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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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3,4571901,553 (4.03)1 / 207

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English (177)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
I've had this book forever, and it finally took it being picked as a book club read for me to sit down and start it. But once I started it... whoa. Super fast read. I have about a 30 minute train ride in/out of the city every day to get to work. In that half hour, I got through a little over 60 pages at a time. It was a fast read. And it sucked me in.

First off, trigger warnings to the triggerable: pedophilia, murder, one scene of attempted rape, bullying, and a zombie.

I did not find this a very dark book, despite all the above. It was a coming of age story of an ostracized and bullied boy finding himself with the help of his best friend... who just happens to be a vampire.

It was much more philosophical and involved more soul-searching than American vampire novels (what does that say about Americans?), which I liked. And despite it having taken place in the 1981, the novel did not date itself much other than walkmans and Rubik cubes (and the lack of cell phones).

And I loved that the bad guys weren't the vampire, but the more mundane pedophile (well, he started off mundane) and bullies. ( )
  wisemetis | Aug 28, 2015 |
Twelve-year-old boy, Oskar is having a hard time with life. While he has a loving mother, his alcoholic father is very absent in his life. At school, Oskar is the constantly being bullied. One day he meets Eli, and a friendship is formed between the two. However Eli is not a normal girl and it is quickly revealed that she is in fact a vampire. Let the Right One In by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist is a horror novel unlike any other that I have read before.

While Let the Right One In is a gothic horror that explores the unusual relationship between a 12-year-old boy and a vampire, for me this novel was something completely different. I found this to be a book that explores the darker side of humanity; looking at issue of alcoholism, divorce, bullying, abuse, self-mutilation, murder and paedophilia. Think of it more of an existential look at life and the horrors of the world around us.

I do not want to go into too much detail about what to expect when reading this novel. I just enjoyed the way it looked at the way we handle the horrors of the world from the view point of a struggling boy trying to cope with his situation. The relationship between Oskar and Eli is complicated, and unusual. This allows John Ajvide Lindqvist to explore so many interesting issues and push the reader to contemplate more of the world around them.

Most people would be familiar with the plot of this novel by the movie adaptation done in 2008, which was then horribly remade again by Hollywood in 2010 under the name Let Me In. I saw the Swedish version many years ago and felt it to be a brilliant movie but I have not re-watched it since reading the novel. I did however watch the American addition and it made me very angry. I feel like Hollywood is too afraid to deal with the dark side of humanity if it involves a twelve year old boy. Also America has a terrible habit of trying to remake movies that are already brilliant, I understand some people do not want to read subtitles but they do it to movies that are already in English as well. Soon there will also be a TV show based on this novel, which is set to air on A&E later this year.

I am so glad to have read Let the Right One In; I had a great time exploring the world. This is an extremely dark novel and this will not be everyone. I am curious to see what the TV show will be like but I will not be holding my breath. If you are willing to explore the dark side of humanity you will find Let the Right One In to be a compelling and thought provoking novel.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/literature/book-reviews/genre/horror/let-the-right-... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Aug 24, 2015 |
Either horror has changed since the last time I was a big horror reader, or I am a certified wuss.

I have read a lot of Stephen King, Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson, Lovecraft, and Poe. Heck, my first fiction sales were horror stories.

All of this prepared me for reading Let Me In about as well as a security blanket and a PowerBar would prepare me to overwinter in Antarctica.

Where do I start? Okay, how about:


Way gory. Beyond gory. Gorror upon gorror for pages at a time. Gore so prolonged that I would miss key plot points because I was reading the way I "watch" gory scenes in movies – by kind of squinting through my fingers until it's safe to look.

What made it harder to bear was that my tender sensibilities were under constant assault even during plenty of non-horror scenes.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m one of those people who's constantly averting her eyes from the repulsive details of basic existence. I know they’re out there. I deal with them when I have to, and I don’t flinch. I led a homeschooling science class in dissecting animal hearts, kidneys, and even eyeballs. Not only have I raised a child and therefore done my share of diaper-changing; I used to have a job where I had to feed small children via stomach tubes.

