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Let Me In Hardcover – October 16, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312355289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312355289
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Swedish author Lindqvist's debut, a horror novel, offers few twists that won't already be familiar to readers of modern vampire fiction. Oskar, a much bullied 12-year-old schoolboy living in a Stockholm suburb, notices that his next-door neighbor, Eli, has some peculiar traits: Eli only comes out at night, smells like death warmed over and is of ambiguous gender. Eventually, Eli reveals he's a vampire who survives by feeding off the neighborhood lowlifes. Occasionally, his bite accidentally turns victims into undeads who, unaware of their vampirization, go on rampages that end in spectacularly gruesome fates. As sweet as the pure and wholesome friendship between Oskar and Eli may be, it's the gory set pieces that propel the predictable plot. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

Swedish TV and stage writer Lindqvist's first novel is set in a commonplace suburb of Stockholm, where 12-year-old Oskar lives with his mother, is bullied at school, shoplifts, and keeps a scrapbook of notes and clippings about gruesome murders. Eli, apparently about his age, moves in next door but doesn't go to school, leaving the flat only at night. Shortly after, the killings start. At first more fascinated than sorry, since one victim had bullied him, Oskar eventually discovers that Eli is a vampire, stuck permanently in childhood. What should Oskar do, especially when Eli is his friend as much as anyone is? Lindqvist develops the plot in rich detail. The characters, adult and child, are quite convincingly the sort that one would probably cross the street to avoid in any city. Lindqvist also realistically depicts the aftermath of brutal homicide on the nearby: shock and horror, some sleepless nights and bad dreams, despite which you must go to work and get the groceries; eventually, the police leave the neighborhood. Murray, Frieda

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Customer Reviews

The characters are all very interesting and developed very well.
MeatWad and a Fry
Having said that, the only problem I have with the novel is the author's tendency to provide way too much backstory and too many unnecessary characters.
I have seen the American movie version of this book, and I liked the book more.
Julia Monson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 204 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. L. Lyon on March 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let the Right One In, by John Ajvide Lindovist. has one fantastic element: vampires. It's set in a suburb of Stockholm, on a social housing development that has become a sink estate. It's a sad place, full of aimless people. The people with responsibility - teachers, policemen, parents, are, for the most part, trying to do the right thing. They've got good intentions.

The book has a huge cast of characters with the major division between adults and children, each subdivided into the successful, more or less, and the failures, with a further division into victims and victimizers. The book opens with a bullied child, Oskar, who fantasizes about becoming a mass murderer. He meets Elli, a child vampire. The predictable does not happen.

Many of the adults on the estate are as powerless as the children - lonely, middle aged and elderly alcoholics, unemployed or working at minimum wage jobs. They are presented with a moral choice similar to that of the children: even if a victim, one can refuse to victimize others. (And that is the major freedom the characters in the book have.)

An earlier reviewer said he/she wasn't sure if this was belonged in horror... it's horror in the same way that Henry James' ghost stories fit the genre. It's mainstream/literary/horror, a book that crosses boundaries. I think genres are more useful for finding a kind of reading than describing a book - essentially, this is a very good book that people who read horror and people who would never consider reading horror would both like. It doesn't rank highly on the 'feel good factor' but it has a surprisingly happy ending -- one of those 'happy endings' that is about as happy as, all things considered, an ending can be.

I loved it - and think it's one of the best books I've read in the past year or so.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James Girard on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Let Me In" is extremely well written. !Disturbing! At times the story is so intense and demented that I would look away from the book trying to stop the atrocities from crawling into my brain yet my enslaved eyes would twist in their sockets to read on. If you dare read "Let Me In" you will see things not ment to be seen. Forever changed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In (Thomas Dunne Books, 2004)

Let the Right One In was hands-down the best movie of 2008, and in my estimation, one of the greatest achievements in film to date; it followed that I'd have to read the book eventually. It took me a while to get there, but I just finished it, and I find myself having to look at the two as entirely separate works. In hindsight, the film is reductionist almost to the point of absurdity (while still being brilliant); so much of the book is trimmed away that I even find myself being slightly optimistic about the American remake slated to come out two days from now as I write this. It's obvious Lindqvist (who wrote both adaptations) left a whole lot of material that was still ripe for mining in his 2008 screenplay. Hopefully he dug into it for the 2010 version.

The movie is a simple coming-of-age love story. The book is that, but it is also a straight vampire novel in many ways the movie is not; it is far more Stephen King than Stephenie Meyer (and hooray for that indeed). As well as focusing on the Oskar-and-Eli storyline familiar to those who have seen the film (and if you haven't seen the film, you should immediately), there are a number of others. We get a lot more insight into Oskar's personality; we see a lot more of him being bullied (which makes the climactic scene in both book and film a lot more solid), we see an aborted weekend with his divorced father. And then there's Eli. Almost, but not quite, a completely different character. A lot more savage than portrayed in the film, and... different. (I can't tell you how without major spoilers, just trust me on this.) As well, there are two other major subplots.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Hunter on August 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are books you read and think upon favorably, and just move on. This book sticks with you and, in my case, makes you desperate to discuss and share it with someone. You definitely hold your breath throughout the story. My reaction was not, `What is going to happen next?', it was `What is happening?'. I adored it. I am not going to try and compare it to the other vampire books out there because there simply isn't a comparison. This is disturbing, dirty, haunting, sad, gloomy, and fascinating. No glamour. No eternal love. The characters you may support in the beginning are not necessarily the same in the end. By the way, I hated that this book ended, although I love the way in which it did. Just as curiously as Eli and Oskar enter your life; they are gone. Do you wish them well?
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Set in Sweden in 1981, LET ME IN provides a riveting, tense thriller revolving around a dead teen and a possible ritual murder spree. Add a pre-teen who hopes revenge has come for the bullying he's suffered and a strange new girl who moves in next door, who only comes out at night, and you have a vampire novel to rival Anne Rice's best: a tense thriller recommended for any general lending library where patrons request powerful characterization and vampire novels.
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