Aust Crime Fiction – Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist reviews this 2004 (English 2007) Swedish vampire novel. I am not a great reader of vampire novels, but I do endorse that review of this one:
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is labelled a Vampire Love Story, and it is. But if you’re a fan of the softer, vampire romances where a simple bite on the neck is the weapon of choice, or where the vampire is the romantic hero who saves the day – then approach this book with caution. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is part horror story, part romance, part comedy routine and part murder mystery. And it’s graphic. Very very graphic. And hypnotic, fascinating and alluring. And weird – it has to be said – very very weird. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN proved to me again that weird isn’t always bad, sometimes it’s just weird. Obviously to read this book you need an almighty disconnection with reality. This is the story of a vampire and her familiar (for want of a better description) and the violence implicit in a vampire staying alive. There’s a certain disconnection in reactions around these events, as despite a number of sightings and some very gruesome events around the fate of the familiar, the neighbourhood seems surprisingly unaware of the vampire in their midst. But by that time, you’re so wrapped up in Oskar’s ultimate fate that it’s a bit immaterial. Certainly you’re so wrapped up in the whole Gothic feeling of it, anything anybody does or is doesn’t really come to be all that surprising…
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN dragged me so far out of my comfort zone, I should have packed a lunch, but the journey, despite the gory components, despite the out and out weirdness of the entire book, was not without a particular sort of joy and was most definitely extremely memorable.
Hence my rating it a Best Read of 2008. More on Lindqvist.