Let Me in

Let Me in

Book - 2007
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Already sold in ten countries, Let Me In introduces a startling new talent from Sweden whose work is creating an international sensation. John Ajvide Lindqvist has been compared to such top horror writers as Anne Rice, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Whitley Strieber, and last but certainly not least, Stephen King-American readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!  It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy 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. . . .
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2007.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312355289
Characteristics: 472 p. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Segerberg, Ebba


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List - Halloween Reads
AliceP_KCMO Oct 24, 2017

This book, originally published as Let the Right One In, features a young boy and the young girl who has just moved in next door. He knows something is off about her, especially since she only comes out at night.

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SCL_Justin Jul 13, 2018

Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist is pretty freakin’ great. It’s a vampire novel… no wait, don’t stop reading. It’s not emo-vampire like Twilight or “Vampires are just like regular people but sexy” like True Blood. It’s about a cursed monster and is suitably horrible.

Let Me In is about a vampire that moves into a suburb of Stockholm in 1981. The vampire appears to be a twelve year old girl and she has a guy who appears to be her father who goes out and harvests blood for her (which is tricky because the victim needs to be alive as it’s getting bled out). He’s also a pedophile who’s being manipulated by the vampire’s knowledge of his lusts. The main protagonist is a 12-year-old boy who is their neighbour. He gets bullied and wets himself and dreams of being able to kill his persecutors. There’s also an assortment of drunks who’re trying to figure out what’s going on after one of their friends disappears. They’re like the completely inept and unsuitable Van Helsing squad, in that they behave the way a bunch of losers would.

This (Swedish) book was turned into a (Swedish) movie, Let The Right One In, which is supposed to be scary and great and is how the book came to my attention. There's also an American remake of the movie (called Let Me In) which I haven't seen.

I’d hoped to be able to recommend this as an antidote to teens who say they like vampire novels because they read Stephenie Meyer or Darren Shan, but all the pedophilia and graphic disfigurement probably makes it way inappropriate. It’s too bad though because the vampire is suitably monstrous. It reminds you there’s a downside to the whole eternal life deal. Plus there’s some good ol’ redemptive violence to make you feel good at the end.

Oct 05, 2016

I read the book prior to seeing the Swedish film. The book is so much better, deeper, darker..

dresdnhope Nov 28, 2012

More disturbing than either of the movie versions, as it delves deeper into aspects of pedophilia, which is only hinted at in the films.

Incinerated_Newt Apr 02, 2012

Not a bad story - it's actually pretty intriguing, if very dark. It is, however, HUGE. There is so much going on in this book that it might take a minute or two to remember who everyone is. It also doesn't move very fast, so make sure you've settled in somewhere comfortable to read.

Maybea Feb 08, 2012

I saw the movie so was intrigued to read this book. It is very different from the film! I realize how much of the intense violence and horror was removed from the book to create the film. The result is a beautiful and subtle film which takes some of the best elements from the book and illuminates them. Though the book was amazing and gripping, I am glad a direct translation to film was not done. It would have been too garrish, too painful, to be forced into a real visual of some of the scenes. I really do recommend reading this book, especially if you have seen the film. Same story but completely different experience.

crankylibrarian Sep 30, 2011

I saw the movie recently, which perfectly captures the chilly isolation and alienation of the book. It left out a few things though; the murders are more numerous and a bit more grisly than on screen, and the characters more complex. Even the bullies who torment Oskar have more facets to them than the one dimensional villains in the film.

This makes for provocative social commentary on modern day (actual early 80s) Scandinavian life. The novel is really a story of 5 extremely dysfunctional family groups, and alcoholism plays a major role in almost all of them. (Significantly, the vampire "family" is the only one without a drunk or two).

Lacke, the well-meaning but befuddled friend of two vampire victims muses, "This is Sweden. Carry out a chair and put it on the sidewalk. Sit there in that chair and wait. If you wait long enough someone will come out and give you money". If you wanted a biting, Republican critique of the welfare state, you couldn't do better. Is Lindqvist suggesting that vampires are not the _only_ parasites draining the nation's lifeblood? Hmmm.


finally, an honest to goodness vampire... Eli is the real thing! I like the way that the evil part of her is uncontrolable for the most part, but she is still human enough to fight her instincts and even to love... the movie (American version) leaves out at least half of the story and more than that in the gruesomeness category!

Jul 26, 2011

Incredibly tedious.

Northbrook_Eric Feb 09, 2011

Much better written than Ajvide Lindqvist's second book, Handling the Undead.

Feb 12, 2010

Republished as Let the Right One in after an internationally successful movie adaptation of the same name, the originally titled Let Me In is Scandinavia?s contribution to the vampire fad that is sweeping the globe?and for good reason. Vampires are creepy and fantastic, and when the setting is a lonesome snow-covered suburb in Sweden, the moody intensity just grows and grows. Oskar is a twelve-year-old boy who is constantly bullied and beaten at school. With no friends to turn to, Oskar?s outlets are daydreaming, shoplifting, and keeping a scrapbook of gruesome crimes clipped from the newspapers. Then he meets Eli, a girl about his age who moves into the apartment next door. Eli only comes out at night and smells a bit funny, but Oskar is desperate for companionship and Eli?s quirks suit his own oddness. Meanwhile, a series of brutal deaths begin to plague the area?bodies are drained of blood. It doesn?t take long to discover that Eli is a vampire stuck in a permanent childhood, a deadly little creature who is both desperate to survive and genuinely fond of Oskar. Their sweet, awkward relationship is a splendidly creepy contrast to the blood and gore of the murders. Author John Ajvide Lindqvist adds some original twists to an occasionally predictable story that is part crime novel, part horror story, part paranormal crush. The dark, atmospheric quiet of the film is an excellent companion to the novel and will allow you to be delightfully creeped out on both page and screen.


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Jun 19, 2012

Faize thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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"I can do it, Oskar. That...is something I can do."
Eli to Oskar, assuring him that if he needs help defending himself she is more than capable of doing so...


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