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Harbor
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Harbor

3.2 21
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
 

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“John Ajvide Lindqvist is rightly seen as one of the most exciting writers working in the horror genre at the moment – a rival, indeed, to Stephen King.” —TheScotsman.com

From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying

Overview

“John Ajvide Lindqvist is rightly seen as one of the most exciting writers working in the horror genre at the moment – a rival, indeed, to Stephen King.” —TheScotsman.com

From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes.One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While the couple explore the lighthouse, Maja disappears — either into thin air or under thin ice — leaving not even a footprint in the snow. Two years later, alone and more or less permanently drunk, Anders returns to the island to regroup. He slowly realises that people are not telling him all they know; even his own mother, it seems, is keeping secrets. What is happening in Domaro, and what power does the sea have over the town's inhabitants?

As he did with Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead, John Ajvide Lindqvist serves up a blockbuster cocktail of suspense in a narrative that barely pauses for breath.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lindqvist (Let Me In) turns a young girl’s mysterious disappearance into the catalyst for revelations about centuries-old natural and supernatural forces in this enthralling dark fantasy. When little Maja vanishes on a family outing to an icebound lighthouse off the coast of the island Domarö, her parents are devastated and their marriage never recovers. Anders, her father, returns to Domarö by himself, believing he can still find his daughter, but instead he meets up with old acquaintances, all of whom seem to be driven by malicious, inhuman impulses, and he hears previously unknown stories of a primitive past in which the people of Domarö regularly made human sacrifices to the sea. Lindqvist never quite pulls these elements of his sprawling story together, but he still presents an unsettling portrait of ordinary people discomposed by inexplicable supernatural experiences. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Lindqvist's Let the Right One In has been made into two films, one Swedish and one American (called Let Me Be), with the Swedish version winning awards at 16 film festivals worldwide. The backlist paperback is one of the publisher's biggest sellers. Here, a six-year-old girl crosses the ice with her parents to visit a lighthouse and promptly vanishes. Her father later returns to the area and finds a surprising secretiveness about what happened. Watch this one; Lindqvist has fans.
Kirkus Reviews

Scandinavian writers dominate the police-procedural genre. Are they now bent on taking over horror? Swedish creepmeister Lindqvist is hot on the case.

The author of one of the scariest vampire novels to have come out in years, Let Me In (2007) (film version Let the Right One In), Lindqvist drifts squarely into Stephen King territory with his latest—which, it seems, is a bit of a roman à clef, reflecting the author's childhood in a Stockholm housing development on the edge of the city. So it is with Domarö, an island not far from the Swedish capital where hoary old fishermen mend their nets and rough-edged yokels sharpen their knives, even as smart urbanites zip about in their fine cars and well-made clothes. One of those city slickers, a pensive fellow named Anders, suffers a terrible blow when his daughter, Maja, sees something mysterious, goes to have a look and disappears. "She was good at finding places to hide," Anders reasons at first. "Although she could be over-excited and eager in other situations, when she was playing hide and seek she could keep quiet and still for any length of time." Well, this is a very serious game of hide and seek indeed, for others on this island have gone missing, too—boatloads of them, with cases of schnapps as a gift to the critters that dwell in the spectral Baltic waters.Will Anders ever find his daughter? Perhaps, perhaps not—and therein hangs the tale. Lindqvist ventures on heavy-handedness by introducing a character who, a touch too conveniently, happens to be a retired magician with a trick up his sleeve (or, more to the point, in his matchbox) and lots of wisdom to dispense. In the main, though, he capably keeps his story far from the usual splatterfest slasher stuff and instead holds it to the confines of psychological thriller, which is plenty spooky enough, atmospheric and foreboding: "There is a film of moisture over everything and water drips from the leaves of the trees, as if this island has risen from the sea just to meet him."

Perhaps not a book to read by the seashore, if you're literal-minded. A spooky pleasure, expertly told.

