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Let the Right One In: A Novel Paperback – October 28, 2008
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“It's easy to compare Lindqvist to Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman.” ―Dagens Næringsliv (Norway)
“Sweden's Stephen King...a classic tale of horror.” ―Tucson Citizen
“A brilliant take on the vampire myth, and a roaring good story.” ―Kelley Armstrong, bestselling author of Haunted
“Absolutely chilling. This page-turner grabs you from the onset and just won't let go. Vampires at their Anne Ricean best!” ―L. A. Banks, author of Bite the Bullet and the Vampire Huntress series
About the Author
John Ajvide Lindqvist's debut novel, Let the Right One In, was an instant bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translation 2005 in Norway. The Swedish film adaptation, directed by Tomas Alfredsson, has won top honors at film festivals all over the globe, including Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. An American remake, Let Me In, written and directed by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, was released in October 2010 to rave reviews.
Lindqvist grew up in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm and the setting for Let the Right One In. Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television. He lives in Sweden.
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The characters are interesting and, with page upon page of space, far more developed. The relationships are better explored and the ending, while not as romantic, is at least as profound.
I highly recommend it. It's not a page turner per se, the language can be a bit dry and is often slow, but the STORY is worth it.
One final note--this feels like a new direction for vampires. There's no explanation for what Eli is. The fact is simply taken as a given (though slowly explored). In this respect, it's a remarkable work. How would a creature that cannot expose itself to daylight, that needs blood for food--and can eat NOTHING else, not even a piece of candy--function in today's world? Or, the world of the 1980s, anyway. Now, make that creature a twelve-year old instead of a handsome, strong-chinned young adult and things get even more complicated.
Being that I'm SICK of vampire stories, this one was refreshingly original. I don't remember reading a horror story since 1979's "The Prophecy" due to them all basically becoming alike and copies of copies. Like everyone else, I agree there were too many supporting characters who ate up valuable space that Oskar and Eli could have been using and that the book unfortunately went on for about 100 pages too long and kind of petered out at the end.
This is what I'd like to see: Could the author please do a sequel, up to the present date to see how the relationship they had no doubt soured like all the others Eli had as she/he had to take full advantage of someone to have them sacrifice their entire lives to commit murders for her/him. A prequel in the sequel could take us way, way back to where Eli is made into a vampire and centuries of unlucky souls she seduces into procurring for her. There could be one or two more books here. Plus movies. Please think on this, Mr. Lindqvist.
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is about 12 year old Oskar Eriksson, a young boy who lives in the working class neighborhood of Blackberge, Sweden. He is a loner with very few friends, if you really call the other children in his life "friends". He is constantly tormented by three of his peers at school. John does a wonderful job of bringing to life Oskar's pain at being bullied. The scene of Oskar with the tree in the courtyard really says it all about Oskar's torment.
One night, a mysterious man named Hakan and a young girl named Eli moves into Oskar's apartment building. With this recent addition, trouble eventually follows and would consume Blackberge and the rest of Sweden. One night while outside venting out his frustration and pain, Oskar has a brief encounter with Eli. Their initial encounter is brief and both children are wary of each other although it is obvious that Oskar wants to be friends with Eli. As time progresses, Eli and Oskar gets to know each other and eventually becomes friends. It doesn't take the reader very long to realize that Eli isn't what she appears to be but despite what Eli is, Oskar still wants to be around Eli which I found to be rather touching.
I loved the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel. His storytelling was both bleak and hopeful. He breathed new life into a tiresome genre. I like how the story goes beyond just being a vampire/horror novel and gets right into the soul of the main characters. I enjoyed reading about the true nature of the relationship between Hakan (Eli's adult companion) and Eli. It was a bit disturbing to say the very least. Even though the book at times came off as a character study, there were still plenty of moments in the story that reminded the reader that this is also a horror novel. I personally could not find any flaws with the book. I enjoyed it for what it really is pure entertainment. For those who have seen the film and loved it, I do recommend reading the book.