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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly heart-warming
John Ajvide Lindqvist takes us to a dark place, a suburbia where disparate characters are thrown into each other's lives and vices are explored. Oskar is a young boy, bullied constantly, dreaming of killing his persecutors. One night he meets the mysterious Eli, and the two children gradually build up a delicate and tenuous friendship. As a backdrop to this, we watch as...
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by A. L. Rutter

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too grim, bleak and gritty for me
This is a grim (from the social realism point of view) vampire novel set in a working-class area of Stockholm in the early 80s, told from the point of view of 12-year-old Oskar.

Oskar lives with his mother (who's rarely around). His alcoholic father is estranged. He befriends Eli, a child of (apparently) similar age, who lives nearby and is looked after by...
Published 21 months ago by Philtrum


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good debut, 28 April 2009
By 
DustyShinigami (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this novel. I decided to read it when I discovered the movie was only showing in the US and not in my country. Overall, it's a very good debut from John Ajvide Lindqvist and I'm curious about his other works. I doubt I'll enjoy them as much as this one though.

I found I couldn't put this novel down and I became attatched to the 2 lead characters. I was even afraid something bad would happen to Eli at the end. The characters are certainly more fleshed out in the novel than the movie (especially the secondary characters) and the book's more gruesome/bloody/disturbing too. A number of questions people may have from having seen the movie will be answered.

I'm not particularly keen on Eli's twist near the end though and some of the secondary characters and events, such as Thomas and Staffan, don't really add very much to the main plot. And although some people's questions will be answered, from having seen the movie, they may not be 100% satisfied. The answers/explanations laid out may suck the mystery out of the film. I think the movie is much better in regards to keeping things subtle and ambiguous. The ending seems to be an issue for a number of people too. It wasn't so much for me after I first read it, but thinking about it now, it does seem a bit too short/rushed and certainly not as touching/sweet as the ending of the movie.

Overall an enjoyable/engaging novel that I recommend to fans of vampire stories.

4/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and sad but brilliant, 21 April 2010
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
What a read. I must say it took me a while to finish this (through no fault of the author, I just have limited reading time) but I'm glad I stuck with it. I'm sure previous reviews have re-counted the story and given away spoilers so I won't do the same.

I watched the dvd first, and LOVED it. I do truly think that the film-makers did a very good job of adapting such a large novel, however I'm glad I was able to find out more about the characters from reading the book afterwards. There are indeed some shocking parts, perhaps not for the really squeamish reader, but his descriptive qualities are like no other which somehow keep you reading through even some of the most stomach-churning prose. I felt very involved in each charater's individual story, some more embellished than others, and even found myself smirking at some of their little quirks. It's touches like these that make a novel in my opinion.

I would 100% definitely recommend this to any vampire as well as non-vampire fans, because the story itself reveals much, much more. You won't be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just horrific enough.., 27 Oct 2009
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
'Let the right one in' is a hard book to classify, from the outside I expected this to be a book about vicious vampire killings and for it to really lean on the horror book motif. Instead I found it to contain one of the most fragile and believable romances of modern fiction.

Whilst there is a supernatural element to this the real evil is present in the paedophile secondary character, If you have seen the film and are interested in the book then know that he will steal the show later on as the book diverges from the cropped version of the plot in the film. I found myself thoroughly gripped through certain stages of the book and even now a good 3 months after finishing the characters are still vivid in my memory. The only reason this didn't get 5 stars was I felt it occasionaly centred too much on some of the slightly less interesting secondary characters and I ended up missing the delicate love story that was tieing it all together.

