Set in 1983, Let Me In is the horrific tale of Oskar and Eli. It begins with the grizzly discovery of the body of a teenage boy, emptied of blood. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last - revenge for all the bad things the bullies at school do to him, day after day.
While Oskar is fascinated by the murder, it is not the most important thing in his life. A new girl has moved in next door - a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s cube before, but who can solve it at once. They become friends. Then something more. But there is something wrong with her, something odd. And she only comes out at night....
©2004 John Ajvide Lindqvist (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
"Lindqvist develops the plot in rich detail. The characters, adult and child, are quite convincingly the sort that one would probably cross the street to avoid in any city." (Booklist)
Anime is always on my mind
I first heard of this story when I saw the Swedish movie version in Wal-Mart and loved it. When the American remake came out I bought that to. Now that an hearing the sort in its fullest an upset I didn't do it earlier
The narrator is the same guy who narrates "Peppa Pig," a kid show my child watches. It made the book that much more creepy!
The fully developed characters were engaging! The wicked twists in the stories caught me off guard! And I found myself cheering for the vampire! The moral ambiguity made for a hell of a ride from beginning to end of this twisted story.
He narrates "Peppa Pig," a show for children. I've heard his voice many times over the years in my house. My four year old listens to him through Peppa Pig all the time. That made this performance wickedly delightful.
Oscar. Who doesn't love an underdog they can relate to?
It is a long book, but it keeps you hooked. The story draws you in to the lives of its inhabitants. Some you cheer on hoping to see them succeed. Other characters you love hating and can't wait to see them reap the suffering they've sewn.
I love listening to audio books during my commute, they make the drive much more bearable.
Good overall story, but the pedophilia aspects make my stomach turn. I know that stuff happens, just hard to hear. As for the vampire aspects, I really liked it.
It was decent, but the pedo overtones were way more disturbing than the vampires. Also the author cut away from action moments. Reader is good. Movie is better than the book because it focussed on the good parts and trimmed the nonsense out
This Swedish vampire story is very much a literary descendant of Stephen King. It's a human drama with a variety of people in the gritty middle and lower class margins, working out their issues, often with drugs, sex, and violence, but to this the author adds a supernatural ingredient, and which means the violence will eventually be amped up to the climactic bloodbath you know is coming.
The author begins by describing the neighborhood in which the story is set — a completely nondescript Swedish suburb notable for the fact that it was built only a couple of decades ago in what was once bare forest, which means it has no history and nothing of note to make the place interesting. They don't even have churches,
Oskar, the lonely child of an overprotective single mother, is the stereotypical chubby, nerdy bully-bait who gets picked on at school and spends his lonely life head down, scuttling from class to home, hoping if he rolls over and shows his belly quickly enough, his tormentors won't hurt him too badly.
We see this a lot in Stephen King stories, from It to Carrie. The outcast kid who gets hooked up to something dark and scary and unleashes hell on his persecutors is a staple of horror fiction. The reason this trope is so appealing to so many horror fans is probably obvious, but because it is such a well-worn trope, and because Stephen King pretty owns it, it's hard for me to warm up to persecuted little runts like Oskar, who I always find myself wishing would stick up for themselves before the vampire comes along.
But Lindqvist has King's talent for making characters who are more than just roles in a vampire story. Eli, the little girl vampire who befriends Oskar, is not a supernatural horror, just a confused immortal who doesn't really know much more about her origins than she says. She is very convincing as a creature that is at once very old and weary and jaded, and yet still the twelve-year-old she appears to be inside. The friendship she develops with Oskar, over a Rubik's cube, is one of two kids engaging in silly, juvenile confidences and games, and yet, as Oskar observes perceptively, for Eli much of it is trying on a new role she is unfamiliar with, from behind a mask of many years of experience and exposure to a grim, dark life that Oskar can't even imagine.
Let the Right One In does not add much to vampire lore, and that's for the better, as Lindqvist isn't trying to reinvent vampires here. Eli is what she is (except later in the book, we do learn that she is both more and less than she appears). And as Oskar's friendship with her develops, so does his confidence, leading to him standing up to the bullies who've been picking on him, leading to a series of increasingly violent confrontations that predictably lead to Eli eventually getting involved, and we know that's not going to be pretty.
This is a violent book, as befits a vampire tale. It also has lots of visceral grossness, bodily fluids, and pedophilia. It's for genuine horror fans and makes my short list of good vampire stories. I could also observe that it is as much a story about childhood friendship, bullying, the emptiness of modern life, and the existential horror of adolescence, as it is about vampires. But basically it's about a vampire making friends with a bullied kid, and people dying gorily.
I read all sorts of books from various non-fiction to YA fantasy. Love them all!
I have been interested in reading this book after reading a fascinating short story of his a few years ago. This book did not disappoint. It was eerie and consuming. It was also very gruesome, and it has some graphic child-sexual-abuse scenes, so beware. Luckily, I had read reviews of this book beforehand and already knew about the child abuse, so I was not quite as repulsed by it. However, this book lost an entire star because of the child-sexual-abuse, which didn't appear at all in the movies and wasn't absolutely necessary. The child abuse did help develop the character of Eli's father as a disgusting and pathetic failure, but I think both attributes could have been manged in other ways. Or, at least, without the graphic scenes.
In general, I am pleased with Lindqvist's style - it is mysterious and flows well. The characters were well-drawn and believable (in a there-be-vampires sort of way). There dark, dreary mood was set early in the book and retained steadily throughout. There was nothing particularly original about Lindqvist's vampire, though Eli had some original personality traits and circumstances. Also, I've seen this book described as a romance, and I don't agree with that. Yes, Oskar asked Eli to "go steady," but that was about it. I mean, he was 12, and those feelings were very naive and not pronounced. This was a book about friendship, not romance.
Overall, I was pleased with the book and would read another by Lindqvist, though I'll probably wait before I can get through another that has sexual abuse in it. The audiobook was well-read - the voices were distinguishable and the pacing was quite reasonable.
I read this book many years ago and couldn't put it down. I had an urge to read it again. It is just as emotional and unsettling as it was the first time around. Almost poetic.
Hands down, the best vampire story I've ever read.
If you had seen the movie, this book contains more graphic tones of the pedophilia so it may not be suitable for sensitive readers. It is also much more gory.
Highly recommended to horror fans.
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