Friday, 17 September 2010
Let The Right One In
I've gone and done the usual. A 520-page book has been devoured in about three days, and I have no one to blame but myself. It's a testament to a book when it gets this treatment, to be fair, and it normally shows that I've really enjoyed it.
I certainly did enjoy Let The Right One In. There isn't much more to say. It's a vampire novel set in the Stockholm suburbs in 1981, against the backdrop of an estate (for want of a better word) battling with social problems. The plot focusses mainly on Oskar, who befriends a girl called Eli, while a series of fairly brutal murders take place. It's a poignant story of trust and friendship, and I really can't think of much more to say about it from that point of view.
As you may be able to tell, unless I'm insulting something I struggle to review it.
So, where can the bad stuff be found? It isn't a particularly great translation from the Swedish, so the prose can be clunky and awkward at times, but that's to be expected with translations; barring Crime and Punishment I can't think of any particularly outstanding ones I've read lately. Another complaint might be that at times the violence and bleakness can be a little overwhelming, particularly towards the end.
But these were overlooked. I enjoyed the energy of it, the pathos of the characters, and the driving pace of the story. It was compelling stuff (as evidenced by the fact I read the whole back half of it this afternoon when I was supposed to be dissertationing), and it left me with a sense of fulfilment.
So do I recommend Let The Right One In? Yes, I do. Highly. If you can deal with the depressing subject matter and the occasional clunky bit of prose and want a vampire novel that will get under your skin, go for it.
Now for the film(s)...