John Ajvide Lindqvist - AB&AB

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!


17 kommentarer:

  1. Som författare så kanske det är bättre att försöka tänka nytt än att rida vidare på succén? Jag ska ta och försöka läsa de första böckerna någon gång och se filmen. :)

    1. Ja, jag tror dock att det är lätta att köra fast - framförallt när ens första roman fick sådant enormt genomslag.

  2. I know I own at least one of his books but have not attempted it yet.
    Maybe I won't try it until a brighter time of year.

    1. Let me know how you find it, I'm curious about the English translation.

  3. Even though I don't read this genre, I enjoyed your review. I find it so interesting how the setting of a country is related to the literature.

    1. Absolutely, and the same goes for the movies! Hollywood goes for entertainment, colors, escapism, over-acting and shock value. Europe usually goes for low key acting, dreary reality, slow pacing and ambiguous characters. Ridiculous vs boring ;)

  4. I love ' let the right one in' I haven't watched the other version of it.
    I'd love to read the books!!

    Thank you for joining in this week:)

    1. Thank you for hosting, Marfi! I'm enjoying this relaxed challenge :)

  5. I haven't read the book or seen the original movie but I loved Let Me In. If this version was anything like the book, I'll bet is is fabulous! I'll have to see if I can find a copy to read.

    1. 'Let me in' is obviously more American both in style, visuals and acting, but it's still a good movie. But it's also very similar to the Swedish one, so watching the Swedish one now I think you'd be bored. Pick up the book instead - it has lots of stuff going on that wasn't in either of the movies!

  6. So do you ever read the book in Swedish and then in English, Ms. Misantropia? And if so, does the translated English version lack the same something that the Swedish version has? Just curious ... I'm still going to add Let the Right One In to my reading list. :o)

    1. I prefer to read books in their original language, and the only translations I have read are Swedish ones of English books - if I can't find it in English. But translations almost always bother me, so I'm sure the English translations of Lindqvist would be lacking too.

  7. Great review!

    I enjoyed the 'Let The Right One In' movie, but the book...not so much.
    I totally get why some things were cut out when they made the movie.

    Have you read 'A Stir of Echoes'? It seems like something you'd enjoy and the movie (which stars Kevin Bacon) is quite brilliant too.

    Have a lovely day :)

    1. You know, I love the movie 'Stir of Echoes' and would probably have enjoyed the book had I not seen it a thousand times... :)

      Regarding the things that were left out of the movie "Let the right one in": I thought it made the book creepier and better than the movie at the time, and it gave us some background to Eli. But if I had read it now, almost 10 years and many more books and movies later, I might have liked it less.

  8. Horror with substance... I can definitely get into that!

  9. Oh I quite liked the 2008 film Let Me In. I thought the 2010 American version was not too bad, but I prefer the atmosphere of the Swedish version. I am always on the look out for more books, especially good quality horror that has some actual substance, and I was not aware that the film was based on a book so thank you for posting!


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