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’s moved 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 huge best seller in his native Sweden – a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend. It is also a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship, and loyalty.
©2008 Quercus Publishing PLC (P)2010 Quercus Publishing PLC
Giving this book 2/5 stars because it's 'dark' is like giving a PG Wodehouse book 2/5 stars because it's funny, i.e. utterly stupid and missing the point entirely. It's a dark, brutal book, a chilling tale, and utterly absorbing as a magical realism story. A similar feel to Pan's Labyrinth, and just as good.
"Fascinating modern-day fairy tale"
A curious story - a child vampire who has to drink blood to live and who is forced to use all means at their disposal to do this in order to survive. This character is far from the cardboard cutout Dracula horror - you begin to see them as a victim as well as a predator. I thought the relationship between the vampire and Oscar was touchingly innocent as they battled to stay true to their friendship as their worlds became increasingly complicated. Yes, the story can be gruesome, but let's face it so were many of Grimm's tales, and for me there were many fairytale elements in this story. I really enjoyed it and the juxtaposition of fantasy with reality was cleverly done.
BTW, it is beautifully read, with a wide range of distinctive character voices - another triumph for Steven Pacy!
"A strange Vampire story, Beautiful and horrific."
I like the way the different plots merged into the main plot of the story. This story is hard to swallow in parts, but still very well written.
An original take on the Vampire theme, that takes place in a cold dark environment with characters to match that mood.
Some parts are hard listen to because the of the sensitive nature of the crimes being committed.
I do salute the Author for being brave enough to work sensitive themes into the story and shows the reader that we do not need fictional monsters to experience Horror. We get to see the horror that man can commits,Physical and emotional, on man, woman and children as well.
The narrator was excellent and told a very good story, that was creepy in parts, but leads you on a tight, thrilling and emotional journey right to the final crescendo.
There are parts in the book that reflect on the ugly mutations that occur in society, like broken families, bulling, alcoholism, drugs, paedophilia and depression. And despite all this, there is the prospect of hope, but make no mistake this story is no sweet Twilight.
"Darker than a panther in a coal cellar"
This unconventional vampire tale is absolutely superb from start to finish and parts of this audio book had the hair on the back of my neck standing up. This book is darker than a panther in a coal cellar but there are also moments of genuine beauty. The characters are well developed and the narration is skilfully executed by Steven Pacey. Dark horror fantasy at it?s best. 5/5
Yes it's bleak, but brilliantly done - the Cold War paranoia of 80s Sweden is wonderfully evoked.
The Swedish language film of the same name is a very faithful retelling.
I have just finished this book and still trying to decide what I made of it. The style of the writing and vampire theme made me think on first listening that it might be something my niece (13) might enjoy. Of course once we got to the paedophilia and gruesome kilings, it changed my mind a bit!
I found myself identiying too much with Oscar, the 'hero', with uncomfortable parallels with my young self, while wanting to shake him at the same time. An the monster, the predator, who in the end is more human than the human monsters that form the majority of the characters in the book. I still can't decide!
So a book full of monsters, only some of whom have fangs. The fact that I'm still thinking about it, tells me that while disturbing, it was a good listen worth trying.
"Excellent & Different"
I thought this was such different story. It was beautifully written, truly uncomfortable and horrific in places. I just cannot praise it enough, staying away from the normal Vampire tales. A wonderful classy book. The narration is also first class which adds to the whole. It will make you cringe in places and scare you.When was the last time a film did that? Fantastic!
This has become my favourite audio book yet. It is a brilliant, deep and well written story that is narrated perfectly. I was sad when the story came to an end as I wanted to follow the characters story further. The film (original version) does not do it justice even though it is good. Have not seen the American remake so cant say.
The story has highs, lows, horror and disturbing scenarios - just as a good book should - but handled brilliantly.
So if you've seen the film, get this as it will round the characters off and take you on a far better journey. If you haven't seen the film, dont until you've heard this.
"Bizzare but Brilliant"
This is the first book I have read that i felt needed to be commented on. The title put me off as I thought it was a book of the film by the same name..its not.
Its sad, horrific, erotic, crude and a lot of other emotions, an absolutely superb listen kept me listening for a solid 8 hours.
Well worth it
"Intriguing and enjoyable"
Very intriguing. I could not stop listening. The narration was very clear and the plot was really engaging. I am looking forward to watching the film.
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