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Harbor

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  3,799 ratings  ·  507 reviews
From the author of the international and New York Times bestseller Let the Right One In (Let Me In) comes this stunning and terrifying book which begins when a man's six-year-old daughter vanishes. One ordinary winter afternoon on a snowy island, Anders and Cecilia take their six-year-old daughter Maja across the ice to visit the lighthouse in the middle of the frozen chan ...more
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2008)
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The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingSalem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
209th out of 1,278 books — 3,983 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg LarssonThe Snowman by Jo NesbøThe Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
Scandinavian/Nordic Mysteries
102nd out of 215 books — 477 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marvin
Harbour is a very impressive novel but ultimately failed to hook up to my emotions. It starts out beautifully. A child disappears on the frozen harbor during the winter. The father returns to the island and the harbor after two years. He is divorced and driven to alcohol. It is not really clear why he returns but it soon turns into not only a search for his child but also an investigation into the small community that lives on the island. The author contructs his tale by moving from present to p ...more
Gabriel
Umm ... wow.

In many ways, this feels like a conclusion to a trilogy rather than a standalone book. A trilogy that folds back in on itself and maybe, that's where the true horror lies. No, you don't have to read his previous two books (The famous Let the Right One In and generally misunderstood Handling The Undead) to enjoy Harbor. In many ways,for people looking for a book to start with, this is the one that should be the first John Lindqvist. I only wish I read it sooner ... but, like so many o
...more
Kelly Nasdeo
A real thriller. I disagree with the tag of "horror" genre, I think it will turn some people off from reading this book. Lindqvist has a way of taking a story and drawing you into it immediately. You can smell the smells, feel the textures, hear the sounds, you know the people he writes about as if you've known them forever.

Harbor is about several different people whose lives are intertwined on a small archipelago outside of Stockholm. A little girl vanishes right in front of her parents eyes, a
...more
Daniel Parsons
John Ajvide Lindqvist's third book, after Let The Right One In and Handling The Undead, is also his third masterpiece. An epic sprawling many fascinating characters and spanning several decades on an (fictitious) island in Scandinavia, it tells of a malevolent force that seems to be taking people who disappear without trace and for seemingly no purpose.. to begin with. The scope of ideas here is what truly sets this book, as with Lindqvist's other works, apart from an often unfairly marginalised ...more
Rich Stoehr
John Ajvide Lindqvist is an author who always seems to have a new trick up his sleeve, and Harbor is his best trick yet.

He pumped fresh blood into the vampire story with Let the Right One In, he gave new life to the zombie in Handling the Undead. With Harbor, he seemingly does the impossible, blending the characters and natural human conflicts of a good Stephen King novel with the sprawling menace of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft.

Harbor is the story of a distant fishing community, almost ruined
...more
N W James
Bahf.

Quick summary: Man investigates his daughter's abduction from a small Swedish town with one huge disappointing secret.

I'm not much for horror novels, but even I thought this book wasn't scary. The plot floated on the surface of the water. It was as interesting as watching someone fish for hours.

SPOILERS AHOY AHOY

If you like books where the main character mopes a lot (Catcher In the Rye, Snow, anything by Jonathan Tropper) then pick this book up right away! The main character calls his ex-w
...more
Barbara
This is a popular horror novel from Sweden. The story is compelling and well constructed. I am not a fan of this genre but this is a better example. Domaro is an island in a Swedish archipelago with a secret. People disappear and residents don't talk about these disappearances. Ander's small daughter becomes one of the disappeared and he leaves the island. Two years later he returns determine to get to the bottom of the mystery of her disappearance. Early on there is a sense of foreboding and te ...more
Cheryl Kennedy
A human drama of loss and grief, John Ajvide Lindqvist's HARBOR isolates his characters on a remote island, surrounded by a threatening sea, sheltering citizens with long histories of horrific secrets.

