Tag: Let Me In

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Posted August 23, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Horror / 10 Comments

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide LindqvistTitle: Let the Right One In (Goodreads)
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Translator: Ebba Segerberg
Published: Quercus, 2009
Pages: 519
Genres: Horror
My Copy: eBook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Twelve-year-old boy, Oskar is having a hard time with life. While he has a loving mother, his alcoholic father is very absent in his life. At school, Oskar is the constantly being bullied. One day he meets Eli, and a friendship is formed between the two. However Eli is not a normal girl and it is quickly revealed that she is in fact a vampire. Let the Right One In by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist is a horror novel unlike any other that I have read before.

While Let the Right One In is a gothic horror that explores the unusual relationship between a 12-year-old boy and a vampire, for me this novel was something completely different. I found this to be a book that explores the darker side of humanity; looking at issue of alcoholism, divorce, bullying, abuse, self-mutilation, murder and paedophilia. Think of it more of an existential look at life and the horrors of the world around us.

I do not want to go into too much detail about what to expect when reading this novel. I just enjoyed the way it looked at the way we handle the horrors of the world from the view point of a struggling boy trying to cope with his situation. The relationship between Oskar and Eli is complicated, and unusual. This allows John Ajvide Lindqvist to explore so many interesting issues and push the reader to contemplate more of the world around them.

Most people would be familiar with the plot of this novel by the movie adaptation done in 2008, which was then horribly remade again by Hollywood in 2010 under the name Let Me In. I saw the Swedish version many years ago and felt it to be a brilliant movie but I have not re-watched it since reading the novel. I did however watch the American addition and it made me very angry. I feel like Hollywood is too afraid to deal with the dark side of humanity if it involves a twelve year old boy. Also America has a terrible habit of trying to remake movies that are already brilliant, I understand some people do not want to read subtitles but they do it to movies that are already in English as well. Soon there will also be a TV show based on this novel, which is set to air on A&E later this year.

I am so glad to have read Let the Right One In; I had a great time exploring the world. This is an extremely dark novel and this will not be everyone. I am curious to see what the TV show will be like but I will not be holding my breath. If you are willing to explore the dark side of humanity you will find Let the Right One In to be a compelling and thought provoking novel.