Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Last night a friend of mine lamented that children don’t seem as motivated to get out and play as they once did. He provided the usual examples to illustrate his concerns – the Internet, social media, World of Warcraft. Are the children of today simply glued to their screens, texting in broken English, clicking “like” on anything that remotely fires a thought across their brain? Are they becoming fat blobs of stupidity as they cram value menu crap food down their gullets while they download music off of offshore pirate websites?
I don’t know if it’s quite that bad, but I really hate the whole sagging pants thing. I am more than happy to turn into a cranky old man whenever I see some teenage boy’s underwear a full 5 inches over their waistline. Makes me wish I had a pet Tiger I could send after them, just to watch them attempt to run and trip over their stupid Ed Hardy jeans. How many views would a video of that get on YouTube?
Growing up in the 70s, my friends and I liked to make Super 8 monster movies with makeup kits we bought from the back page ads found in comic books. Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman – the classic Universal monsters, fascinated us. Meanwhile, in the movie world, a different kind of monster was becoming popular – the human monster – thanks to movies like Halloween, The Last House on the Left, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and so on. The 80s would bring Freddy, Jason would be fully entrenched, and the psycho slasher would be the foundation of popular horror.
Everything cycles, and we are all now firmly back into a vampire/werewolf culture (zombies too). I blame Twilight mostly, but there are many other guilty parties. Vampires have certain qualities that will always find an audience, there’s no doubt about it.
Personally, I am a bit tired of vampires, although I must admit that True Blood is a guilty pleasure. That aside, unless something is truly unique – possessing some kind of original twist – I will give it a pass.
That’s what makes Let the Right One In so refreshing. It’s not a typical vampire tale. Without spoiling much, it’s about an emotionally damaged boy who befriends a vampire (stuck in a child’s body) who eventually learns there is much to learn about his new friend.
I found the book to have much more in common with classic vampire tales than any of the paranormal romance material that’s out there. No dig on those that like these books, or the authors who write them. I just prefer my vampires without sprinkles. If you feel the same way, you’ll dig it.
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