From the Publisher

“Sweden's answer to Stephen King.” —Daily Mirror (UK)

“One of the hottest writers in the horror genre.” —Mystery Scene

“The third consecutive masterpiece for an author who deserves to be as much of a household name as Stephen King.” —SFX.co.uk

“A very scary tale indeed from a writer who is master of his genre.” —Financial Times (UK)

“Lindqvist gives Stephen King and John Saul at their best a run for the money.” —Library Journal (starred review), on Handling the Undead

“Sophisticated horror that takes the genre to new and exciting levels.” —Suspense Magazine, on Handling the Undead

“It is easy to compare Lindqvist to Clive Barker or Neil Gaiman.” —Dagens Noeringsliv (Norway) on Handling the Undead

“Reminiscent of Stephen King at his best.” —Independent on Sunday (UK) on Let the Right One In

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312680275
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.52(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Harbor


By John Ajvide Lindqvist

Thomas Dunne Books

Copyright © 2011 John Ajvide Lindqvist
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312680275

Welcome to Domarö.
It’s a place you won’t find on any maritime chart, unless you look really carefully. It lies just about two nautical miles east of Refsnäs in the archipelago in southern Roslagen, a considerable distance in from Söderarm and Tjärven.
You will need to move some of the islands out of the way, create empty expanses of water between them in order to catch sight of Domarö. Then you will also be able to see the lighthouse at Gåvasten, and all the other landmarks that arise in this story.
Arise, yes. That’s the right word. We will be in a place that is new to people. For tens of thousands of years it has been lying beneath the water. But then the islands rise up and to the islands come the people, and with the people come the stories. Let us begin. 1 Banished Where the waves thunder and the storms cry.
Where the breakers crash and the salt water whirls,
that is where the place that is ours rises from the sea.
The legacy that passes from father to son.
Lennart Albinsson—Rådmansö The sea has given and the sea has taken away Who flies there in the feather-harbour, who climbs up there out of the black, shining waters?
Gunnar Ekelöf—Tjärven
Sea buckthorn Three thousand years ago, Domarö was nothing but a large, flat rock sticking up out of the water, crowned by an erratic boulder the ice had left behind. One nautical mile to the east it was possible to glimpse the round shape that would later rise out of the sea and be given the name Gåvasten. Apart from that, there was nothing. It would be another thousand years before the surrounding islets and islands dared to poke their heads above the water, beginning the formation of the archipelago that goes under the name of Domarö archipelago today. By that time the sea buckthorn had already arrived on Domarö.
Down below the enormous block left by the ice, a shoreline had formed. There in the scree the sea buckthorn worked its way along with its creeping roots, the hardy shrub finding nourishment in the rotting seaweed, growing where there was nothing to grow in, clinging to the rocks. Sea buckthorn. Toughest of the tough.
And the sea buckthorn produced new roots, crept up over the water’s edge and grew on the slopes until a metallic-green border surrounded the uninhabited shores of Domarö like a fringe. Birds snatched the fiery yellow berries that tasted of bitter oranges and flew with them to other islands, spreading the gospel of the sea buckthorn to new shores, and within a few hundred years the green fringe could be seen in all directions.But the sea buckthorn was preparing its own destruction.
The humus formed by its rotting leaves was richer than anything the stony shores could offer, and the alder saw its chance. It set its seeds in the mulch left by the sea buckthorn, and it grew stronger and stronger. The sea buckthorn was unable to tolerate either the nitrogenrich soil produced by the alder, or the shade from its leaves, and it withdrew down towards the water.
