Horror · Movie Based on the Book · Thriller

Let the Right One In…creepy, suspenseful & oh-so-good

Title: Let the Right One In 
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Published: Thomas Dunne Books/2008
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Length: 480 pages
Rating: 8/10

I bought Let the Right One In at Books Inc. in Mountain View, CA. It’s by a Swedish author, John Ajvide Lindqvist, who was called “Sweden’s Steven King” by the Tuscan Citizen. And apparently you can’t go wrong with a 500 page book about a child vampire–it was superb!

Though I made the cardinal mistake of watching the movie, Let Me In, before reading the book. No surprise-the book is better, definitely read it before seeing the movie. The book’s plot is more detailed and tells a broader story. There were also more characters in the book, and you learn more about their backgrounds and struggle between good and evil.

The main plot details twelve-year-old Oskar, a thoughtful kid who’s picked on by his peers, and his new neighbor Eli, a girl who appears to be around his age, who only comes out at night and smells a little funky. They befriend each other and Oskar learns more about her unusual characteristics with each nightly meeting. Even though Eli’s clearly “different,” Oskar doesn’t seem to fit in either, so the beauty of their friendship is that they accept each other for who they are. Eli’s character is intriguing–she’s certainly not human, but sometimes she’s childlike and evokes sympathy in the reader and at others times she’s attacking people, drinking their blood and then killing them so they don’t become vampires themselves.

The main difference between the book and movie is the introduction of a group of down-on-your-luck drunks that meet at a Chinese restaurant every week (lets just say, their outcome is bleak, hem hem), and how well you get to know Eli’s “boyfriend,” the creepster Hakan. In the movie, Hakan is old enough to be her father, and we learn little about him, aside from his devotion to Eli. The book shows you a whole other side to Hakan, and increases the creepster meter significantly.

Let the Right One In is wonderfully creepy and suspenseful, a tad gory, but also touching. Loved it!

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6 thoughts on “Let the Right One In…creepy, suspenseful & oh-so-good

  1. I just finished Let the Right One In… I couldn’t put it down! I thought it would be like Twilight, since it’s about vampires, but I was wrong!

    It’s a wonderful mix between vampires, suspense and friendship. I think everyone can relate to Oskar, whether they were bullied when they were younger, or knew someone who was.

    Hakan gave this book a wonderfully dark twist. I can’t wait to read more of Lindqvist’s books!

  2. Have you read Handling the Undead by the same author? It’s a zombie novel where the recently deceased become alive again. It has some incredible scenes – in particular one where a grandfather is desperately digging up his grandson because he can hear the boy shaking the Lego box he was buried with … I really liked it and if you liked Let the Right One in (which I’ve yet to read), then I think you will too 🙂

    1. I haven’t read Handling the Undead–but it’s been on my wish list for a while and it sounds like a perfect read for around Halloween! 🙂 I’ll definitely purchase it soon…and I think Lindqvist has another book coming out too. You’ll have to read Let the Right One In and let me know what you think. Thanks!!

    2. Hi Christina–I just wanted to circle back to you after having read Handling the Undead (which I’ll blog about at some point soon)! I liked it but it didn’t compare to Let the Right One In, which was much better in my opinion. Handling the Undead did have some incredible scenes (whew, the Lego box part and the family was on the island!), and the plot was creative and interesting…but Let the Right One In was more captivating, I got more attached to the characters and the plot was even better. I definitely suggest that you read Let the Right One In–I think you’ll like it more too!

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