Crossing the foot deep ice, Anders and Cecilia take their six year old daughter Maja to the lighthouse on Domaro archipelago. When Maja disappears with no trace of her footsteps in the snow, a two year nightmare begins for her parents. The grief of loosing their only child darkens their relationshi
...more
Neil McCrea
Two things I often hear repeated about Lindqvist are that he's "Sweden's Stephen King" and that although his novels may make for excellent reading they're not scary. Regarding the first claim, I always felt that this was a combination of reviewer laziness and marketing wishful thinking . . . until Harbor. Harbor is very, very much in the style of King. A small town with secrets, a sizable supporting cast from every social strata, a seamless integration of pop culture references, and a strong sen ...more
Helen
2.5 stars
Anders, a man almost ruined following the disappearance of his young daughter, returns to the lighthouse where she wandered away across the ice, seemingly lost forever.
However, this is only the beginning of an epic, disjointed journey, not only his, but also the other residents of the island.
Weird, dream-like and with some really peculiar surrealism thrown in, I was often confused about where this tale was going, what was 'real' and what wasn't, but the mystery of the island held my att
...more
James
It's a very different novel than Let the Right One In . Not just because it's a different subject and pace, it almost feels like it was written by a different author. Of course it is the same author, but it is a new translator. I had assumed that a translator just took the original text and translated it. Word x becomes y etc. Maybe move them about a bit to correct the grammar, but that was it. Turns out I may have underestimated that role pretty seriously unless Lindqvist is changing his style ...more
Leanne
I enjoyed reading Harbour, but I found the storyline to be weaker than his previous books - Let the Right One In and Handling the Undead. I think it lost its way towards the end and left too many unanswered questions.

It had its moments of suspense and a foreboding, yet it is not a horror story. It won't make you fear the sea, but it will make you see it differently. I found the book to be more of a character study, on what can happen to a person when they lose someone close to them - the self de
...more
Ian Connel
With 89 pages to go, I had to give it up. "Harbor" drifts around like an untied boat. I would guess the editors assumed Lindqvist was infallible from his previous successes so they checked a little grammar and approved the whole book.

The protagonist is a sad and pathetic drunk. His grandmother and her boyfriend were more interesting, but mysteriously they seemed unconcerned when the protagonist told them some of his serious problems. These problems should have been at the center of the story's c
...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Dark tale of the deep Northern sea, its secrets older than a lifetime and love that will always find a way, with a touch of Cthulhu-element.
Mieneke
Harbor was an intriguing novel. When I started it, I was a little apprehensive, as I was afraid I would be too scared – remember, I'm a wimp when it comes to reading horror – but while thrilling and frightening, it didn't give me nightmares. Instead its horror started with a creeping feeling of unease, of something off and, slowly, the true threat only becomes fully clear towards the end. I found myself eager to return to its pages each night and read until I had to turn off the light due to my ...more
Karen
I say I'm not much of a fan of paranormal books, but as with all of my absolute declarations on reading matters, there is an author out there who is destined to blow my prejudices out of the water. John Ajvide Lindqvist is one of those authors. Since the first of his books LET THE RIGHT ONE IN became an all-time favourite of mine, I've looked forward to each new release. HARBOUR, released last year, is a book I've been champing at the bit to read, but it should come with a warning - once picked ...more
Kara
Unfortunately, I am unable to write a full review of John Ajvide Lindqvist's Harbor due to other pressing writing commitments at this particular time, but I feel I should clarify my 5 star rating in this case since I do give top marks to a fair proportion of books I've rated here.

Quite simply, this is easily one of the best horror novels I've ever come across in over 20 years of reading and loving this genre. Eerily, I just read one of the only other authors I've ever come across who can produc
...more
Brandon
This book is set on a creepy little island in a Swedish archipelago. The folks who live there are interesting and well-rendered and a little weird. There is a big secret here, something awful, and the drunk, grieving protagonist has to uncover that secret. But of course, nobody wants him to.

I love so much about this novel. The characters are all fantastic, particularly the elderly magician, Simon. The setting is unique and the author takes time to fully explore it. He tells all manner of stories
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[Name Redacted]
Deeper and richer (and longer) than Lindqvist's previous works, and in many ways better. The twists and explanations were all entirely unexpected, Lindqvist continues to be the only author I know who includes sex without trying to be prurient or salacious, and there was a great The Shadow Over Innsmouth meets "The Fog" feel to the whole thing -- and notice that I said "feel". That's not the plot, just the feeling I picked up from it. He even adds a brave contrast to his usual pro-Morrissey stanc ...more
Dayna Ingram
Slow to get going, with a distracting use of a meta-fictiony narrative device of which I was not overly fond, but the second Elin starts sleepwalking, I'm hooked. A handful of genuinely chilling moments occur, which is more than I can say for a lot of popular horror novels, and the ending is very cinematic, if slightly underwhelming. I don't think I've ever read a haunted island story before, and I have a feeling this is probably top of its class.
James Everington
Maybe over long and slightly rambling at the start, this is nevertheless another strong supernatural novel from Lindqvist. An interesting idea, combing a very personal ghost story with a wider canvas depiction of a larger community (like King's Castle Rock etc.) At least one quiet twist that left me breathless... Another oddity was the ending, which seemed to leave unexplored some of the moral ambiguity of a key character's decisions.
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heidi Ward
As far as I can tell, Lindqvist's work just keeps stronger, and Harbor is his best novel yet. More psychologically subtle than Let the Right One In, and more exciting than Handling the Undead, this tale of a father's grief, his family's fascinating secret history, and a tiny island's ancient hunger is long, but never feels that way. It's also spooky without being grotesque, moving without being cloying, and chock full of that cosmic dread I like so very much. I had a very hard time putting it do ...more
Bronwyn Hegarty
A strange strange book and strangely enticing. Part horror, part paranormal the story of a six year old girl, Maja who disappears off the ice when with her parents visiting a lighthouse on an island near her home. The main part of the story is about her father Anders who has returned to their home, the Shack, on the island in Sweden. He is drinking heavily and is a mess. He has split up with Maja's mother who lives elsewhere. The story is also about Simon and his illusionist skills.

