Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself. Oskar is a 12-year-old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city's edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he's frightened. Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn't go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200-year-old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood. John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.
About the Author
John Lindqvist is a Swedish author, born 1968, grew up in Blackeberg, a suburb to Stockholm. He wanted to become something awful and fantastic. First he became a conjurer and came in second in the Nordic card trick championship, then he was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. John Ajvide Lindqvist has written great parts of the TV series Reuter & Skoog as well as stage plays and TV drama. Let the Right One In is his first novel
A whiff of the new Stephen King. Don't miss it - The Times. A terrifying supernatural story yet also a moving account of friendship and salvation - Guardian. Some truly scary bits - will haunt your dreams. Best read by sunlight - Independent on Sunday. Lindqvist has reinvented the vampire novel and made it all the more chilling by setting it in the kind of sink estate we all know from the media. Immensely readable and highly disturbing - Daily Express.
A chilling and beautiful tale all rolled up in one. Makes vampires more believable, more chilling and you will still wish you had one as a friend. This author gets into the minds of the characters like no other and will surprise you just when you think it's all over.
It's been a long time since I've read a book that I can say I really enjoyed. Having seen the movie some six months ago, I had forgotten bits of it, but I remembered having enjoyed it quite a lot. Although the movie isn't a direct copy from the book, I can see why changes were made so the film wasn't as convoluted as the book. If they told the full story in film, it would be over four hours long and it would be extremely difficult to follow. Even while reading there were moments where I had to pause, go over what I read, and think about it to clarify it. This may be just a case of translation, though. There were times when Staffe and Staffan were mixed up, for instance.
I loved the interaction between Oskar and Eli. This is what sucked me into the movie. Lindqvist is able to delve into the twelve-year-old mind and make it so poignant. I also liked Virginia's change into a vampire. In the film, the scene in the hospital is one of my favourites, and although it wasn't fully fleshed out in the novel, the point is still there. There was also the development of Håkan's character. His paedophilic nature is much darker in the novel (obviously this would cause issues if it made it into the film), as well as how he came into Eli's services.
One issue I did have was towards the end of the novel. After Håkan's fall and his transition into the undead (a development I really did enjoy), he finds Eli (and Tommy) and all he wants is sex. I read that all he wants is sex, given his throbbing erection. I felt this was out of place with the rest of the scene and the build-up. Although it didn't pull me out of the story, I felt it was somewhat out of character, as although Håkan clearly wanted to stick it in, it didn't quite sit right. This is my only major complaint with the book, though.
As many people have stated, this is Twilight revamped (pardon the pun) and for adults. In many ways, all the characters are somewhat unsympathetic. For instance, Oskar, although bullied horribly and tormented and abused and twelve, would quite possibly commit murder. At one point he even seriously considers it. He shoplifts, hitchhikes and sets fire to his school. Eli is a vampire. S/He kills- it's his/her nature, yes, and it's hinted that s/he knows in her human way that it's not right, but s/he still does it. There's the group of alcoholics, there's Tommy the glue-sniffing thief, and on and on. And in all of that, they're relatable. And this is why I enjoyed the book so much. The interaction between the characters, and the realism.
These days its hard to find a horror story, let alone a vampire story that isnt set in the vein of Twilight. This is your genuine horror story. With strong characters and a strong storyline Lindqvist is my new favourite auther to read. This book far surpasses its American and Swedish movie counterparts - be warned however that there are some strong, STRONG adult themes that are addressed in the book which do not come out in the movies.
After seeing the movie of the same name I decided to buy the book. I know this is probably in the wrong order but I didn't realise the movie was based on a book until watching it. So as you would expect after really enjoying the movie I had high hopes for this book and it did not disappoint. There is so much more detail & emotion in a book that sometimes does not come across on the big screen. If you are a fan of the supernatural and specifically Vampires then this is the book for you. This is a wonderful modern take on the traditional Vampire myth that we have all come to love and fear. Enjoy.
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