From the Publisher
“Absolutely chilling. This page-turner grabs you from the onset and just won't let go. Vampires at their Anne Ricean best!” L. A. Banks, author of the Vampire Huntress series
“Sweden's Stephen King…A classic horror-romance story. I love it. Could not stop reading. More please.” Amelia (Sweden)
“A must for vampire fans, even those who think they’ve seen it all.” Katherine Ramsland, author of Piercing the Darkness, The Science of Vampires, and The Vampire Companion
“A brilliant take on the vampire myth, and a roaring good story.” Kelley Armstrong, bestselling author of Haunted
“Readers are familiar with modern Sweden through its distinctive crime fiction. Now John Ajvide Lindqvist is taking a Gothic look at the country's dark side. Henning Mankell's gloomy police procedurals were the first to become international bestsellers in the middle 1990s and spearheaded an explosion, but the latest publishing phenomenon to come out of Sweden seems to be plumping for a different genre. John Ajvide Lindqvist has become an overnight cult figure.” The Age (Australia)
“Let Me In, a Swedish book taking the publishing world by storm, is a different, surprising, and sometimes delightful reading experience. Delightful would not normally be the first word that springs to mind when describing a blood-soaked plot.… It is Lindqvist's great skill that a strong thread of innocence continues alongside this horror.” The Sunday Telegraph (Australia)
“It is easy to compare Lindqvist to Clive Barker or Neil Gaiman. When you reach the last page, you are left with the wonderful tingling sensation that only comes with a brand-new love affair or a really great book.” Dagens Næringsliv (Norway)
“Impressive…can certainly compare with some of the best international authors…Lindqvist is as learned as Anne Rice as far as the most updated vampire mythology is concerned.” Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
“One of the creepiest and most imaginative stories of the decade…echoes Stephen King at the height of his storytelling powers.” Sunday Herald-Sun (Australia)
Lindqvist's dark debut novel, originally published in Sweden in 2004, takes place in a 1980s Stockholm suburb. Twelve-year-old Oskar suffers beatings nearly every school day by a group of bullies who thrive on the fear they cause him. Oskar has no close friends until Eli, a mesmerizing girl about his age, moves next door. She has peculiar habits, like spending her days inside with curtains closed and only venturing out at night, but Oskar has no idea that besides being odd, she is also quite dangerous. Eli is a vampire who uses the services of a crazed pedophile named Hakan to forage for live victims from which she can take sustenance. When the unstable Hakan cripples himself by throwing acid on his face, Eli has to bumble through gory hunts on her own. Still, through it all she maintains her friendship with Oskar and at one point even becomes his salvation. Unfortunately, Lindqvist's predictable plot lumbers through one ghastly scene after another. Recommended only for comprehensive horror collections.
Part revenge fantasy, part horror story and part police investigation gone wrong, this debut vampire novel translated from the Swedish sinks its fangs into fresh territory. It is 1981 in a Stockholm suburb, and 12-year-old Oskar is the epitome of a bully's victim: He's a fat little know-it-all who suffers from incontinence and periodic nosebleeds. His life changes when Eli, an astonishingly beautiful but unkempt girl, and her father Hakan move in next door. With her encouragement, Oskar somehow finds the strength to begin striking back at his tormentors. But Eli is no true child; she is a 220-year-old vampire, and her so-called "father" is actually a pedophile who demonstrates his frighteningly obsessive devotion to Eli by anesthetizing young boys, draining their blood and bringing them back to her when she's too weak to hunt for herself. A blunder by Hakan, Eli's advice to Oskar and the vengeance sought by a friend of one of Eli's victims all inevitably lead to tragedy-or triumph, depending on the perspective. Although it does have its grotesque, over-the-top moments, the book is wonderfully bleak and spare. Unlike Anne Rice's hedonistic bloodsuckers, Lundqvist's vampires are sad, lonely creatures who simply want to survive, taking little pleasure in what is required to do so. If there is one complaint, it is that the author sets the book entirely in the fall, and so cannot exploit the obvious advantages and disadvantages of being a Swedish vampire-24-hour darkness during winter, but midnight sun in summer. Worth taking a bite.