Steig Larsson – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

I was a huge fan of Stieg Larsson’s other two titles “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” and “The Girl Who Played with FIre.”  Lisbeth Salander is a character who may have been kicked around, but she is not taking it nicely.  A couple of women I talked about his books with felt Larrson glorrifed violence against women, but violence is real.  Bring the smelly garbage up under our noses doesn’t make it stink any more or less.

I knew “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” would be different in tone from the first page.  It is a brief aside about women’s role as warriors.  Lisabeth is a warrior, as she has proven in the first two books.  We open now with her waiting on brain surgery to remove a bullet placed their by her father.  As detailed as the first two books, this one seems mired in the begin with explaining various political and intelligence circles in Sweden.  I found those parts rather dry, but I am hoping as the book progresses, it will come alive.  Update to come.

UPDATE:  I finished the book and it was great.  Lisabeth gets her revenge and even all of the details about the various political and intelligence alliances made sense at the end.  One of the greatest revelations I found was that Lisabeth may have Asperger’s Syndrome.  That would definitely explain some of her quirks and intense focus.

Lisabeth is a character I wish had a further life on the page.  I know there have been talk of a fourth novel that is unreleased, but I am not counting on it soon.

Autism and my family

Last night, I met a remarkable man who has autism and took the time to explain how the world feels from his point of view. He explained that for him to go acting “neuro-typical” required hours of rest and parsing his personality into one he calls Mr. Spock (that is an old Star Trek reference for those too young to know). He talked about how the sensory events of life were overwhelming to him – he can hear the whine of computers, lights and even snow falling. He also shed some light on an issue I have had in my family. My son would be fine until we approached the checkout counter at wherever we were. When we stopped moving, the lack of motion set him off. I never realized that the act of movement was soothing to some people with autism. Really, it should not have been surprising, since many people who are “neuro-typical” gesture with their hands, pace or seek the release of tension through dance and exercise. I have a small trampoline in my home, so that my son can use it to bounce off energy. It has helped. I like it too – who doesn’t enjoy the brief weightlessness of jumping?
Another thing I do is have a loud ticking clock in the hallway off the bedrooms. It helps my older son go to sleep. I found out this is called a metronome response – another would be rocking back and forth – that soothes the person. I am so thankful for this man’s willingness to share his story with our small group. If I can help my sons in any way, that will be a bonus.

Autism is a part of my family. My nephew has it and both of my sons. For those of you who don’t know, this is a spectrum disorder, meaning some people are more affected than others. Some great places to find out more information is the Autism Society. Our local chapter has a monthly support group meeting and it really does help.