Let me preface this by saying I don’t like fiction, and I damn sure don’t read something this popular. If it’s popular, it must suck. See: Ke$ha. But I picked up a copy left in a coffeeshop one day and got hooked. I bought all three books and devoured them. The plot is thrilling, the characters are fascinating, and I was glued to the books, trying to figure every mystery out.
I found the juxtaposition of the rabidly misogynistic male characters (Martin Vanger and Nils Bjurman) to the passively feministic male characters (Mikael Blomkvist, Henrik Vanger, Holger Palmgren) engaging. I especially found the treatment of Mikael and Erika’s relationship interesting. I enjoyed the positive depiction of an open relationship, without presenting Erika as a slut or Mikael as a user. I thought it was odd that a book originally titled “Men Who Hate Women” would manage to portray an alternative relationship in such a positive light. There doesn’t seem to be much judgment towards Mikael at all. I was impressed that an author could do such a good job with the nuances of complicated male-female interactions.