The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Stieg Larsson, read by Simon Vance, Random Audio, unabridged, 16 CDs, 20.5 hours, $40 ISBN 978-0-7393-8419-0
Simon Vance isn't about to change anything that worked so well in his renditions of the first two-thirds of the Millennium trilogy. But as the late author planned, the books form a coming-of-age story, albeit an unconventional one, in which the rough-edged computer genius Lisbeth Salander moves from aggressively antisocial behavior toward self-awareness and happiness. Much of that happens in this book, and Vance follows Larsson's lead, subtly decreasing Salander's stridency, even as she is forced to combat an awesome array of villains. Vance has no problem vocally distinguishing each of the bad guys, along with the heroic team of police and journalists led by Salander's co-protagonist, magazine writer Mikael Blomkvist. He even manages to help listeners identify a Stockholm telephone directory's worth of Swedish names. Vance wrings every ounce of suspense out of the prose, and there is one shocking confrontation near the end that allows him to pull out all the stops. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 21). (May)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
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