(hb; 2004, 2007: translated by Ebba Segerberg)
From the inside flap:
"It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackberg, 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. . ."
Excellent, landmark vampire-horror novel, with sympathetic characters (even Håkan Bengtsson, Eli's aging pedophilic human keeper, initially comes off a somewhat relatable creation) and an impressive narrative scope: it reads like something Stephen King might've written in his prime -- i.e., most of his published work prior to It.
Lindqvist has conceived and delivered a warm, original work that should appeal to fans of King, Clive Barker and Anne Rice. (I realize I'm actually echoing one of the blurbs that graced the cover of the book, but its story, tones and characters constantly reminded me of these writers when I read this fast-paced, character-rich story.)
If you're into vampire fiction, you should read this.
This novel was originally published under the title Let the Right One In (its title references a line from a Morrissey song, "Let The Right One Slip In").
As of October 1, 2010, two film versions will have resulted from this novel.
The first film version was released in Sweden on January 26, 2008. The film graced stateside screens on October 24, 2008.
Kåre Hedebrant played Oskar. Lina Leandersson played Eli. Per Ragnar played Håkan. Henrik Dahl played Erik. Karin Bergquist played Yvonne. Peter Carlberg played Lacke. Ika Nord played Virginia. Mikael Rahm played Jocke. Karl-Robert Lindgren played Gösta.
An uncredited Lena Nilsson, who also appeared in Murder at the Savoy and Roseanna, played a "Nurse" (or: "Håkans sjuksköterska").
Tomas Alfredson directed the film, from a script by the book's author, John Ajvide Lindqvist.
An American remake, retitled Let Me In, is scheduled for stateside release on October 1, 2010.
Kodi Smit-McPhee played Owen (the Americanized equivalent of Oskar). Chloë Grace Moretz played Abby (the Americanized equivalent of Eli). Richard Jenkins played The Father. Elias Koteas played The Policeman. Cara Buono played Owen's Mother.
Matt Reeves directed and scripted the film.