Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Harbor, by John Ajvide Lindqvist

(hb; 2008, 2011: translated from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy)

From the inside flap:

"One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen channel. While they are exploring the lighthouse, Maja disappears - either into thin air or under thin ice - leaving not even a bloody footprint in the snow.

"Two years later, Anders, a broken man, moves back to his family's abandoned house on the island. He soon realizes that Maja's disappearance is only one of the many strange occurences, and that his fellow islanders, including his own grandmother, know a lot more than they're telling. As he digs deeper, Anders begins to unearth a dark and deadly secret at the heart of this small, seemingly placid town."


Fans of Stephen King will likely appreciate this milieu- (and leisurely-)paced novel that recalls King's pre-It novels, before his propensity for word bloat set in.

Harbor is a good book by an excellent author, one that ably juggles character and larger-element histories, pervasive mood and description, as well as occasional, familiar-with-a-Swedish-flavor horror scenes.

Check Harbor out from the library, no need to own it, if you already own King's pre-It novels and story/novella anthologies.

If you're interested in Lindqvist's better, worth-owning works, check out Let Me In and Handling the Undead.


Mama Zen said...

Did they make a B movie out of this? It sounds really familiar.

Steve Isaak said...

According to imdb.com, they haven't filmed this - nor do they have plans to (officially, thus far).

However, they have filmed, or plan to film, Lindqvist's earlier novels: "Let the Right One In" (aka "Let Me In" - two film versions, one Swedish, one American) and "Handling the Undead" (Swedish film, scheduled for a 2013 release).

Steve Isaak said...

It may sound familiar because it's a familiar set-up for many writers (e.g., the television/SyFy-channel show "Haven", loosely based on, and way better than, Stephen King's "The Colorado Kid"): disappearing people/weird stuff happening; mysterious island/town; select townspeople who know what's going on, but not telling outsiders, etc.

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