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!