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Let the Right One In by John Ajvide…

Let the Right One In (2004)

by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,4021801,587 (4.04)1 / 206
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English (167)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
I didn't know this was a horror novel when I started this book, but I'm glad since I probably wouldn't have picked it up otherwise.The writing was so good that I kept reading. Lindqvist's way of tying the character's lives together is a little hokey at first, but as the story progresses, it gets better. ( )
  mariamargarita | Jan 5, 2015 |
Horror is definitely not my usual genre, but I saw the movie (Swedish version) of John Ajvide Lindqvist's "Let the Right On In" and was so intrigued I decided to pick up the book. I'm glad I did, as I found the book to be a really original and interesting take on a vampire story. (No sparkly demons attending biology class here.)

The book is populated by lots of damaged people, including the main character Oskar, who is destroyed by the schoolyard bullies that torment him daily. He meets Eli -- who appears to be a strange girl -- with a host of issues of her own.

The novel is definitely very gory and filled with disturbing images. I found the story compelling though, and found it was a novel that was hard to put down. ( )
  amerynth | Jan 4, 2015 |
I don’t like to write really bad reviews of books, but this one is going to have to be an exception. There are a lot of people who liked, even loved, Let the Right One In, as evidenced by its four star plus rating on Goodreads. I was not one of those people though. I didn’t even want to write this review because I just wanted to be done with it, but, I’m not going to put in the effort of reading a five-hundred page book and not write a review on it. Plus, at this point, I feel like I need to talk about my feelings about Let the Right One In, or they will fester inside like a neglected infection. I thought many times about DNFing this book, and I probably should have, but I just kept waiting to see if it would get any better or at least tie things up for me. The good news is that it did get better around sixty percent through, and I was able to finish it from there pretty easily.

Let me explain my strong dislike of Let the Right One In:

First of all, the whole story is just dark and depressing as hell. I know it’s a horror story. I didn’t expect sunshine and roses, but I didn’t expect it to actually make me depressed either. I put it down many times because I just couldn’t handle the gloominess and hopelessness of it anymore. Everybody in this book is either depressed or depressed and addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. There’s even one character who is so depressed he doesn’t like to leave his apartment/house, which smells so strongly of piss that people are repelled as soon as he opens his door, and he is surrounded by at least thirty cats who are all deformed or disfigured in some way (which explains the smell). The main character, Oskar, is completely pathetic. To quote from the book, “Oskar Eriksson sat there curled up with a wad of paper in one hand and his pissball in the other. Got nosebleeds, wet his pants, talked too much. Leaked from every orifice. Soon he would probably start to shit his pants as well.” Sounds lovely, right? He’s bullied at school by boys who call him “Piggy”, beat him up regularly, and force him to make squeeling noises like a pig (which he does). His mother is weak and somewhat neglectful and his father is an alcoholic who is barely involved in his life anyway. I felt sorry for him until he came home from school and started fantasizing about killers and how he could kill the bullies and be like one of the killers he keeps newspaper clippings of in his secret scrapbook. Then I felt like he was just weird. I have compassion for kids that are bullied. I was bullied myself, but I had trouble identifying with Oskar because he was just so strange.

Second, there are a slew of characters that are loosely connected to the main plot, but are given much attention, even though they play minor parts. There’s a group of alcoholics who get together at a Chinese restaurant on a regular basis to talk and drink more. There’s a teenager, who lives near Oskar, and his friends who are all delinquents, steal things, and sniff glue. Included in the teenager’s story is his widowed mother, who also comes across as weak and depressed, and her policeman boyfriend/fiancé. Also, though his part is more involved in the main plot, is the pedophile who acts as a servant to the vampire girl, Eli. His story goes on much longer than it really needed to, in my opinion. I also could have done without knowing all the creepy pedophile things he had done in the past. He was with Eli because she looked like a child and he wanted to be able to touch and fondle her. I got that. I didn’t need his whole background. Why did I have to read in depth about all these people?! I just wanted a good vampire story!

Third, there’s the fact that the book just bored me to tears for the first half and seemed schizophrenic and disorganized the whole way through. The POV was constantly changing and half the time I couldn’t figure out who I was reading about until about two pages into the chapter. That’s just annoying. I never really understood the need for a good deal of the information that was given in the book. Why should I care about a bridge that’s in disrepair, or when people first moved into the area? Despite the visions that Eli sent to Oskar when she kissed him, I never really got the whole picture of what had happened when she got “infected”.

