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24 August 2010

John Ajvide Lindqvist

Today's post is more of a recommendation than a review.

John Ajvide Lindqvist is a Swedish author specialising in horror. His books are written in Swedish, but transalations are working their way into the mainstream. I like the fact that they are translations and that sometimes things are said in ways that I don't expect. Likewise, being set in Sweden the novels are familiar, but different. And of course, Lindqvist picks subjects that are out of the ordinary. It's almost like reading about a parallel universe.

Lindqvist is obviously a Morrissey fan. He sticks in the odd quote here and there but don't be fooled into thinking that he's a shy retiring sensitive soul. Some of the things he writes in his books are just plain horrible, but it's not gratuatous. He's in his early 40s - so he's been round the block. I think that this shows through in the maturity of his writing.

More books are awaiting translation, but I've read the two that are currently available. I won't spoil the books, but here's a quick synopsis of these two:

Handling the Undead (2005)

This was the first book I read because I thought it was about zombies. And it is, and it isn't. The dead do come back to life - Wahay! But this book is really about the newly undead and how the living deal with them. The book opens with a bit of a trippy start, but bear with it. It just gets better and better. Go buy it!

Let The Right One In (2004)

I read this book not too long after the first. This is the one that inspired a film by the same name. It's about vampires, but not the modern-day type. Don't expect any of that Twilight nonsense. This version is a throw-back to the pre-hollywood vision, brought up-to-date. This is a bigger read than Handling the Undead and it's easy to see how someone might have thought it would make a good film.

Everyone's got troubles, and so too the characters in this story. The book takes you through the emotional rollercoaster ride that ensues when you add a vampire to the mix. Go buy it!

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