Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Cover Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Not your ordinary vampire romance

In a nutshell:

Short synopsis: Oskar meets a strange girl in his apartment complex. At the same time strange murders take place in his suburb of Stockholm.

Language I read the book in: English. Translated from Swedish by Ebba Segerberg

Did I like it? Yes. A lot.

For people who: love vampires, but not the schmaltzy smooching, don’t mind a little gore.  

My thoughts: 

When I started reading I vaguely knew what was coming as John has read the book and watched the two movies and had told me a little about it. But I was not prepared for this wonderful coming of age story, combined with gore, vampires, great side characters and an overall great atmosphere. Every person in this book has a distinctive personality and the writer took his time to develop each of them. We get to know the story from various points of view and this worked very well – even though I normally don’t enjoy character jumping too much. Apart from a few people, everybody was really likeable – which is quite an achievement considering the atmosphere in this book is dark, dreary, violent and not a happy one. Everybody has problems, everybody is fighting, and it still is an uplifting story!

What I particularly liked was that a lot of the side characters had facets that you normally don’t find in books. A glue sniffing boy with a problematic background has a great sense of humour (I really felt for Tommy in many ways. Not only does he have to spend the night with Hakan in a dark cellar, he also has to put up with insufferable Staffan, which is only slightly less unsettling). Drunken bums are very well educated, literate people (how many people you know can tell that the corresponding cat to Thisbe should be named Pyramus?). I loved them all.

The vampire angle was done really well, gave vampires a bit of a new spin and was quite exciting to read about, even though I found a few situations quite disconcerting and not for the faint of heart. But not the nightmare inducing kind either, at least not for me.

I do have a couple of complaints though. The end was disappointing. The conclusion of the book was done way too quickly. After writing five hundred odd pages and after developing the relationship between Oskar and Eli slowly and in depth, the author creates an end of one page That is unacceptable. It is cut off from the previous chapter, like a time lapse where some important things were forgotten to be told. I prefer stories to fade out slowly instead of coming to an unexpected halt.

Second I feel cheated. I battled my way through a lot of unsavoury scenes all the while hoping for Johnny and his mates to get their comeuppance and then when they finally do I don’t get to savour every detail, but have to read it in a witness report the length of a couple of paragraphs! Sorry, but this just does not do it! I was deprived of my satisfaction and I did not like that.

Other than that, this was a pleasure to read. Now I must get the short story “Let the old dreams die” to find out what happened next. I am glad the author wrote it because during reading I got this nagging thought that maybe Eli is just having Oskar around as the new caretaker, and I need to know that this is not so. 

Product info and buy link :

Title Let the right one in
Author John Ajvide Lindqvist
Publisher Quercus Publishing
ISBN 9781847248480
I got this book from we already had it lying around
Buy link Buy Let the right one in

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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