Read the fine Swedish vampire thriller "Let the Right One In" by Lindqvist (in English translation), enjoyed the US movie version "Let Me In" which is nicely scary and well done too.
Questions about the novel however (spoilers here so don't read further if you don't want spoilers)...
We learn that Eli (the vampire 12-year old) is about 200+ years old. He (or she if you wish) has flashbacks to the era when he was castrated by some decadent nobility. This doesn't make sense. The incident would have occurred at the beginning of the 19th century, when Sweden was in a virtual constitutional democracy (at least not ruled via whim). The culture in the flashback is medieval however. Now if "Eli" were 600 years old, maybe. Was it a simple author's mistake so show Eli so young? His "incident" couldn't have happened because the society described hadn't existed for hundreds of years in 1800.
Second question... Why this gruesome scene at all? It's obvious that the castration doesn't "turn you" because we see Eli later attacking the woman, not killing her, but his bites turn her (typical vampire style).
So I was otherwise entertained by the novel but I thought the author went way overboard describing the eunuch ceremony, since it's not set far enough back in history to be believable, and has no "vampire creation" impact. It seems to be tossed into the story for sensationalism and was unnecessary. I thought it was unsettling pseudo-porn without much purpose otherwise. We never are shown Eli's actual "conversion" to vampire -- castration couldn't do it, right?
I think the films did a lot better, keeping the idea that Eli was actually a pubescent girl frozen in time. The sexual tension of the US movie was well done, I think, without an actual "teen sex" resolution, so we've got a non-sexual union at the end, a very good story line.
Your thoughts? Thanks.
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