Do watch the film after reading as well, It's also excellent but has a slightly different flavour to the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let this book into your library, 21 Oct 2009
By 
L. R. Richardson (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
This was a different spin on the vampire mythos, something much needed in a genre flooded with wimpy vampires like Edward Cullen, and oversexed, cookie-cutter vampires like the ones in the Southern Vampire mysteries and the Anita Blake series. This book tells the story of Oskar, a young boy who is constantly picked on in school and dreams of revenge. He meets Eli, a young child who ends up being, of course, a vampire. She proves to be the impetus for Oskar to grow into his own and stand up for himself. Yet there is a darker undertone to this coming-of-age story (shocking, of course, what with vampires and all). The book investigates themes of pedophilia, drug & alcohol addiction, violence, murder, rape and attempted rape, and other sordid topics. Many of the characters are morally grey, rather than lumped into the false dichotomy of good/evil. A worthwhile addition to the vampire and horror genres, this is a book I would definitely recommend, and the film is a wonderful adaption.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Heartbreakingly beautiful drama, 11 Dec 2009
By 
M. Y. Ker "ophelia" (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
This is not a horror fiction at all, and it would absolutely disappoint hardcore horror fans who are after nothing but page turning qualities, a lot of blood and make-you-jump moments. This is more of a drama but with supernatural touches. It is poignant, sad and at the same time, it feels true, honest and real. Every character is clearly drawn. As is rather often in horrors, characters tend to be placed at points for no purpose other than to be slaughtered/disembowelled/etc. when the plot calls for such blood-letting. But in the case of this most... strangest (?) of books, they are not just cutouts there to be shot down to serve the momentum of the plot.

Even when the plot takes a much more sinister twist and the pace picks up, it is still rather more melancholically beautiful than nail-biting, scary etc. etc. In short, this is a beautiful book with great sympathy and compassion, a lot of heart and warmth - which is a strange word to use considering the atmosphere shrouding the whole story is the depth of Scandinavian winter. It is snow-covered landscapes and well-wrapped up children with their equally well-wrapped up grown up counterparts. Yet the book is warm and passionate in the freezing, unforgiving conditions. The two characters created the little boy and the androgynous vampire, are characters that are not going to go away easily just because you turn your last page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Stephen King's classics, you'll love this!, 23 April 2011
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This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
I purchased this book as part of the Kindle Spring Sale for £1.01. Not only was I excited to get a bargain but I was also thrilled with the book. Having not seen the Swedish movie or the American remake, I was introduced to the story for the first time by reading the novel that the movies were based on. From being recommended the movie by family and friends, I had a rough idea what the story was about - A Vampire love story.

I've read a lot of Vampire stories recently, and have become a little tired with them to be honest. I do love my True Blood series but everything else seems to feel like it's jumping on the Vampire bandwagon. As more of a classic horror novel, I decided to give this a go and was very glad I did.

The story follows 12-year-old Oskar, targeted by the class bullies and wishing he could disappear. Near to where he lives, the police find dead bodies, which they believe to be caused by a `Ritual Killer'. At the same time, he meets and befriends a neighbourhood girl called Eli and soon realises that maybe his new found friend and the murders are linked.

I really loved the character of Oskar - although only 12 and bullied by his classmates, he is extremely intellegent and has a wonderful imagination. The writer has created scenes where Oskar believes he's someone else, a hero, slaying bullies and bad guys. John Ajvide Lindqvist has captured the imagination of this 12 year old outcast perfectly. Oskar, with very few people in his life and only books for company until he meets Eli, creates this heroic alter-ego to get him through his days.

The story itself felt a little long but it was well paced and the way the writer went from character to character really pulled you into this Swedish estate. There are so many characters - from Oskar and Eli, to Eli's `Dad' Håkan, Oskar's teenage neighbour Tommy, the bullies, and a group of alcholics who not only bare witness to the murders, but become victims also. The whole group of characters seem seperate and unrelated at the beginning, but soon their paths are brought together, and only the reader will understand their significance from their backstory.

The novel had a very Stephen King-eqsue quality to it. It mixes a `coming of age' story of friendship and love, with the horror of the supernatural. Particularly in the last scene of the novel at the swimming pool, I had flashbacks of Stephen King's Carrie, along with many other King classics throughout the book. Being a fan of Stephen King, of course this is only a good thing!

