PAGES: 366


YEAR: 2004







Let The Right One In has been adapted for screen. Twice. The first adaptation was a Swedish language version focused on the relationship between Oskar and the vampire child, Eli. An English-language Version, Let Me In was released in 2010.


Oskar and Eli. In very different ways, they were both victims. Which is why, against the odds, they became friends. And how they came to depend on one another, for life itself.

Oskar is a 12-year-old boy living with his mother on a dreary housing estate at the city’s edge. He dreams about his absentee father, gets bullied at school, and wets himself when he’s frightened.

Eli is the young girl who moves in next door. She doesn’t go to school and never leaves the flat by day. She is a 200-year-old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemned to live on a diet of fresh blood.

John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel is a unique and brilliant fusion of social novel and vampire legend, a deeply moving fable about rejection, friendship and loyalty.


‘And what do you think this might be?’ Gunnar Holmberg, police commissioner from Vallingby, held up a little plastic bag of white powder.


I saw the foreign language movie version of Let The Right One In and thought it was a load of shit. I almost dismissed the book when I saw it on the shelves at the library but thought maybe the description on the back will explain to me what the hell that shit movie was about. I wanted to read it when I read the blurb. I am so glad I did.

I thought Let The Right One In was great, absolutely great. The movie does not do this amazing novel justice. Lindqvist offers a brilliant and original take on vampires – that staple food of horror fiction. I don’t think there’s been anything quite like Let The Right One In before. I am in awe of Lindqvist. I don’t say that very often. I did not want to stop reading Let The Right One In. I was captivated, horrified and creeped out in equal measures. Let The Right One In in easily one of the best ‘horror’ novels I’ve ever read. Hats off to Lindqvist.

I think Oskar and Eli are great characters. I was on Oskar’s side from the start. He has a pretty shit life thanks to the nasty bullies who set out to ridicule him at every turn. He is verbally abused and physically tortured. I wanted to give him a hug. I was bullied as a child though nowhere near as bad as Oskar and was instantly rooting for him. I thought Eli was unsettling and complicated. Eli is a child and looks beautiful and innocent. Eli is also a monster, a bringer of death. There is something about evil children that just gives me the shivers. Some of the best and more unsettling scenes in Let The Right One In involve Eli vamping out and killing people. Eli is the hero and the villain. She is a villain because she drinks human blood. She is a hero because she saves Oskar. Tres complex! What she does to Veronica gave me chills. The most disturbing aspect of Eli’s character is that her human servant is a paedophile and a child killer. Tres creepy!

Lindqvist is a great writer. Let The Right One In is well-written, engaging and a page turner. Every time I picked up Let The Right One In I fell right into Oskar and Eli’s dark world and disturbing relationship and didn’t want to leave. I loved the title as well. I may need to read more of Lindqvist if he writes anything even similar to Let The Right One In. I was hooked from the first page all the way to the final sentence. Let The Right One In is one of those rare novels that transcends genre. This is what horror fiction should be. Disturbing, brilliant and heart wrenching.

I enjoyed so many scenes and chapters in Let The Right One In. I thought every scene with Oskar was great. There is a scene towards the start of the novel where Oskar fantasises about meeting one of the bullies in the woods and knifing them to death. This scene is so disturbing I actually thought Oskar had committed the crime. I got the chills. I loved every scene with Eli’s human companion. He was a creepy, disturbed man. I thought his jealously over Eli and Oskar’s relationship was quite funny. I was shocked by his actions when he is caught red-handed killing a child in the swimming pool. The ending is great. Happy. Sort of.

Let The Right One In is one of the reasons I love horror fiction. People misunderstand this genre because there’s so much pulpy, poorly written shit out there. Let The Right One In is an example of what horror fiction can be when it’s in the hands of a great writer. Let The Right One In had some violence in it but Lindqvist doesn’t resort to gore and cheap thrills. Another author for my must read list. The list is getting quite long now.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. EastEndLass says:

    I loved the book – but I loved the Swedish film just as much – apart from the scene with the cats, which felt stupid, but was in fact in the book. I recently saw the stage adaptation that I didn’t think they could possibly do, but was infact brilliant!

  2. Loved this book. Have you read Lindquist’s other horror novel, Harbourwebsite builder? I’ve seen it lauded on a number of websites; reviews are mixed. Not got around to reading it for myself yet, but could be worth a look!

    1. Gah, code fail! Link still seems to work, despite random anchor text 😉

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