All of that said, I do have to say this was the most original vampire novel I’ve read since the original Dracula. I just wish it had been more about the vampire herself/itself, than it was about every other character in the book. Let the Right One In just wasn’t for me. Not at all.

You can read more of my book reviews at http://bookwormbookreviews.com ( )
1 vote Aeroette | Dec 28, 2014 |
Yes, I saw the movie first. That is, I saw the Sweedish film first, then the American remake (preferred the original), then I finally read the book. I loved the movie, therefore I was wary of the novel since one tends to be better than the other. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and found that it enhanced and fleshed out the characters and story lines that I already knew from the films. I recommend reading the book and seeing the films (at least the original). This is one of the rare instances in which I don't think it matters which you do first. ( )
  Kelly_Mills | Dec 13, 2014 |
Don’t you hate it when you come across a book that piques your interest, has great reviews and was even turned into a pretty decent movie, only to be crushed by disappointment? That’s how it went with Let the Right One In. Years ago I watched the Swedish version of the movie and quite liked it. It had a suppressed creepiness that seemed to be passe in this new world of sparkly vampires who run speakeasies. Or whatever. It had a tight storyline of tormented boy meets supernatural girl who avenges him by visiting her blood sucking ways upon his enemies. No doubt the screenwriter read the book, but he or she ought to be credited for basically writing a whole new story out of the hints and possibilities of what Lindqvist managed to come up with. Talk about missing a great opportunity. There was so much potential wasted.

Instead we’ve got a book that’s far too long, with pages, pages and pages of narrative taken up by people and events unimportant. Over and over we see Oskar beset by bullies and only once, once, does he have the temerity to do anything about it. The severity of the attacks escalates nicely with the final scene quite harrowing indeed, but by then we’re so anxious for the whole thing to be over that it barely matters when Eli swans in on a rope or whatever and saves the day. Despite many, many scenes of violence and horror rendered with careful and precise language, this final episode gets the equivalent of a pastel wash in watercolors. What? NOW you’re leaving things up to our imaginations? Just when we want solid pay off for trudging through your endless descriptions of drunks, paranoia, schoolyard bullies, weekends with dad, glue sniffing, meaningless inner monologues and torture scenes?

OMG what a mess. There are so many needless story threads that don’t really connect up to anything. There’s very little import to Virginia’s awful plight other than describing the transformation from human to vampire, which could have been done with the “mind-meld” Eli does to Oskar. Ditto with what happens to Hakan. I mean, what was that all about? So we could have a nice little pedophile anal rape scene with a zombie and a vampire? I guess that was it. And how about Tommy’s whole “I hate my mom’s boyfriend” schtick? Yawn.

This endless repetition blunted the novel’s strongest feature; the complex relationships and emotional lives of the characters (I just wish there were fewer of them because most of them don’t matter at all). Everyone is an agonized soul. No one is happy, fulfilled or even just doing ok. Nope. Everyone is miserable so that by comparison, Eli seems well-adjusted. Sweden needs antidepressants in the water, never mind fluoride. ( )
1 vote Bookmarque | Dec 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
If you have time over, read this book. I will however not recommend that you sell your granny to be able to afford it, unless you really dislike your granny, of course.
added by camillahoel | editRead And Find Out, jh (Sep 7, 2009)

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Ajvide Lindqvistprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Segerberg, EbbaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Mia, My Mia
Till Mia, min Mia.
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The Location
It makes you think of coconut-frosted cookies, maybe drugs. 'A respectable life.' You think subway station, suburb. Probably nothing else comes to mind. People must live there, just like they do in other places. That was why it was built, after all, so that people would have somewhere to live.

Man tänker kanske kokosbollar, tänker kanske knark. »Ett anständigt liv.« Tänker tunnelbanestation, förort. Sedan tänker man inte så mycket mer. Bor väl folk där, som på andra platser. Det var ju därför det byggdes; för att folk skulle ha någonstans att bo.
The earth shall drink his blood.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312355297, Paperback)

Let the Right One In Takes Top Honors at Tribeca Film Festival!

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson’s film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Oskar is obsessed by the murder that's taken place in his neighborhood. Then he meets the new girl from next door. She's a bit weird, though. And she only comes out at night--Publisher's description.

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