With the alder came other plants that needed a higher level of nutrition, competing for the available space. The sea buckthorn was relegated to a shoreline that grew far too slowly, just half a metre in a hundred years. Despite the fact that it had given birth to the other plants, the sea buckthorn was displaced and set aside. And so it sits there at the edge of the shore, biding its time. Beneath the slender, silky green leaves there are thorns. Big thorns.
Two small people and a large rock (July 1984)  They were holding hands.
He was thirteen and she was twelve. If anyone in the gang caught sight of them, they would just die right there on the spot. They crept through the fir trees, alert to every sound and every movement as if they were on some secret mission. In a way they were: they were going to be together, but they didn’t know that yet.
It was almost ten o’clock at night, but there was still enough light in the sky for them to see each other’s arms and legs as pale movements over the carpet of grass and earth still holding the warmth of the day. They didn’t dare look at each other’s faces. If they did, something would have to be said, and there were no words.
They had decided to go up to the rock. A little way along the track between the fir trees their hands had brushed against each other’s, and one of them had taken hold, and that was it. Now they were holding hands. If anything was said, something straightforward would become difficult.
Anders’ skin felt as if he had been out in the sun all day. It was hot and painful all over, and he felt dizzy, as if he had sunstroke; he was afraid of tripping over a root, afraid of his hand becoming sweaty, afraid that what he was doing was out of order in some way.
There were couples in the gang. Martin and Malin were together now. Malin had gone out with Joel for a while. It was OK for them to lie there kissing when everybody could see them, and Martin said he and Malin had got as far as petting down by the boathouses. Whether or not it was true, it was OK for them to say—and do—that kind of thing. Partly because they were a year older, partly because they were good-looking. Cool. It gave them licence to do a lot of things, and to use a different language too. There was no point in trying to keep up, that would be embarrassing. You just had to sit there staring, trying to laugh in the right places. That’s just how it was.
Neither Anders nor Cecilia was a loser. They weren’t outsiders like Henrik and Björn—Hubba and Bubba—but they weren’t part of the clique that made the rules and decided which jokes were funny, either.
For Anders and Cecilia to be walking along holding hands was utterly ridiculous. They knew this. Anders was short and borderline spindly, his brown hair too thin for him to give it any kind of style.
He didn’t understand how Martin and Joel did it. He’d tried slicking his hair back with gel once, but it looked weird and he’d rinsed it out before anyone saw it.There was something flat about Cecilia. Her body was angular and her shoulders were broad, despite the fact that she was slim.
Virtually no hips or breasts. Her face looked small between those broad shoulders. She had medium-length fair hair and an unusually small nose dusted with freckles. When she put her hair up in a ponytail,
Anders thought she looked really pretty. Her blue eyes always looked just a little bit sad, and Anders liked that. She looked as if she knew.
Martin and Joel didn’t know. Malin and Elin didn’t know. They had the feeling, said the right things and were able to wear sandals without looking stupid. But they didn’t know. They just did things. Sandra read books and was clever, but there was nothing in her eyes to indicate that she knew.
Cecilia knew, and Anders could see that she knew, which proved that he knew as well. They recognised one another. He couldn’t explain what it was that they knew, but it was something. Something about life, about how things really were.
The terrain grew steeper, and as they made their way up towards the rock the trees thinned out. In a minute or two they would have to let go of one another’s hands so they’d be able to climb.
