Today's Friday Fiction is guest written by my good friend & fellow book-clubber Rory, since he chose this book for us to read. As well as being an avid reader and all round cool dude, he also makes music under the name What Luck!, which I happen to think is kind of awesome. Check out his stuff over here.
Hey there, Rory here, writing a review because Rosie's too lazy to do it.
Let The Right One In is a novel with a human/vampire romance in it, which you'll all know hasn't exactly made for wonderful reading in recent years. But as one reviewer on goodreads has put it: "John Ajvide Lindqvist has looked at Stephenie Meyer's book and said "Hmm, that's not quite right, is it?", and he's somehow rearranged it's elements into a bloody masterpiece", which I'm more than happy to agree with. In fact, this book is more like Twilight than you'd think, it even has the unlikeable characters. But it succeeds where Meyer's books fail because it has an interesting and original take on the vampire story.
I mean, there were bits of it that I didn't like. There are a few sections that are genuinely gag-inducingly graphic in their description of violence, which I didn't particularly care for. And the fact that the characters aren't very likeable means you're never really rooting for anyone, although I guess Oskar gets slightly nicer throughout. But for the most part, it's a really enjoyable and compelling read, twisting and turning in unexpected directions.
It's basically a really beautifully sad novel which is just downright creepy at times, but in a good way. I really loved the sections about the drunks, particularly the way they started off as being a seemingly unrelated annoyance, but ended in a really moving and poignant way. I imagine the film is mostly set on overcast days, that's the sort of mood this book pervades; one of depression and detachment.
Rosie compared it to Stieg Larsson's Millenium series, which I really don't see at all, other than the fact that they're both Swedish authors, and there are elements of crime fiction in both. But while that one ended with a lot of discussion about the secret police and a wonderful trial scene, this one strays away from that sort of thing for the most part, choosing to focus on the supernatural/horror elements, as well as the development of the characters.
A pretty comprehensive review, thanks Rore! I agree with a lot of the above points, but overall I found the horror/crime/fantasy elements of the book too hard to get past, so I think I enjoyed it a lot less for that. But if you like that kind of thing, then I definitely agree that it is beautifully written. I gave it 6.5/10.