Monday, April 6, 2009

Vampires...definitely not of the Twilight variety

I’ll admit that Let the Right On In by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist first peaked my interest because the story sounded like Twilight in reverse- girl vampire befriends the loner teenage boy next door. I saw the Swedish movie adaptation a couple of months ago and quickly knew that I wasn’t in Forks anymore. After finally reading the book, I can safely say that it is one of the creepiest, most disturbing novels I’ve ever read. Horror is not my most frequently read genre, but the few things I’ve read by Stephen King seem like childrens’ fairy tales in comparison to this book. As long as you have the stomach for it, Let the Right On In is worth reading, however, because Lindqvist’s writing is so interesting. It’s not just the vampires and mass murders that make this book so chilling; the suburban Stockholm setting and the dismal characters are portrayed in a way that casts a cold, depressing chill over literally everyone and everything in the book. Juxtaposed with the horrific details of the storyline are a handful of moments, usually conveyed with just a single sentence, that illuminate the tiny (usually very tiny) grains of humanity left within some very horrible characters. Even though this is definitely a horror novel, it has the potential to raise so many little questions and interpretations that I can easily imagine it yielding lots of discussion in some kind of Gothic lit class.

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