Anders stole a glance at Cecilia. She was wearing a yellow and white striped T-shirt with a wide neckline that revealed her collarbone. It was just unbelievable that she had been linked to him for what must be five minutes, that her skin had been touching his.
That she’d been his.
She had been his for five minutes. Soon they would let go, move apart and become ordinary people again. What would they say then?
Anders looked down. The ground was starting to become stony, he had to watch where he was putting his feet. Every second he was expecting Cecilia to let go, but she didn’t. He thought perhaps he was holding on so tightly that she couldn’t let go. It was an embarrassing thought, so he loosened his grip slightly. Then she let go.
He spent the two minutes it took to climb up the rock analysing whether he had, in fact, been holding her hand too tightly, or whether loosening his grip had made her think he was about to let go, and so she let go first.Regardless of what he knew or did not know, he was convinced that Joel and Martin never had this kind of problem. He wiped his hand furtively on his trousers. It was slightly stiff and sweaty.
When they reached the top of the rock, his head felt bigger than usual. The blood was humming in his ears and he was sure his face was bright red. He stared down at his chest where a little ghost looked out from a circle with a red line through it. Ghostbusters. It was his favourite top, and it had been washed so many times that the outline of the ghost was becoming blurred.
‘It’s so beautiful.'Cecilia was standing at the edge of the rock looking out over the sea. They were up above the tops of the trees. Far below they could see the holiday village where almost all their friends lived. Out at sea the ferry to Finland was sailing along, a cluster of lights moving across the water. Further away and further out there were other archipelagos whose names Anders didn’t know.
He stood as close to her as he dared and said, ‘I think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world,’ and regretted it as soon as the words were out of his mouth. It was a stupid thing to say, and he tried to improve matters by adding, ‘That’s one way of looking at it’, but that wasn’t right either. He moved away from her, following the edge of the rock.
When he had walked all the way round, a distance of perhaps thirty metres, and was almost back with her, she said, ‘It’s odd, isn’t it? This rock, I mean?’
He had an answer to that. ‘It’s an erratic boulder. According to my dad, anyway.’
‘What’s that?’
He gazed out across the sea, fixed his eyes on the Gåvasten lighthouse and tried to remember what his father had told him. Anders made a sweeping movement with his arm, taking in the surrounding area. The old village, the mission, the alarm bell next to the shop.
‘Well…when there was ice. Covering everything here. The ice age. The ice picked up rocks. And when it melted, these rocks ended up all over the place.’
‘So where did they come from? Originally?’
His father had told him that as well, but he couldn’t remember what he’d said. Where could the stones have come from? He shrugged his shoulders.
‘From the north, I suppose. From the mountains. I mean, there are lots of rocks there…’
Cecilia peered over the edge. The top was almost flat, but it must have been at least ten metres deep. She said, ‘There must have been a lot of ice.’
Anders remembered a fact. He made a movement up towards the sky. ‘One kilometre. Thick.’
Cecilia wrinkled her nose, and Anders felt as if he had been stabbed in the chest. ‘Never!’ she said. ‘You’re joking?’
‘That’s what my dad says.’
‘A kilometre?’
‘Yes, and…you know how the islands and everything, they kind of keep on coming up out of the sea a little bit more each year?’ Cecilia nodded. ‘That’s because the ice was so heavy it kind of pushed everything down and it’s still…coming back up. Just a little bit, all the time.’ He was on a roll now. He remembered. As Cecilia was still looking at him with an interested expression, he carried on. He pointed over towards Gåvasten.
