Let Me In Takes Top Honors at Tribeca Film Festival and is now an Award-winning movie in both the U.S. and Sweden!
It is autumn 1981 when inconceivable horror comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenager is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik's Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, Let Me In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American and Swedish readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!
Following the success in Sweden, this movie was remade in 2010 starring Kodi Smit Mcpheem, Chloe Grace Moretz and Richard Jenkins changing its name from the Swedish Let The Right One In. The story has continued to reach new viewers in a London Musical and the book remains a vampire favorite among its readers.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||Media tie-in|
|Product dimensions:||8.48(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
John Ajvide Lindqvist's debut novel, Let Me In, was an instant bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translation 2005 in Norway. The Swedish film adaptation, Let the Right One In, 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, 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 Me 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.
Read an Excerpt
Let Me In
By Lindqvist, John Ajvide
Thomas Dunne BooksCopyright © 2007 Lindqvist, John Ajvide
All right reserved.
“And what do you think this might be?”
Gunnar Holmberg, police commissioner from Vällingby, held up a little plastic bag of white powder.
Maybe heroin, but no one dared say anything. Didn’t want to be suspected of knowing anything about stuff like that. Especially if you had a brother or a friend of your brother who did it. Shoot horse. Even the girls didn’t say anything. The policeman shook the bag.
“Baking powder, do you think? Flour?”
A mumble of answers in the negative. They didn’t want him to think class 6B was a bunch of idiots. Even though it was impossible to determine what was really in the bag, this lesson was about drugs, so you could draw certain conclusions. The policeman turned to the teacher.
“What do you teach them in Home Economics these days?”
The teacher smiled and shrugged her shoulders. The class laughed; the cop was OK. Some of the guys had even been allowed to touch his gun before class. It wasn’t loaded, but still.
Oskar’s chest felt like it was about to burst. He knew the answer to the question. It hurt him not to say anything when he knew. He wanted the policeman to look at him. Look at him and tell him he was right. He knew it was a dumb thing to do, but he still puthis hand up.
“It’s heroin, isn’t it?”
“In fact it is.” The policeman looked kindly at him. “How did you know?”
Heads turned in his direction, curious as to what he was going to say.
“Naw . . . I mean, I’ve read a lot and stuff.”
The policeman nodded.
“Now there’s a good thing. Reading.” He shook the little bag. “You won’t have much time for it if you get into this, though. How much do you think this little bag is worth?”
Oskar didn’t feel the need to say anything else. He had been looked at and spoken to. Had even been able to tell the cop he read a lot. That was more than he had hoped for.
He let himself sink into a daydream. How the policeman came up to him after class and was interested in him, sat down next to him. Then he would tell him everything. And the policeman would understand. He would stroke his hair and tell him he was alright; would hold him and say . . .
Jonny Forsberg drove a hard finger into his side. Jonny’s brother ran with the drug crowd and Jonny knew a lot of words that the other guys in the class quickly picked up. Jonny probably knew exactly how much that bag was worth but he didn’t snitch. Didn’t talk to the cop.
It was recess and Oskar lingered by the coat rack, indecisive. Jonny wanted to hurt him—what was the best way to avoid it? By staying here in the hallway or going outside? Jonny and the other class members stormed out the doors into the schoolyard.
That’s right; the policeman had his car parked in the schoolyard and anyone who was interested could come take a look. Jonny wouldn’t dare beat him up when the policeman was there.
Oskar walked down to the double front doors and looked out the glass window. Just as he thought, everyone in the class had gathered around the patrol car. Oskar would also have wanted to be there but there was no point. Someone would knee him, another pull his underpants up in a wedgie, policeman or no policeman.
But at least he was off the hook this recess. He went out into the schoolyard and snuck around the back of the building, to the bathrooms.
Once he was in the bathroom he listened, cleared his throat. The sound echoed through the stalls. He reached his hand into his underpants and quickly pulled out the Pissball, a piece of foam about the size of a clementine that he had cut out of an old mattress and put a hole in for his penis. He smelled it.
Yup, he had pissed in his pants again. He rinsed it under the tap, squeezing out as much water as possible.
Incontinence. That was what it was called. He had read about it in a pamphlet that he had sneaked from the drugstore. Mostly something old women suffered from.
