I have just finished "the girl who kicked the hornets nest" the third and final part of Stieg Larsson Millenium Trilogy. Kath bought me all three books almost a year ago, but I have spent that time very slowly reading Life and Fate. I finially finished that and started reading the girls with the dragon tattoo. I was hooked from the first chapter, and read like a manic finishing the first book over the weekend. The spending more of my free time, hitting a chapter before work at lunch in the evening. Its been a while since I read a story that was so engaging as this. Larsson invented some really interesting characters, including Lisbeth Slander an almost unique heroine. highly recommend them if you fancy a goodbook but be warned they are a hard habit to break. I was sorry to finish off the book in the knowledge that following Larsson death there will be no more to follow.
Life and Fate is also a spectacularly good book, both frightening and surreal it documents the battle for Stalingrad. Written as a homage to Tolstoy's War and Peace. In War and peace where Tolstoy wraps his characters lives around the Napoleonic invasion Vasily Grossman exposes the monstrosity of Stalin's state. There are a number of incredibly distressing chapters showing both the brutality of Fascism and Communism. It took me a long long time to read my mum bought me the book after I lightened to the excellent BBC Radio drama. I am very glad that I read it and though its a hefty tomb weighing in at over 800 pages I would recommend to any bibliophiles.