‘Two thousand years or so ago, there was only water here. The only thing that was sticking up was the lighthouse. Or the rock, I mean. The rock the lighthouse is standing on. There was no lighthouse then, of course. And this rock. Everything else was under water. In those days.’
He looked at his feet, kicking at the thin covering of moss and lichen growing on the rock. When he looked up, Cecilia was gazing out across the sea, the mainland, Domarö. She put her hand on her collarbone as if she was suddenly afraid, and said, ‘Is that true?’
‘I think so.’
Something altered inside his head. He started to see the same thing as Cecilia. When he and his dad had been up here the previous summer, the words had just gone into his head as facts, and even though he’d thought it was exciting, he hadn’t really thought about it. Seen it.
Now he could see. How new everything was. It had only been here for a short time. Their island, the ground on which their houses sat, even the ancient wooden boathouses down in the harbour were just pieces of Lego on the primeval mountain. His stomach contracted as if he were about to faint, vertigo from gazing down into the depths of time. He wrapped his arms around his body and suddenly he felt completely alone in the world. His eyes sought the horizon and found no comfort there. It was silent and endless.
Then he heard a sound to his left. Breathing. He turned his head and found Cecilia’s face only a fraction away from his own. She looked into his eyes. And breathed. Her mouth was so close to his that he could feel her warm breath on his lips as she exhaled, a faint hint of Juicy Fruit in his nostrils.
Afterwards he would find it difficult to understand, but that’s what happened: he didn’t hesitate. He leaned forward and kissed her without giving it a thought. He just did it.
Her lips were tense and slightly firm. With the same inexplicable decisiveness he pushed his tongue between them. Her tongue came to meet his. It was warm and soft and he licked it. It was a completely new experience, licking something that was the same as the object doing the licking. He didn’t exactly think that, but he thought something like it, and at that moment everything became uncertain and strange and he didn’t know what to do.
He licked her tongue a little bit more, and part of him was enjoying it and thinking it was fantastic, while another part was thinking: Is this what you’re supposed to do? Is this right? It couldn’t be, and he suspected this was where you moved on to petting. But even though his cock was beginning to stiffen as his tongue slid over hers, there was no possibility, not a chance, that he was going to start…touching her like that. Not a chance. He couldn’t, he didn’t know how, and… no, he didn’t even want to.
Preoccupied with these thoughts he had stopped moving his tongue without noticing. Now she was the one doing the licking. He accepted this with gratitude, the enjoyment increased slightly, the doubts faded away. When she withdrew her tongue and kissed him in the normal way before their faces moved apart, he decided: that went quite well.
He had kissed a girl for the first time and it had gone well. His face was red and his legs felt weak, but it was OK. He glanced at her and
she seemed to share his opinion. When he saw that she was smiling slightly, he smiled too. She noticed and her smile broadened.
For a second they gazed into each other’s eyes, both smiling. Then it all got too much and they looked out to sea once again. Anders no longer thought it looked frightening in the least, he couldn’t understand how he could have thought it did.
I think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
That’s what he’d said. And now it was true.
They made their way back down. When they had got past the stoniest part, they held hands again. Anders wanted to scream, he wanted to jump and smash dried-up branches against the tree trunks, something wanted to come out.
He held her hand, a happiness so enormous that it hurt bubbling
away inside him. We’re together. Cecilia and me. We’re together now.