There were prescription medicines you could get, it said in the pamphlet, but he did not intend to use his allowance so he could humiliate himself at the prescription counter. And he would definitely not tell his mother; she would feel so sorry for him it would make him sick.
He had the Pissball and it worked for now.
Footsteps outside, voices. Pissball in hand, he fled into the nearest stall and locked the door at the same time as the outer door opened. He soundlessly climbed up onto the toilet seat, curling into a ball so his feet wouldn’t show if anyone looked under the door. Tried not to breathe.
Jonny, of course.
“Hey Piggy, are you here?”
Micke was with him. The worst two of the lot. No, Tomas was worse but he was almost never in on stuff that involved physical blows and scratches. Too smart for that. Was probably sucking up to the policeman right now. If the Pissball were discovered, Tomas was the one who would really be able to use it to hurt and humiliate him for a long time. Jonny and Micke, on the other hand, would just beat him up and that was fine with him. So in a way he was actually lucky. . . .
“Piggy? We know you’re in here.”
They checked his stall. Shook the door. Banged on it. Oskar wrapped his arms tightly around his legs and clenched his teeth so he wouldn’t scream.
Go away! Leave me alone! Why can’t you leave me alone?
Now Jonny was talking in a mild voice.
“Little Pig, if you don’t come out now we have to get you after school. Is that what you want?”
It was quiet for a while. Oskar exhaled carefully.
They attacked the door with kicks and blows. The whole bathroom thundered and the lock on the stall door started to bend inward. He should open it, go out to them before they got too mad, but he just couldn’t.
He had put his hand up in class, a declaration of existence, a claim that he knew something. And that was forbidden to him. They could give a number of reasons for why they had to torment him; he was too fat, too ugly, too disgusting. But the real problem was simply that he existed, and every reminder of his existence was a crime.
They were probably just going to “baptize” him. Shove his head into the toilet bowl and flush. Regardless of what they invented, it was always such a relief when it was over. So why couldn’t he just pull back the lock, that was in any case going to tear off at the hinges at any moment, and let them have their fun?
He stared at the bolt that was forced out of the lock with a crack, at the door that flung open and banged into the wall, at Micke Siskov’s triumphantly smiling face, and then he knew.
That wasn’t the way the game was played.
He couldn’t have pulled back the lock, they couldn’t simply have climbed over the sides of the stall in all of three seconds, because those weren’t the rules of the game.
Theirs was the intoxication of the hunter, his the terror of the prey. Once they had actually captured him the fun was over and the punishment more of a duty that had to be carried out. If he gave up too early there was a chance they would put more of their energy into the punishment instead of the hunt. That would be worse.
Jonny Forsberg stuck his head in.
“You’ll have to open the lid if you’re going to shit, you know. Go on, squeal like a pig.”
And Oskar squealed like a pig. That was a part of it. If he squealed they would sometimes leave it at that. He put extra effort into it this time, afraid they would otherwise force his hand out of his pants in the process of punishing him and uncover his disgusting secret.
He wrinkled up his nose like a pig’s and squealed; grunted and squealed. Jonny and Micke laughed.
“Fucking pig, go on, squeal some more.”
Oskar carried on. Shut his eyes tight and kept going. Balled his hands up into fists so hard that his nails went into his palms, and kept going. Grunted and squealed until he felt a funny taste in his mouth. Then he stopped and opened his eyes.
They were gone.
He stayed put, curled up on the toilet seat, and stared down at the floor. There was a red spot on the tile below. While he was watching, another drop fell from his nose. He tore off a piece of toilet paper and held it against his nostril.
This sometimes happened when he was scared. His nose started to bleed, just like that. It had helped him a few times when they were thinking about hitting him, and decided against it since he was already bleeding.
Oskar Eriksson sat there curled up with a wad of paper in one hand and his Pissball in the other. Got nosebleeds, wet his pants, talked too much. Leaked from every orifice. Soon he would probably start to shit his pants as well. Piggy.
He got up and left the bathroom. Didn’t wipe up the drop of blood. Let someone see it, let them wonder. Let them think someone had been killed here, because someone had been killed here. And for the hundreth time.
Håkan Bengtsson, a forty-five-year-old man with an incipient beer belly, a receding hairline, and an address unknown to the authorities, was sitting on the subway, staring out of the window at what was to be his new home.
