As you'll know if you visit here regularly, I'm a great fan of audiobooks. I listen to them in bed (thankfully, the Audible app has a sleep timer on it) and in the car. So, though I was already planning to review this continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy for Shiny New Books (review coming next week), I jumped at the chance of a review copy of the recording.
How would this novel measure up? That's always the big question when you are a fan of the originals. Well, I thought it did pretty well. Perhaps you might say it's a little milder than Larsson's three books, which were quite upsetting at times in depicting some acts of extreme and distasteful violence (which might indeed make it more attractive to many people). But the story had me gripped. Basically it deals with two big issues -- serious computer hacking (in this case, Lisbeth Salander and her Hacker Republic pals have hacked into the NSA's systems) and what's known as the savant syndrome. If you don't know what this is, check it out -- here's what Wikipedia says:
Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.
I've always been fascinated by this for some reason, and here we have a wonderful example of young August Balder, aged 7, who has never spoken but who can draw with incredible photographic accuracy and also do the most complex mathematical calculations. Both these prove to be of vital importance. August's famous scientist father is murdered while the boy is present, and his drawings will reveal the murderer's identity. Also his father, Frans Balder, knowing he is being followed, has destroyed all his vitally important calculations, and only August, aided by Lisbeth Salander, is able to reconstruct them.
I really enjoyed this. It was great to meet all the characters again -- Lisbeth, of course, and Mikael Blomkvist, and everyone else we grew to know and love (or hate). And I was really pleased to find that it was read by Saul Reichlin, who had also read the earlier audio books, and who not only does the voices really well but also has an amazing way with Swedish names of people and places. I passed many happy hours with this (nearly 17 of them to be precise), so if you like to have something to listen to that you can really get your teeth into, why not get over to Audible and download it now!