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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 (25061 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jamie 10-19-17
    Jamie 10-19-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
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    33
    3
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    "Better title would have been "the girl who kicks ass!" "

    Such a great book, there was so much depth to the story! Lisbeth and Blomkvist are the perfect detectives!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kari Eilers 10-11-17
    Kari Eilers 10-11-17 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    "Love this series! "

    I have read all the books multiple times! Plus Simon Vance does a great job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David L Santa Fe, NM 10-07-17
    David L Santa Fe, NM 10-07-17 Member Since 2009
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    "excellent, excellent, excellent"

    I thought people were exaggerating. Hated that I had to put it down several times. Can't wait to hear the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Bowie, MD, United States 10-06-17
    Linda Bowie, MD, United States 10-06-17 Member Since 2012
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    296
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    "Lisbeth Is A Strong Lead"

    I read this when it was first published in paperback. It was superb. Must start with Book 1. Lisbeth Salander is an abused child who grew up trusts Ingrid no one. She is now 26 and one of the best researchers working for sa local security firm. She is accused of murdering two writers and her guardian. A huge police hunt is underway and the lack of respect of the male police force is apparent. they assume that because she is a woman, with piercings, and has a history of being in a children’s ward and being prone to violence, that she killed them with no motive. Her fingerprints are found on the gun. The book sets up a hunt for her and only for her based on circumstantial evidence. There are several events that soon show that it wasn’t her but the police don’t want to believe it. Eventually, the lead on the investigation comes to realize that it isn’t her; a key journalist is her friend and knows that she didn’t kill them. He is helping to find out who did kill his writer friends in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. The book is a bit long, has lots of Swedish streets and train stations, hard to pronounce but perhaps add to the Swedish allure. I listened to this book on audible and was able to distinguish the names although several sounded like the same name. Added to a bit of confusion but I got it sorted out. I’m now starting the 3rd book in audible. The Book 4 and 5 although written by another author, capture the same intrigue of Larson. Simon Vance, the narrator, was excellent. He captured Mikael Blomkvist perfectly and the other voices as well. His Inspector Bobbel is perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn 09-08-17
    Carolyn 09-08-17 Member Since 2017
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    "awsome!!!!"

    this book was as good as the first. lizbeth is one tough cookie, a woman after my own heart. the narrative was fantastic. he made the book come to life. I can't wait for the third book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 22602 09-06-17
    Amanda 22602 09-06-17 Member Since 2016
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    11
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    "Great book!! "

    This was a great book!! I loved learning more about Lizbeth's life. It was as touch and go at the end. Shew!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mik 09-06-17
    Mik 09-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    23
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    "Absolutely amazing. "

    One of the best and most gripping audiobooks I've ever heard. And a masterful performance of the reader. I can only recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey 09-01-17
    Casey 09-01-17
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    "Awesome Series"

    I know this is the second in the Millennium series by Mr. Larsson but this applies to all three books.
    These books are an excellent, richly detailed story expertly brought to life by Mr. Vance's narration. This is my second time listening to them and the story is as enthralling as the first.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-18-17
    08-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "a thriller with unexpected turns!"

    easy to lose yourself in. great narration. as good as the first in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PatiO 08-06-17
    PatiO 08-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "I luv this Series"

    I have read this book 3 times already, as well as the other 2. One of my favorite books of all time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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