It was a little ugly, actually. Norrköping would have been nicer. But having said that, these western suburbs didn’t look anything like the Stockholm ghetto-suburbs he had seen on TV: Kista and Rinkeby and Hallonbergen. This was different.
“NEXT STATION: RåCKSTA.”
It was a little softer and rounder than those places. Although, here was a real skyscraper.
He arched his neck in order to see the top floors of the Waterworks’ administrative building. He couldn’t recall there being any buildings this tall in Norrköping. But of course he had never been to the downtown area.
He was supposed to get off at the next station, wasn’t he? He looked at the subway map over the doors. Yes, the next stop.
“PLEASE STAND BACK FROM THE DOORS. THE DOORS ARE CLOSING.”
Was anyone looking at him?
No, there were only a few people in this car, all of them absorbed in their evening newspapers. Tomorrow there would be something about him in there.
His gaze stopped at an ad for women’s underwear. A woman was posing seductively in black lace panties and a bra. It was crazy. Naked skin wherever you looked. Why was it tolerated? What effect did it have on people’s heads, on love?
His hands were shaking and he rested them on his knees. He was terribly nervous.
“Is there really no other way?”
“Do you think I would expose you to this if there was another way?”
“No, but . . .”
“There is no other way.”
No other way. He just had to do it. And not mess up. He had studied the map in the phone book and chosen a forested area that looked appropriate, then packed his bag and left.
He had cut away the Adidas logo with the knife that was lying in the bag between his feet. That was one of the things that had gone wrong in Norrköping. Someone had remembered the brand name on the bag, and then the police had found it in the garbage container where he had tossed it, not far from their apartment.
Today he would bring the bag home with him. Maybe cut it into small pieces and flush it down the toilet. Is that what you did?
How is this supposed to work anyway?
“THIS IS THE FINAL STATION. ALL PASSENGERS MUST DISEMBARK.”
The subway car disgorged its contents and Håkan followed the stream of people, the bag in his hand. It felt heavy, although the only thing in it that weighed anything was the gas canister. He had to exercise a great deal of self-restraint in order to walk normally, rather than as a man on the way to his own execution. He couldn’t afford to give people any reason to notice him.
But his legs were leaden; they wanted to weld themselves onto the platform. What would happen if he simply stayed here? If he stood absolutely still, without moving a muscle, and simply didn’t leave. Waited for nightfall, for someone to notice him, call for . . . someone to come and get him. To take him somewhere.
He continued to walk at a normal pace. Right leg, left leg. He couldn’t falter now. Terrible things would happen if he failed. The worst imaginable.
Once he was past the checkpoint he looked around. His sense of direction wasn’t very good. Which way was the forested area? Naturally he couldn’t ask anyone. He had to take a chance. Keep going, get this over with. Right leg, left leg.
There has to be another way.
But he couldn’t think of any other way. There were certain conditions, certain criteria. This was the only way to satisfy them.
He had done it twice before, and had messed up both times. Hadn’t bungled it quite as much that time in Växjö but enough that they had been forced to move. Today he would do a good job, receive praise.
Perhaps a caress.
Two times. He was already lost. What difference did a third time make? None whatsoever. Society’s judgement would probably be the same. Lifetime imprisonment.
And morally? How many lashes of the tail, King Minos?
The park path he was on turned a corner further up, where the forest started. It had to be the forest he had seen on the map. The gas container and the knife rattled in the bag. He tried to carry the bag without jostling the contents.
A child turned onto the path in front of him. A girl, maybe eight years old, walking home from school with her school bag bouncing against her hip.
That was the limit. Not a child so young. Better him, then, until he fell dead to the ground. The girl was singing something. He increased his pace in order to get closer to her, to hear.
“Little ray of sunshine peeking in
Through the window of my cottage . . .”
Did kids still sing that one? Maybe the girl’s teacher was older. How nice that the song was still around. He would have wanted to get even closer in order to hear better, so close in fact that he would be able to smell the scent of her hair.
He slowed down. Don’t create a scene. The girl turned off from the park path, taking a small trail that led into the forest. Probably lived in a house on the other side. To think her parents let her walk here all alone. And so young.
He stopped, let the girl increase the distance between them, disappear into the forest.
Keep going, little one. Don’t stop to play in the forest.
