‘Millennium series’ well worth the read as movie debut approaches | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Millennium series’ well worth the read as movie debut approaches

Allison Mancini

Editor’s note: It’s decision time for would-be book readers and moviegoers. Read the books or go to the movie first. Perhaps the most popular book series since “Harry Potter” is about to come to the big screen. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara and directed by David Fincher, opens in theaters Dec. 20. The movie reportedly has a different ending than the trilogy, “The Millennium series,” and some of the characters are different. More than 8.5 million readers in the United States have read Stieg Larsson’s book trilogy, including longtime Lake Tahoe Action reader Allison Mancini, who wrote a review of the books.

The first part of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” seemed a bit tedious, but that was deceiving. By page 40 the book just can’t be set down. What I at first took for tangents became the clues I would read more than once just to savor the juicy details that would eventually lead to the raucous conclusions of each of the books of the “Millennium series.”

Mikael Blomvist is a journalist and part owner of a monthly financial newspaper, Millennium. After writing a book about a Swedish business magnate, he is found guilty of libel. Rebounding from the expenses and disgrace of the Wennestrom Affair, he agrees to accept an assignment from the octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger to write the history of the Vanger family. The family history is a cover to ultimately explain the disappearance, 40 years earlier, of Henrik’s favorite niece, Harriet. Vanger’s family is a collection of “Thieves, misers, bullies and incompetents.” And he’s sure one of them is a murderer.

To help peel the layers of the onion that is the Vanger family mystery, Mikael seeks the incomparable investigative skills of Lisbeth Salander, the computer hacker with many tattoos, piercings and an anti-social personality to be reckoned with. Lisbeth is brilliant and creative, and Mikael discovers the cruel reasons why she is so cautious, mysterious and violent in “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

Mikael is charming and magnetic. He has a way of making people feel important and valuable. If you’re not someone he would pay attention to, then he’s intimidating and standoffish. People give Lisbeth a wide berth, cross to the other side of the street to avoid looking directly at her. Her black attire, crazy hair and body art don’t give a clue to her vulnerability. Mikael and Lisbeth are not intimidated by each other and find an affection and camaraderie that only they know.

I was glad to have all three books so I didn’t have to wait to start the next. When I wasn’t ignoring meals and sleep in order to discover each new clue, my thoughts were occupied with the vividness of the plot. Each page led to more interesting intrigue; each chapter led to deeper mystery and each book was better than the last. “The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo” is a good book to start on a cold day. You won’t mind missing favorite television programs, ignoring computer games or calling in to work because you just can’t close the book.

– Allison Mancini is a longtime

South Lake Tahoe resident.

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