Let The Right One In

right_oneTwelve 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…

– From the back of the book

I’m not giving you much more than that, other to add that this is a darkly expressive coming of age tale of a couple of 12 year olds in Sweden during the height of the cold war.  Everything else, you have to find out on your own.

*****

I know that’s a little light on plot.  It’s meant to be.  I don’t want to spoil this book for you if you decide to read it.  And you should, but not right before bed and not with the lights out.

Lindqvist, a Swedish author, has captured a very gritty set of characters in his first novel.  In some ways, you find it hard to like them – but in almost every one there is a spark of hope or honesty or realism and you find yourself caring about them in spite of their brokenness.  And when the stagnant dynamic changes, the story is compelling and hard to put down.

It’s funny… I told someone the other day that the book was almost boring, but I still was up late reading to see what happened next.  It’s not a case of non-stop action and page turning suspense.  It’s something that I find myself having a hard time describing – all I can say is that I found myself picking up the book when I should have been doing something else.

I completely recommend this book, but have to warn you that it’s harsh in some areas and the author doesn’t shy away from social taboos.  This really serves to make you understand the characters but can be slightly disturbing at times.   You’ve been warned.  It also puts him on my “foreign authors to watch” list to see when his novel comes into English translation.  Hopefully the literary success, and the success of the film adaptation, help move that process along.  I’m interested to see his other works.

But for now, I’m on to something light and happy.

Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, 472 pages

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Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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