He waited for maybe a minute, listened to a chaffinch singing in a nearby tree. Then he went in after her. Oskar was on his way home from school, his head heavy. He always felt worse when he managed to avoid punishment in that way, by playing the pig, or something else. Worse than if he had been punished. He knew this, but couldn’t handle the thought of the physical punishment when it approached. He would rather sink to any level. No pride.
Robin Hood and Spider-Man had pride. If Sir John or Doctor Octopus cornered them they simply spit danger in the face, come what may.
But what did Spider-Man know, anyway? He always managed to get away, even if it was impossible. He was a comic book action figure and had to survive for the next issue. He had his spider powers, Oskar had his pig squeal. Whatever it took to survive.
Oskar needed to comfort himself. He had had a shitty day and now he needed some compensation. Despite the risk of running into Jonny and Micke he walked up toward downtown Blackeberg, to Sabis, the local grocery store. He shuffled up along the zigzaging ramp instead of taking the stairs, using the time to gather himself. He needed to be calm for this, not sweaty.
He had been caught shoplifting once at a Konsum, another grocery chain, about a year ago now. The guard had wanted to call his mother but she had been at work and Oskar didn’t know her number, no, really he didn’t. For a week Oskar had agonized every time the phone rang, but then a letter arrived, addressed to his mother.
Idiotic. It was even labeled “Police Authorities, District of Stockholm” and of course Oskar had ripped it open, read about his crime, faked his mother’s signature, and returned the letter in order to confirm that she had read it. He was a coward, maybe, but he wasn’t stupid.
What was cowardly, anyway? Was this, what he was about to do, cowardly? He stuffed his down coat full of Dajm, Japp, Coco, and Bounty chocolate bars. Finally he slipped a bag of chewy Swedish Cars between his stomach and pants, went to the checkout, and paid for a lollipop.
On the way home he walked with his head high and a bounce to his step. He wasn’t just Piggy, whom everyone could kick around; he was the Master Thief who took on dangers and survived. He could outwit them all.
Once he walked through the front gate to the courtyard of his apartment complex he was safe. None of his enemies lived in this complex, an irregular circle of buildings positioned inside the larger circle formed by his street, Ibsengatan. A double ring of protection. Here he was safe. In this courtyard nothing shitty had ever happened to him. Basically.
He had grown up here and it was here he had had friends before he started school. It was only in fifth grade that he started being picked on seriously. At the end of that year he had become a full-fledged target and even friends outside his class had sensed it. They called more and more seldom to ask him to play.
It was during that time he started with his scrapbook. He was on his way home to enjoy that scrapbook right now.
He heard a whirring sound and something bumped into his feet. A dark red radio-controlled car was backing away from him. It turned and drove up the hill toward the front doors of his building at high speed. Behind the prickly bushes to the right of the front door was Tommy, a long antenna sticking out from his stomach. He was laughing softly.
“Surprised you, didn’t I?”
“Goes pretty fast, that thing.”
“Yeah, I know. Do you want to buy it?”
“. . . how much?”
“Naw, I don’t have that much.”
Tommy beckoned Oskar closer, turned the car on the slope and drove it down at breakneck speed, stopping it with a huge skid in front of his feet, picked it up, patted it, and said in a low voice:
“Costs nine hundred in the store.”
Tommy looked at the car, then scrutinized Oskar from top to bottom.
“Let’s say two hundred. It’s brand new.”
“Yes, it’s great, but . . .”
Tommy nodded, put the car down again, and steered it in between the bushes so the large bumpy wheels shook, let it come around the large drying rack and drive out on the path, going further down the slope.
“Can I try?”
Tommy looked at Oskar as if to evaluate his worthiness, then handed over the remote, pointing at his upper lip.
“You been hit? You’ve got blood. There.”
Oskar wiped his lip. A few brown crusts came off on his index finger.
“No, I just . . .”
Don’t tell. There was no point. Tommy was three years older, a tough guy. He would only say something about fighting back and Oskar would say “sure” and the end result would be that he lost even more respect in Tommy’s eyes.
Oskar played with the car for a while, then watched Tommy steer it. He wished he had the money so they could have made a deal. Have that between them. He pushed his hands into his pockets and felt the candy.
“Do you want a Dajm?”
“No, I don’t like those.”
