Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist, 2004
My favorite quote: “She showed her true face – there was something in it that was… Pure Horror.”
Notable characters: Oskar, the bullied 12-year-old; Eli, a centuries-old vampire trapped in a 12-year-old’s body; Hakan, the former teacher who helps her get blood
Most memorable scene: Hakan and the acid. Jesus Christ.
Greatest strengths: Lindqvist writes vampires in a whole new way — a way that tells an entirely different story that manages to add to, rather than subtract from, the integrity of the genre
Standout achievements: This book tackles some seriously heavy issues (alcoholism, pedophilia, self-harm, bullying, and death, just to name a few) without being preachy or pretentious — and above all else, without compromising the plot. Well done
Fun Facts: The title of this book is a reference to Morrissey’s song, Let the Right One Slip In (one of the few I kinda like)
Other media: Most notably, the 2008 film of the same name
What it taught me: As a writer, this book reminds me that it doesn’t pay to wander and overindulge. I sincerely believe this would be a stronger, cleaner, more memorable novel if it were dramatically condensed
How it inspired me: It really didn’t. Unlike most of the population, this one didn’t do a whole lot for me in terms of entertainment or inspiration. I feel the same way about the movie. From what little I remember, it was all right
Additional thoughts: While I didn’t love this book, it does prove that horror can — and often does — have literary merit.
My rating: 3.5 of 5
Haunt me: alistaircross.com