The acclaim that greeted John Avide Lindqvist’s earlier book, Let the Right One In, was quite unprecedented. Over the years, there had been many attempts to revivify (no pun intended) the vampire novel, with varying degrees of success. But Lindqvist’s fascinating take on the genre took the books world by storm, and his innovations were consolidated by a highly successful movie. The fusion of different elements (including pre-teen protagonist and the customary sexual undercurrents of the genre) was handled with absolute authority, and it’s refreshing to report that Lindqvist’s latest novel, Handling the Undead, builds on the success of the earlier novel – and adds a whole new strata of interest. Inevitably, there is not the sense of innovation of Let the Right One In — how could there be? – but there is much here that is new.
Stockholm is in the grip of strange and unsettling events; a heatwave has the population sweltering – and a strange phenomena seems to be making it impossible for people to switch their lights and electrical appliances on and off. But – most disturbing of all – in the city morgue, the recently deceased are once again becoming ambulatory. And the walking dead want one thing: to come home.
As the above suggests, this is a very different kettle of fish from Let the Right One In, and what makes it particularly intriguing is the elegiac tone to be found alongside the bizarre supernatural happenings. Handling the Undead is unlikely to enjoy the level of success of the earlier book (even when the inevitable movie appears), but it is a highly commendable follow-up. —Barry Forshaw
I can’t wait to get my hands on this! Has anyone seen the movie (Let the Right One In) of his first vampire book? I’ve never even heard of it, but I want to see it now I’ve watched the trailer. Maybe the film wasn’t released in the UK. If you look here you can see the film’s website, and watch the trailer, but be warned it is R rated (I think that means 18+ here in the UK) and pretty scary.
What is your Friday Find?
Friday Finds is a blog meme hosted by Mizb17 at Should be Reading.