Tommy looked up from the remote. Smiled.
“You have both kinds?”
“. . . yeah.”
Tommy put his hand out and Oskar gave him a Japp that Tommy slipped into the back pocket of his jeans.
“Thanks. See you.”
Once Oskar made it into the apartment he laid out all the candy on his bed. He was going to start with the Dajm, then work his way through the double bits and end with the Bounty, his favorite. Then the fruit-flavored gummy cars that kind of rinsed out his mouth.
He sorted the candy in a long line next to the bed in the order it would be eaten. In the refrigerator he found an opened bottle of Coca-Cola that his mom had put a piece of aluminum foil over. Perfect. He liked Coke even more when it was a little flat, especially with candy.
He removed the foil and put the bottle next to the candy, flopped belly down on his bed, and studied the contents of his bookcase. An almost complete collection of the series Goosebumps, here and there augmented by a Goosebumps anthology.
The bulk of his collection was made up of the two bags of books he had bought for two hundred kronor through an ad in the paper. He had taken the subway out to Midsommarkransen and followed the directions until he found the apartment. The man who opened the door was fat, pale, and spoke in a low, hoarse voice. Luckily he had not invited Oskar to come in, just carried out the two bags, taken the two hundred, nodded, said “Enjoy,” and closed the door.
That was when Oskar had become nervous. He had spent months searching for older publications in the series in the used comics stores along Götgatan in South Stockholm. On the phone the man had said he had precisely those older volumes. It had all been too easy.
As soon as Oskar was out of sight he put the bags down and went through them. But he had not been cheated. There were forty-five in all, from issue number two to forty-six.
You could no longer get these books anywhere. And all for a paltry two hundred!
No wonder he had been afraid of that man. What he had done was no less than rob him of a treasure.
Even so, they were nothing compared to his scrapbook.
He pulled it out from its hiding place under a stack of comics. The scrapbook itself was simply a large sketchbook he had swiped from the discount department store Åhléns in Vällingby; simply walked out with it under his arm—who said he was a coward?—but the contents . . .
He unwrapped the Dajm bar, took a large bite, savoring the familiar crunch between his teeth, and opened the cover. The first clipping was from The Home Journal: a story about a murderess in the US in the forties. She had managed to poison fourteen old people with arsenic before she was caught, tried, and sentenced to death by electric chair. Understandably, she had requested to be executed by lethal injection instead, but the state she was in used the chair and the chair it was.
That was one of Oskar’s dreams: to see someone executed in the electric chair. He had read that the blood started to boil, the body contorted itself in impossible angles. He also imagined that the person’s hair caught on fire but he had no official source for this belief.
Still, pretty amazing.
He turned the page. The next entry was from the newspaper Aftonbladet and concerned a Swedish murderer who had mutilated his victims’ bodies. Lame passport photo. Looked like any old person. But he had murdered two male prostitutes in his home sauna, butchered them with an electric chain saw, and buried them out back behind the sauna. Oskar ate the last piece of Dajm and studied the man’s face closely. Could have been anybody.
Could be me in twenty years.
Copyright © 2004 by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Translation © 2007 by Ebba Segerberg. All rights reserved.
Excerpted from Let Me In by Lindqvist, John Ajvide Copyright © 2007 by Lindqvist, John Ajvide. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let Me In is a dark, sinister novel concerning lost souls looking for a relief, no matter how demented the process may be. The story takes place in Sweden, which creates the most perfect, spooky enviromnent for the story. The story has no limits, reaching far beyond what is 'normal' and goes into the minds of the twisted characters. Definetly a dark read, but so well written, the author is remarkable. Cant wait for another book. Your heart will sympathize with Oskar.