Continues...

Excerpted from Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist Copyright © 2011 by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

John Ajvide Lindqvist is the author of Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead. Let The Right One In, his debut novel, was an instant bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translation 2005 in Norway. The Swedish film adaptation, directed by Tomas Alfredsson, has won top honors at film festivals all over the globe, including Best Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. An American remake, Let Me In, written and directed by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves, was released in October 2010 to rave reviews. Lindqvist grew up in Blackeberg, a suburb of Stockholm and the setting for Let the Right One In. Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television. He lives in Sweden.

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Harbor 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Valca85 More than 1 year ago
This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I'll be recommending to a lot of people. What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the almost mythic quality to the story, which adds layers and layers of knowledge as the chapters take us deeper into the history of Domaro. This is no normal horror novel, it is so smartly done that it begins to get under your skin from the very first page, building the mystery and the tension to an excruciating pitch. The characters are well done, but they all take a back-stage to the setting. The island itself is a character, one to compete with the moors in Wuthering Heights. It is impossible to forget where we are, the ocean always a step away in all its glory and power. The only thing I had a bit of trouble with was the ending. It seemed too easily resolved. There were a few plot points which were still not made too clear. This however, should not stop anyone from reading it, since I'm sure others will see the ending as genius. I'm willing to forgive the weak ending because the rest of the book just astounded me. This is one of those books that you will not want to put down. One that will stay with you for far longer than it takes to read. When it comes out on October 11th, this is one to add to your shopping lists.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Harbor is a horror story of the sea reclaiming its own. In 2004, in the island fishing village of Domaro, Sweden, the book's setting, six-year-old Maja disappears while on an outing to the local lighthouse with her parents, Anders and Cecilia. After surviving the terror of this event, Anders and Cecilia's marriage crumbles; Cecilia moves away, and Anders turns to drink. Anders eventually moves back to Domaro and to his grandmother, Anna-Greta, and her longtime lover, Simon. Anna-Greta, one of Domaro's village elders, is aware that something is wrong, really wrong, but doesn't want to share what she thinks or knows, even with Simon. Anders is haunted by his past when he and Cecilia were young. Back then, two teenage misfits, Henrik and Bjorn, disappeared. Now they are back, as ghosts, and are up to no good whatsoever. Meanwhile, Anders, in his quest to find his daughter, Maja, realizes that people are affected by drinking the sea water, which seems to be cropping up right below the island's surface. Where did Henrik and Bjorn disappear to and from where did they come? Is Maja there as well? Who will survive as the harbor water freezes, and Domaro disappears beneath the waters? Harbor is an extraordinarily well-crafted horror story that will engross its readers. The events that transpire within its pages come close to possible in this world of tsunamis and earthquakes. The translation from the book's original Swedish by Marlaine DeLargy is first-rate. The author, John Lindqvist, informs readers at the book's beginning that the setting for Domaro and the lighthouse at Gavasten have been under water for tens of thousands of years. From this underwater landscape, he has fashioned a story with totally believable, and sometimes downright scary, characters that the reader will not forget.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 2004 Sweden Anders and Cecilia take their six years old daughter Maja from their home in Gavasten to tour the nearby icebound lighthouse off the archipelago Domaro Island. Precocious Maja likes to lead but she vanishes as her parents lose sight of her. The frantic adults search everywhere for their precious child, but fail to find her. The conclusion they make is somehow she fell under the thin but solid iced channel, but no evidence of holes or weak spots are found. Though they have been an entry since being young teens twenty years ago, their marriage falls apart as Cecilia tries to move on passed her grief while Anders becomes an alcoholic who is unable to let go of his guilt for not watching his offspring closer. Two years since the tragedy, Anders returns to Domaro believing he will find his beloved Maja. Instead he begins to hear whispers of ritual sacrifice by the indigenous islanders including his mother to the nearby sea. Harbor is a dark thriller in which the audience will wonder whether the sacrifices are to a supernatural being or just superstitious island mythos induced murders. The fast-paced story line is character driven by the seemingly insane Anders, but owned by the villagers; similar in tone to Anthony Shaffer's The Wicker Man. Though one must wonder why he (and Cecilia) had not thought of what seems to be common knowledge, readers will relish this tense suspense. Harriet Klausner
QKelly More than 1 year ago
