Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let the Right One In

I can't remember who recommended John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In to me, but it was certainly one of you, someone in the blogosphere who shares their thoughts on books with the rest of us. In any case, thanks whoever you were, as I probably would not have picked this up otherwise. There are so many vampire stories these days that you really need a personal recommendation, I think... This Swedish take on vampire stories is great.

Let the Right One In is the story of Oskar, a twelve-year-old boy with a life that I'm sure is not out of the ordinary. He lives with his mother in a mediocre apartment building, his alcoholic father unable to break his habit long enough to form a proper relationship with him. He is badly bullied at school and becomes obssessed with stories of murderers, as they inspire scenes of revenge in his mind. He is a pretty regular bored kid.

Until he meets Eli, a 200-year-old vampire who looks like a girl about his age. They strike up a friendship and pretty much start to love each other. You can imagine that this does not have positive consequences, life becomes even more complicated for young Oskar.

Their relationship grows amid mysterious ritual murders, unexplained events and the tedium of the dreary housing estate they live on. The story never stagnates, even though I suppose it's not that eleborate, as stories go.

The characters, however, shine. The author has a way of making fictional people come to life and he gives personal information on even the most secondary of characters. Really, the richness of the people living in this story makes the book worth reading.

Challenges: R.I.P. IV, Genre Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2010 Countdown Challenge


Ana S. said...

Sigh, I want to read this SO BADLY!

joanna said...

There's never enough time, eh? :-)