In the autumn of 1981 in Blackeberg, Sweden, his family, his schoolmates, and his teachers pick on twelve years old Oskar, an obese genius. Oskar is angry with being the victim of all these bullies especially those who call him ¿pig-gy¿ or ¿piggy¿ and dreams of one day avenging all the affronts he has to eat.------------ Moving next door to Oskar¿s family is beautiful Eli and her ¿father¿ Hakan who seems to be fascinated with the overweight preadolescent. In fact Hakan is a mortal who abducts boys using anesthesia and drains them of their blood before presenting his chosen ones to his master, Eli a two century plus vampire. However, this time Hakan errs and a corpse drained of blood is found on the street even as Oskar believes Eli is his mechanism for revenge if he can rid her of her faithful servant.--------------- This is an interesting Swedish vampire thriller starring three lost souls, who make up a relationship triangle from hell. Hakan lives to worship Eli she is depressed and alone in spite of her submissive sycophant's loyalties, but her species also requires survival as the most basic hierarchal need Oskar is the poster child for bully victim as those who should be helping him heap more abuse on him his anger at the world has broken the dam. Vampire fans will enjoy this strong nail biter at the edge of the Arctic Circle.----------- Harriet Klausner
This is an amazing book dont let the bad reviews fool you. The bj part is half only a paragraph.
Being a fan of Scandinavian crime mysteries for many years, I tried out this author for the first time. My immediate reaction was relief - that the quality of the writing was so good. Transaltions are very hit and miss, and it's hard to tell whether poor writing is the fault of the translator or the author. In this case, I got the sense that both were very good. The storyline surprised me - I wasn't expecting a supernatural thread, but it worked very well. The plot was developed in a well-structured manner, and the characters were belivable and well rounded - even the 'non-human' ones! Overall, I enjoyed this book very much, would recommend it, and will read more by this author and translator.
You are good for a go. I LOVED this book. Yes there are a lot of f*$*ed up scenes in this book that definitely make you want to put it away... but the book I thought was so well written. The characters were portrayed quite lovely, without a detail missing. LOVED it.
This book was fantastic I was very disappointed to hear that other readers put the book down after only a couple of chapters because they could not stomach some of the small unpleasant matters of the story. It is written absolutely beautifully and became one of the books I had to PUT DOWN because I didn't want to finish it. Finishing it made me sad because I wanted it to keep going. One of the most interesting and well written books I have read all year.
This book is amazing and very well written. The author describes in vivid and full detail the minds of the characters, from the bullying Oskar has to endure to the disturbing murders. Although the plot is dark and sinister, it will keep you hooked. I dont recomend reading it if you are under 18. The past reviews seem to have been written by people who expected a "Twilight" novella. Deff not the case in this one. Raw and straight forward, this has become one of my favorite vampire books.
"Let Me In" is not only a good book, but it is different than much of the vampire fiction being published right now. It is not for everyone - not so much for the violence (par for the course in these sorts of books) as much as the peek into damaged psyches. It's to Lindqvist's credit that he presents even the most revolting human beings as full-fledged characters and not just drooling, one-note lunatics. The vampire, Eli, is also that rarity in horror fiction - a sympathetic vampire who is by no means "good." Eli will attack and kill innocent human beings, yet still remains sad because of her loneliness; in this way, she reminded me of Miriam Blaylock in "The Hunger." Definitely recommended for fans of the weirder side of vampire fiction.
I listened to the audio version of this book, which was somewhat impaired by the narrator's pronounced lisp, but overall I thought this was a worthy take on the vampire myth. We've gotten a little too used to the convention of vampire as metaphor for a sexy bad-boy lover, and it's getting old. In "Let Me In," we are given the vampire as metaphor for pedophilia, bullying, and all manner of insistent addictions. The vampire *is* a monster, but a monster who has also been a victim and is not at all unmindful of the harm done. This monster craves closeness, and sets lines she will not cross with those she loves. I would have have given it more stars, but I did feel it dragged on long after the the points had been made, and made, and made again. Also, some of the bullying was so unhinged and so detailed, I found myself skipping through parts I could not bear to listen to. I've not seen either of the film versions, but I would like to.
Let me start by saying that I don't think this genre is for me. I was trying to branch out into differet areas adn thought that this would be an interesting place to start. It was interesting all right, but not in a good way. I did not enjoy this story at all. I found it boring and strange. I didn't get attached to the characters at all. I often found myself waiting for something to happena nd it never did. The events that were supposed to be climaxes fell short of exciting or even anticipated. I diidn't find any closure for the characters or the story. It was difficult to get through. Maybe it was just me but I would pass on this one.