Overall, it's a really enjoyable novel. Although long, it's packs into the story so many characters who are directly and indirectly affected by Eli and the murders, and they are all brought together very well as the story concludes. Lindqvist has done a marvellous job of creating potentially horrific characters that you feel attached to, and combining a sweet story of friendship with that of a supernatural thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put Some Horror in Your Vampire Romance, 19 Mar 2011
By 
Mrs. Helen Skelton (Harrogate.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
I have read all the True Blood novels and the Twilight saga and whilst I love them dearly this vampire love story has a lot more bite! (Pun intended)I was aware going in that this book is intended to be a horror, a genre I don't normally read, but was not prepared to actually be creeped out quite as much as I was. It left me wondering if the film will be as gruesome and stomach churning and I can't wait to watch it. The main characters Oskar & Eli are both worthy of your love and attention and you will find yourself feeling protective of them and shocked by their actions. The plot is excellent and refreshing, whilst the mood is sinister and dark. Some readers may find parts of the book a little uncomfortable but all in all it delivers what can only be described as a chilling horror story. I will definitely be reading more of this authors work. Hints....maybe don't read after eating....or in a house alone....or in a dark room with a little night light on.....or whilst babysitting for small children who may or may not be ancient vampires in disguise!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Original, 10 Jan 2010
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
Compared to some reviewers, I saw the film first,then read the book. And I'm glad I did it that way because rather than the film being a bit of let down due to some bits of plot being missing etc (as happens in a lot of book-to-film movies), I loved the film and the book provided more background information, like how Eli came to be in her current situation.

A word of warning though; the book contains some very drak themes, such as paedophilia, so if you're easily freaked out, it might not be for you. But, apart from that it's a magnificient and highly orginial book, with a great film to accompany it.
(NOT looking forward to a Hollywood remake)
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a vampire story., 12 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
Like many people, I read this book because I had seen - and loved - the film. Usually I would advocate reading the book before watching the film, but in the case of Let The Right One In, I think the reverse is probably a good idea. The film is ambiguous about many things (Eli's true relationship with Hakan, Oskar's relationship with his father, Eli's history etc) and the book will fill in all those gaps nicely.

I love vampire stories, but Twilight had me despairing that all the good vampy tales were gone. Let The Right One in proved me so very wrong.
This is a vampire story, yes, but with the protagonist being only 12 years old and more concerned with finding a friend in his lonely life, it takes on whole new depths. Oskar is an outcast, bullied mercilessly at school and dealing with an over-protective mother and an absentee father. Eli is a 220 year old vampire who also looks, and in many ways mentally *is* 12 years old too.
What follows is a truly heartwarming tale of friendship and trust in the midst of some pretty gut-wrenching horror - both things are balanced perfectly.

The only reason I've given 4 stars instead of 5 is because the rather large supporting cast has the author changing perspectives just a tad too often.
To be fair though, it's not really the author's fault the book is marketed the way it is. If you read it as more of an ensemble piece than just expecting it to focus entirely on Oskar and Eli, then this shouldn't pose any problems for you.
And the other characters are in themselves very interesting. There is no absurd glamour here: these are real people, the types who are usually overlooked by Hollywood - and pretty much everyone else - but Lindqvist brings them to life and gives a potent voice to people who usually don't get one at all.

This book is at its darkest when dealing, not with the supernatural, but with the evil humans are capable of. However, those of you who like a few good scares and "Ewwww!" moments from your vampire novels will not be dissappointed.

The real strength of the book lies in the subtle, yet powerful way the author handles each character's relationships with those around them.
The horror works terrifically, but the poignancy is just perfect.

I strongly recommend this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knows how to tell a story!, 4 Oct 2009
This review is from: Let the Right One In (Paperback)
It was a long time since I read a book that I just couldn't put down, a book I kept longing for when I was doing something else. So the author has really succeeded in the way he tells the story.

I like the realistic description of the Stockholm suburb Blackeberg and the social realism of the characters. I also accept the element of vampires as it's described in a natural way.

Basically a vampire moves to Blackeberg and a lot of people are found dead in mysterious ways. The main character Oskar who is bullied at school makes friend with the vampire and gets his revenge on the bullies.

What I like the most is that we get to follow so many different characters and that they are all connected and make a difference to the story. Everyone and everything is there for a reason. The story is very well threaded together.

I've given it five stars, yet there are a few things that annoy me:
*when Eli sleeps in Oskar's bed there's no sexual tension whatsoever even if Eli's naked and it's strange that Oskar doesn't discover a certain thing ...
*sometimes the author changes POV within a scene, it would've been better to be in one character's head at a time
*I'd wanted more of a follow up on the relationship between Tommy and his police stepdad to be

I read the novel in Swedish and am now going to have a look at the English translation to see how the translator has dealt with some typical Swedish references!
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Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
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