I know how disgusting life can be. But I don’t want to hear about, or look at, certain details. Simple as that.

I’m that annoying person who says she’s going to go powder her nose when she has to, you know, make a trip down the hall. I use the f-word like a comma, but I say “ish” rather than the s-word because the s-word is gross. So’s the word “gross.” (True story: we have a rule in my house that no one’s allowed to use the word “gross” unless you’re jokingly referring to something that is only disgusting on a non-physical level. The lizard relieving herself is “repulsive.” Mommy having to make a business phone call is “gross.” Isn’t that hilarious? Just say yes.)

Let Me In relentlessly walloped my ideals of tasteful reticence. The first chapter shows a boy in a school restroom dealing with incontinence and something he rigged up out of a piece of mattress foam. He calls it his “pissball.” Later that same chapter and in that same restroom, he is bullied until the bullies are repulsed away by a nosebleed.

I could handle that. What overwhelmed me after a while was a sort of constant, casual repulsiveness. Ordinary life in this book seems to be nothing but a series of excretions.

And there isn’t much ordinary here. There’s a lot of violence. None of it is neat, needless to say.

Again, I’m not a horror virgin. I cut my teeth on ’Salem’s Lot and Night Shift. I just reread, and adored, The Shining. These are not tidy, decorous books. But they’re A Little Princess compared to Let Me In.

So: now you know. You’ve been warned. I wish I had.

I’m still glad I read this book, and I’m grabbing the sequel, Let The Old Dreams Die, at the library tomorrow. Okay, it’s not exactly the sequel. It’s a short-story collection by the same author. But one of the stories is a sequel to Let Me In, and I can’t wait to read it. I want to know what happens next.

I also kind of want to know what happens first. I admired and enjoyed the plot of this book, but I felt that there were some holes in the origin story of the supernatural main character. And since the book acts as if the whole point of reading it is to find out just who and what this supernatural character is, I felt a bit cheated when I didn’t get a complete answer to the questions I had. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but if you’ve read it: where the heck was all the money coming from? And why did the man in the wig infect who he infected, when the whole point of the ceremony in question seemed to be avoiding the kind of contact that could spread that kind of infection?

Anyway. If you like your horror messy, grab this book. There’s a compelling story and a certain eerie beauty to be had as well. It’s just hidden behind a lot of gross ish. You’ve been warned. ( )
2 vote Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
I lived in Sweden during the time this story is set so some details really rang a bell with me. I clearly remember the alcoholics and the town squares. Interesting to see Lindqvist refer to them as "our alcoholics". And pytt-i-panna! As soon as I read the word I recognised it but didn't remember what it was. I rang my mum to ask and remember eating it quite a lot. I made it last night but it wasn't as nice as my mum's.

As to the novel itself, there are nods to Anne Rice with the child vampire and there are stylistic idiosyncrasies nicked from Stephen King. Unfortunately it's clunky and forced, the dialogue is unnatural and the characters are so wooden they appear to lurch into motion after the start of their scenes, a bit like a badly edited film. ( )
  Lukerik | May 13, 2015 |
As a huge fan of the movie, I tried to go head first into reading this book without too many expectations. Furthermore, I desperately wanted to read the novel without thinking of the comparisons made between Mr. Lindqvist and Neil Gaiman or Clive Barker, as they are two of my favorite authors and nothing I've read so far has been anything like their works. However, I was blown away by the storytelling and beautiful writing in Let the Right One In. With differences from the film ranging from subtle to completely veering in a new direction, I was pleased to find that I could easily sink into the story just as I did when first seeing the film. I am adding this book to my "all time favorites" without a doubt. I hope to read his second release soon, and look forward to more outstanding work from this brilliant author! ( )
  walksaloneatnight | Feb 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:17 -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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