The Review:Spoiler Alert- I¿ve intentionally been vague in my description of events in the film and have endeavored not to discuss anything you couldn¿t glean from the theatrical preview. But nonetheless there¿s bound to be a spoiler or two in the following review.Let Me In is the American remake of the Swedish Film, Let The Right One In, based on the bestselling novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. With incredibly strong performances by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Cloë Moretz, who played Hitgirl in the excellent Kick Ass, Let Me In earns a special place in the increasingly crowded vampire urban fantasy subgenre. I¿ve rarely seen such young actors carry a film on their shoulders the way these two have.Set in New Mexico in the winter of 1983, Let Me In tells the story of Owen, a lonely 12 year old, bullied mercilessly at school. His parents are in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and he spends his nights by himself in the courtyard of his apartment building playing and devouring candy. There aren¿t any other kids in his apartment building until one night when Abby and her dad move into the apartment next door. Owen quickly realizes that Abby isn¿t like other girls. She walks barefoot in the snow, smells a little funny and seems way out of touch. Owen also hears strange noises coming through his bedroom wall from Abby¿s apartment. The audience learns in short order that Abby is in fact no ordinary little girl and that the relationship between her and her father is unnatural to say the least.Let Me In is quite a subversive bit of storytelling. It turns many clichés on their heads. The kids in the film are not innocent little angels. Owen, who is constantly preyed upon by bullies, steals from his mother¿s purse, acts out violent power fantasies, and shows a few of the warning signs of becoming a future serial murderer. Abby, while she has the face of an angel, is anything but. By the time you reach the film¿s end and reflect on her relationships with her father and Owen, you may be surprised to find that she is actually quite a manipulative and a hugely destructive force. Her guile is never overt, and remarkably I found myself feeling a lot of sympathy for her despite her showing herself to be capable of some truly brutal behavior.Let Me In also succeeds in its use of subtlety. The most effective scenes in the film, including its climax are more effective for what isn¿t shown. Appearances are deceiving, and the film challenges the audience to fill in some of the blanks and ponder why Abby and her father are the way they are and what the future holds for Abby and Owen. It¿s dark and disturbing. Although its leads aren¿t old enough to drive, Let Me In is very much a film for adults. While it has some intense gore and violence, it¿s not gratuitous. It¿s a smart film that blurs the line between good and evil and it¿s ending should leave you feeling very conflicted about who the good guys and bad guys are, or whether the distinction has any meaning in the context of the film. If you want to experience a unique, tightly written, character driven vampire film, then do yourself a favor, and go see Let Me In.FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.
Okay, I liked it. I think. Started out good and creepy, then was just creepy. Makes me want to see the movie, but I doubt it'll show up at the local megamall.
Picked this book up without knowing it was about vampires and when I realised I wasn't sure it was going to be my cup of tea. But I found this a well written story (even in translation) which puts a new take on the whole vampire mythology - and thankfully the vampires are not sparkling sex Gods! The book is gritty, realistic, interesting - the friendship which develops between Oskar (a bullied 12 year old boy) and his new neighbour Eli is central to the story and very believable.
I swore off all of the new line of vampire stories when my granddaughter explained that when they go to highschool the sun just "makes them shimmer". But I grabbed Let Me In when a reviewer promised that the "Swedish Stephen King" featured no sparkly vampires.I'm glad I did because this was a great modernized vampire tale. Not Bella Lugosi but not a cartoon version either. Unusual setting and characters. I am eager to compare it to the movie.There was a submarine tangent that went nowhere that I could see and one incongruity at the end. But these were minor glitches and not jarring at the time.
If you are basing your conceptions of this book on either version of the movie, you will be amazed. (I have only seen the Swedish version ¿ a movie I enjoyed very much - but I would be surprised if this were not true of the American version also.) Oskar leads a life that, while not the worst that a pre-teen can experience, is at the bottom half of experiences. Among other things he is bullied, has few friends, and is from a broken home. A somewhat classic tale of unhappy childhood. He meets Eli who (minor spoiler alert here) turns out to be a child vampire. She has a constant companion; an old man of questionable motives.If you have seen the movies, then this will not be a surprise. What is a surprise is how much more there is. Such is usually true of any book, but in this case it is as if the movie stopped after the first few chapters. What follows is in depth understanding of the bullies, a vampire that takes on almost zombie-like qualities, the back-story of how a young girl becomes a vampire, and a deep examination of the pain experienced when becoming a vampire.Lindqvist does an amazing job of keeping the story moving while exploring the stories behind the many characters. And, even in the case of horrid child molester (a redundancy I¿m sure), makes us find some sympathy for every character.This is a disturbing book ¿ not just for the graphic scenes, but for the way our emotions get played throughout. But worthy of the bestseller status. And containing enough nuances that I now want to see the American film to see if it chose a different (but still interesting) path from its Swedish predecessor.
