Lisbeth Salander rocks

I was reading a post on one of my favourite blogs today  – The Bookshelf of Emily J – and her topic was ideal women of literature. She included Austen of course, Elinor Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet et al, George Eliot, Bronte and others and, while these are all wonderful characters who thrill because of the writers concerned, I have to say that some of my personal favourites are definitely outside the literary canon.

I have a penchant for thrillers and one woman who stands out among the many I’ve been introduced to is Lisbeth Salander from Steig Larsson’s trilogy. She is nothing like the refined, reserved and romantic characters of Austen and she is certainly not a heroine in the traditional sense of the word. She is a flawed and damaged woman; irascible, aggressive, violent, anti-social and wholly unique. Although she wouldn’t appeal to everyone, I found her compelling and was rooting for her all the way through the series, even when she was bordering psychotic.  I never envisaged her as a romantic figure and the end resolution with the main male character, Blomquist, didn’t disappoint – no sugary happy ending for Lisbeth!

I would recommend the books without hesitation, but be prepared for some very unsettling story lines and a female character that challenges the very essence of ‘heroine’.  She’s a bit like marmite I think, you will either love her or hate her but in my opinion she’s definitely worth getting to know.

If you’ve read the books, do you agree with me? Any other women in thrillers that you like?

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Categories: Just Plain Blog

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8 replies

  1. I love her too. So sad she is lost to us now.

  2. I am just finishing the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. I’ve been fascinated by the story every since I started reading the 1st book back in the summer holidays. I entirely agree with you about Lisbeth: one can’t help but be fascinated by her intelligence and determination and I would forgive her anything just because she’s a fighter and a survivor. Best book I’ve read in a long time. So sad about the sudden death of its author. I wonder what else he might have achieved if death hand’t claimed him so untimely.

    • Hi Fatima. Yeah Lisbeth is fantastic and it’s great that he put such a strong female character as the main focus. I too wish he was still around to write more books. Did you know that he died before the series was published and so didn’t see its worldwide success. So sad.

  3. I read the entire series and Lisbeth was the main draw. However, in the first book of the series there was too much Blomquist, not enough Lisbeth. Maybe Larson could have named it “Friend of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

  4. The trilogy is one of those many on my list headed, “I really should get around to reading…” and I don’t know why they never bubble to the top for me! I think it’s because I’ve heard just enough to know they’re unsettling. I would probably be really caught up in them once I got started. You may have pushed me just a bit to get on with it and start reading. I purposely didn’t see the move…I don’t like to see the movie until I’ve read the book!

    • I would definitely recommend them if you like thrillers Debra! I haven’t seen the movies and don’t intend to – I like the version of Lisbeth that’s in my head and don’t want it spoiled by some actress!!!!

  5. These books were one of my guilty pleasures. I even paid to watch the original sub-titled movies which remained true to the books. Sometimes, guys like bad girls! Leo

  6. It’s a definite ‘Yes’ from me – I love Lisbeth too.
    Nice one, Sally 🙂

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