I have in front of me on my desk a book titled "Harbor" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It's a book translated from Swedish. I finished it last night, and I've been mulling since then whether I liked the book. I have a conclusion now. The answer is no. Why? Well.(1) If I have to mull over it, that tells me something. (2) I asked myself: "Does this book make me want to buy the author's other books?" The answer is "No." So, no, I reckon I did not like the book, but it has plenty of good things going for it. A review quote on the back equates Lindqvist to Stephen King. I'm not crazy about King, so I might not be the best person to review "Harbor." But here goes. Good things first. Lindqvist has a knack for setting. For creepiness. Some of the scenarios in the book are downright delicious. Also, this book depends heavily on back story (which is good and bad). I estimate about 2/3 is written in back story, and 1/3 in present time. Most of the time, this works. When it does not work, though, the story drags. Plus, in the 1/3 "present time" good space was devoted to minor characters and their actions. I didn't care about them. More dragging. At one point a bit past halfway, I was tempted to call it a day. No more reading. No finishing the book. I forced myself to finish, though, and the book picked up again soon after that. The story summary purports that this book will be about a girl's disappearance. It is not. It is about an island, about a town. The girl is only one little piece, so that may be part of why I disliked the book. I entered the book expecting one thing and came out with something different (something I hadn't wanted to read about). Bottom line: Lindqvist throws in too much. He has an underlying "monster" (monster for lack of a better word - perhaps villain or boogeyman would be better, but the bad guy is not even a guy. Or anything resembling a person). Halfway through, two ghosts pop up, and we're introduced to their characters' back stories. Halfway through! That for me is too late to introduce characters of such import. A lot of other stuff is thrown in, scattered about, and it got to be too much. Also (and I have this issue with King often), the underlying logic just did not work for me. I was like. "Huh? Okay." The ending was very disappointing. I suppose if you like Stephen King, you'll like "Harbor" too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True horror novels have become difficult to find lately. They are either lacking in plot which they try to cover up with too much gore or sex; or both. Luckily this author has no such need. He can make you squirm in one chapter and charm you with magic in the next. Your emotions are so well manipulated as you are pulled further along into the tale; wondering along wither the father, just how well did he know his own child? How well do any of us know our children without being blinded by our love and rose-tinted perceptions? I highly recommend this title along with any of his others, he's an excellent author. If you've ever seen 'Let The Right One In' that is one of his works but of course the books is waaay better!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fairly well written but it left me cold. I don't think I've ever read a book in which the characters were less sympathic and flat out more unlikeable. The fact that I couldn't become find one character that I cared about coupled with despising the hero and his daughter, made this a painful book to suffer through. Seriously, unless you're a sadist, don't read this book. It's like being forced into a weekend visit with the people you most despise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best ghost stories I have ever read. Wow! I read a ton of books and this one really blew me away! Kept me engaged from start to finish....with an ending that I did not see coming! Highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ccourtland More than 1 year ago
Each character is provided with a backstory, so you're getting several stories within the story. This can work in character development, but in this particular book, the original plot is dragged under and seemingly lost. The twists are slow to develop and after 300+ pages I really needed more to happen. Perhaps, because the intent is horror and suspense, but I became rather bored and disinterested. The pacing, like the island, is isolating and distant. For me, it created a detachment with the plot and I had no problem putting the book down, but soon found it difficult to pick back up. The gap between current bizarre happenings and long back story fractured the experience, making reading choppy and awkward. Frankly, what should be intriguing became boring and uneventful. By the end, the pages themselves were killing me and I had little motivation to read on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the characters, but was disappointed in the story overall. Can't recommend it.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
Fans of Stephen King's novels where scenes from years ago are replayed in order to make sense of present circumstances will enjoy John Lindqvist's latest effort. This tome is filled with memories of events that, at the time seemed a little strange, but when accumulated throughout the years, paint an eerie picture of a Swedish island and its inhabitants. Two years after his six year old daughter mysteriously disappeared, Anders has returned to the island of Domaro. Fighting alcoholism and a broken marriage, he tries to make sense of his life, and maybe discover the truth about his daughter. Meanwhile, strange events occur with haunting regularity around the island. Life on Domaro has never been easy and the current crop of problems aren't new. What force is behind not only Anders' missing daughter, but the abnormal behavior exhibited by an ever increasing number of islanders? What connection does it all have to a legend of the sea dating back hundreds of years? Lindqvist brings us a tragic story of loss, not only of lives, but of the spirit of life. The back stories are lengthy and detailed. The reader may have a difficult read attempting to tie in all the connections. This one is hard to classify with subtle elements of horror, suspense, and mystery all rolled into a tale spanning generations. It is definitely not light-hearted and deserves its own little niche in the world's warehouse of novels. Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, author of "Beta" for Suspense Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was such a let down. First, horror is not the correct genre. Nothing horrifying in this very, very, VERY drawn out story. I knew I should have put it down when I saw King's endorsement, who has the same problem. I was intrigued by the first few chapters, but actually just shut the book 20 pages from the end. I just don't care, (and that's after reading 470ish pages).  So much unnecessary back story for characters that don't need it added to an unbelievable story. I never write reviews but decided I must  for this book. Don't waste your time. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was in interesting book but the story is not told in a linear fashion. Still it kept my interest with just enough mystery to keep me reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It held my interest but by the end i wanted more. He can do better.
Arkhamite More than 1 year ago
homeboy