Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist


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. Because Jesus Christ. While I wasn’t a big fan of Let the Right One In in general, there’s no denying that John Ajvide Lindqvist didn’t make me squirm at times. Granted, it wasn’t the kind of squirming I generally enjoy, but still, I squirmed

Greatest strengths: John Ajvide Lindqvist writes vampires in a whole new way in Let the Right One In — a way that tells an entirely different story that manages to add to, rather than subtract from, the integrity of the genre. That impressed me even if the overall experience of this book left me cold (and not in the fun vampiry way — just … meh)

Standout achievements: Let the Right One In 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, John Ajvide Lindqvist  

Fun Facts: The title of this book is a reference to Morrissey’s song, Let the Right One Slip In  — one of the few Morrissey songs I kinda like. I know, I know. I’m just full of complaints today

Other media: In 2008, John Ajvide Lindqvist novel was adapted into a film of the same name (Let the Right One In) starring Kåre Hedebrant as Oskar, Lina Leandersson as Eli, and Per Ragnar as Håkan

What it taught me: I know it’s going to sound rude, but I never believed vampires could be boring until I read Let the Right One In. As a writer, it 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. And by dramatically, I mean that John Ajvide Lindqvist could have cut this book in half, taken that half and cut it in half, and I would have liked it better. Maybe. Actually, probably not. Sad to say, Let the Right One In just isn’t my kinda vampire book 

How it inspired me: It really didn’t. In case I haven’t mentioned it, unlike most of the population, Let the Right One In 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 

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Hit or miss: Let the Right One In is a miss for me. Sorry, John Ajvide Lindqvist. It’s not personal

Read Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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