig Larsson is a genius, it's a shame he didn't live long enough to see the success of his books. Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past. This time, Lisbeth must return to the darkness of her own past (more specifically, an event coldly known as "All the Evil") if she is to stay one step ahead--and alive. This series is tremendous, a real edge of the seat thriller.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 04-18-12
    Mary 04-18-12 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! I LOVE TO READ AND BE IN THE KNOW. I LIKE TO TALK TO INTELLIGENT PEOPLE.

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    "GREAT BOOK"
    If you could sum up The Girl Who Played with Fire in three words, what would they be?

    ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS THAT I HAVE READ. AMAZING THE WAY THE CHARACTER IS DEVELOPED.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    THE MYSTERY WAS THERE


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    AN OLDER LADY RECOMMENDED THIS BOOK TO ME BASED ON THE TYPE OF BOOKS THAT SHE KNEW I LIKED TO READ. THIS BOOK ONE WAS MY FIRST OF THE THREE BOOK SERIES BY VANCE.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    MY HUSBAND AND I LISTENED TO IT FROM UPPER EASTERN PART OF NORTH CAROLINA TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA. WE LISTEN TO THE END AND IT WAS GREAT AND WE WANTED TO HEAR THE WHOLE STORY.


    Any additional comments?

    I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO OTHERS. THE GUY READING THE BOOK DID A GOOD JOB!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirley K. Bigham 04-13-12 Member Since 2007
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    "magnificant"

    absoutley magnificant, expertly writtened, could not ask for a better read, and of course the book was much better than the movie.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kitz 04-13-12
    Kitz 04-13-12
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    "Can't believe what happened!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Girl Who Played with Fire the most enjoyable?

    Details! Details! Details!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, the author puts you on a thrill ride throughout the book!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    On Zalachenko's farm


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Alexandia, VA, United States 04-10-12
    Marie Alexandia, VA, United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2011

    I don't mind getting stuck in traffic...as long as I have an audio book playing.

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    "Perfect, I want more"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Good flow, wonderful, clear, strong, concise story line. Great characters. Strong narrative.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Unlikely, flawed, super hero.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Yuba City, CA, United States 04-09-12
    Laura Yuba City, CA, United States 04-09-12
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    "Intriging"
    What did you love best about The Girl Who Played with Fire?

    The story, very well written.


    What other book might you compare The Girl Who Played with Fire to and why?

    The girl with the dragon tattoo. The sequel followed up nicely, even better, in my opinion


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Loved his accent and he was able to pronounce the words appropriately.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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