Wow. Just overall fabulous book. I can see why it's been re-printed in so many languages and turned into a movie! I love the inter-connected subplots, and how they move the story forward, attach themselves as genuine plot, and don't feel unnecessary the way subplots can sometimes do. All the way to end, I was never really sure which characters were villains and which were heroes, an ambiguity that I found fascinating.
My short and sweet review: Forget Twilight. Seriously... forget it. If you want an intense dark vampire novel that doesn't pull any punches, get Let Me In. And don't ever invite pale little girls into your home. EVER.
When I read the reviews for this book I thought ok this is going to be a good book. I am sorry to say I didn't really like it. I thought the characters Oksar and Eli were good but the rest I was thinking why are these people in the story and how do they play a part in the plot. Also I found the flow of this book not very easy and it had some dry spots. I even had my mind wandering a few times.
53. [Let Me In] by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I'm not a big fan of horror novels, or movies for that matter. I think that newer movies (and probably books) many times try to make their mark through the shock factor of the material instead of intelligently creating a sense of suspense or dread. Let Me In was an alright read - which was then ruined by the graphic gore, violence and sexual deviation. I felt like I needed a hot shower and a strong scrub brush after reading this book. While the story was decent I can't say I'd necessarily recommend this because of the graphic nature of sections of it. If it had a little more Psycho and a little less Texas Chainsaw Massacre to it, I'd have rated it a bit higher.
I waited almost a year for this book to become available through the library. The combination of foreign title (originally published in Swedish) and insanely popular amongst the horror crowd meant that every time I checked, someone else was reading it. I think I was trending a little obsessive toward the end.Fortunately, I'm very happy to say that it was worth the wait.It's a little difficult to describe this book - it /is/ horror, in that sort of atmospheric creepy way, but it's not an edge of your seat thriller, and although it has violence, blood, and gore, they're pretty well contained. This is in many ways a coming of age novel as much as anything.The story revolves around a bullied boy, Oskar, who meets a very strange girl, Eli. They form a very unlikely friendship which changes each of them substantially, and which is threatened by the fact that Eli is a vampire.The joy of this book comes in the rich characterizations, the incredibly drawn atmosphere, and the rising sense of dread that builds throughout the story. One thing that it does amazingly well is to make our monster a character you relate to and even root for while at the same time making her a legitimate and scary monster. The conflict is glorious. So, too, is the juxtaposition of far more human monsters, and those who may become so given the right final push. It's very difficult to find figures of pure good or pure evil in this book, and that's part of what makes it so interesting. So, too, is Oskar's engaging journey. The story of what he becomes because of this monster he's befriended raises all sorts of interesting questions.Let Me In - or in some places, Let the Right One In - is well worth a read. Now if only I could get my hands on the (equally highly-praised) film!
With thoroughly developed characters and a gripping plot, this book is a roller coaster ride of chills from page 1. A well-crafted horror story where at times it's hard to tell which species is the biggest monster - the vampires or the humans.
Absolutely love this book and would definitely recommend.
This came as a great surprise. I don't often give 5 stars. This author has become my motivation to complete my novel. Brilliant writing at its best.
This novel was very interesting, strange, different, but over all a very good read. This novel has a very dark atmosphere as well as menacing presence. Taking place in present day Sweden, this book creates a very dark looming feeling of dread which is amazing for a novel with romance. Our main character is a awkward 11 year old boy named Owen who has been bullied for most of his life. One day a strange neighbor moves in who is an 11 year old girl named Abby, who acts very strange and seems distant from reality. This novel has a slow start, but near the middle it starts to get interesting. The very end of this book is what your going to look for, the ending was the most satisfying ending to any novel/book I've ever read, it was so amazing that i got goosebumps after reading it and i was sad that it was over. The book has a Romeo and Juliet theme to it, a "Star-crossed lovers" type of theme. Overall this is a good read and not a waste of time, the start is slow but its all worth it in the end...trust me.