If you are a horror buff you might have heard of John Ajvide Lindqvist,
the author of 'Let the Right One in'. And even if you aren't, you may have seen
the movie 'Let Me In' from 2010. The movie is a remake of the Swedish
'Låt den rätte komma in' from 2008, which in its turn is based on the 2004 bestseller.
Lindqvist also wrote the movie script which, to me, explains why it's a great movie adaptation
though some events and characters have either been changed or are missing entirely.
But enough about movies! Lindqvist writes about vampires, zombies and other
supernatural themes, set against a backdrop of an often depressing and dreary
Sweden, populated by flawed and scarred characters and real life drama like
domestic abuse, addiction, bullying etc. It's this fine balancing act between stark
horrible reality and supernatural horror that makes his writing so compelling.
I devoured Låt den Rätte komma in, Hanteringen av odöda (Handling
the Undead), and Lindqvist's collection of short stories Pappersväggar
(Let the Old Dreams Die, which also contains epilogues to both novels).
They were gruesome and entertaining, and I loved every moment of reading.
It's hard to explain, but several times while reading I found myself thinking:
If I could write, this is exactly how I would have written this story;
the same wording, the same psychology, the same view, the same pacing.
It was a very strange experience, almost like the author was me....
Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same reading his next two novels; Människohamn
(Harbour) from 2008 and Lilla Stjärna (Little Star) from 2010. Although
imaginative, well written and suspenseful, they both suffer a little from slower pacing,
over-writing and unsympathetic characters. Lindqvist's latest publication was Tjärven
in 2011, another zombie story that received mixed reviews and that was never
released in paper format. Since I have struggled with Människohamn for more than
a week now (and still haven't finished it) I have decided not to read Tjärven,
and will only recommend his earlier (excellent) works to you guys.
Make sure to stop by Marfi, the hostess of A Book & A Blanket!