The story ju
...more
Annmarie
Supernatural maritime thriller/horror (in the scary, not gory sense) novel set on a small island in Sweden. It got extra points from me because I like stories set in Sweden, but it really was creepy and good. The "Swedish Stephen King", I've read; I agree, but this novel was more mythical in theme than King's. The author also wrote Let the Right One In, which was made into a movie - I haven't watched or read it but I gather it has a vampire theme.

Harbor is set on a small village in Sweden in mo
...more
Shannon
Wow. I'm not really sure what to say. I try to make my reviews as helpful to other potential readers as possible but all I can say is W-O-W. I really loved this book.

I'm a fan of horror, but I don't just like any horror novel. Lindqvist's novel before this one - Rasing the Undead - I didn't enjoy. It just wasn't up to par with his debut "Let the Riht One In", otherwise known in English as "Let Me In". The thing about Lindqvist is that he takes something classic like a vampire or a missing child
...more
Paula
I am a fan of John Ajvide Lindqvist and 'Harbour' definitely met up to my expectations, you are engrossed from the first page, the story of Anders and his family and the history of Domaro is interesting and well written, it was not difficult to imagine the sights and sounds of Domaro and the ominous feeling of dread which clouds over the isolated town and the residents , who all share the same fear and have come to accept it and as the story progresses Anders begins to see what is wrong with Dom ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Ruotsalaisen John Ajvide Lindqvistin "Ystävät hämärän jälkeen" on eräs parhaista koskaan lukemistani kauhuromaaneista, ja niinpä odotukset olivat korkealla kun sain viimein käsiini kirjailijan toisen suomennetun romaanin "Ihmissatama" (Gummerus, 2009).

"Ihmissatama" on kertomus keski-ikäisestä, lievästi alkoholisoituneesta Andersista, joka palaa lapsuutensa maisemiin Domarön saarelle, jonka lähettyvillä hänen kuusivuotias tyttärensä on joitakin vuosia sitten kadonnut mystisellä tavalla, kirjaime
...more
Riff
Following 'Let the Right One In' and 'Handling the Undead' John Ajvide Lindqvist continues to produce his sophisticated takes on horror staples with 'Harbor'. The story follows Anders, who at the beginning of the novel is a young father living an idyllic life with his wife and their daughter, Maja. When Maja disappears in very mysterious circumstances on the strange island of Domarö, where Anders himself grew up, his life and his marriage falls to pieces. Several years later, haunted by his own ...more
Valentina
This just might be one of my favorite reads this year. I was lucky to receive the ARC for Harbor from the publisher and I can tell you, this is one that I’ll be recommending to a lot of people.
What is incredible in this book is the atmosphere the author creates, the almost mythic quality to the story, which adds layers and layers of knowledge as the chapters take us deeper into the history of Domaro. This is no normal horror novel, it is so smartly done that it begins to get under your skin from
...more
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Horror book, please help 4 11 Mar 31, 2015 01:23PM  
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John Ajvide Lindqvist (John Erik Ajvide Lindqvist) is a Swedish author who grew up in Blackeberg, the setting for Let the Right One In. Wanting to become something awful and fantastic, he first became a conjurer, and then was a stand-up comedian for twelve years. He has also written for Swedish television.

Let the Right One In was a bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Translation 2005
...more
More about John Ajvide Lindqvist...
Let the Right One In Handling the Undead Little Star Let the Old Dreams Die Pappersväggar

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“Who can really say how decisions are made, how emotions change, how ideas arise? We talk about inspiration; about a bolt of lightnng from a clear sky, but perhaps everything is just as simple and just as infinitely complex as the processes that make a particular leaf fall at a particularmoment. That point has been reached, that's all. It has to happen, and it does happen.” 19 likes
“This wasn't the way he had expected his life to be. It worked, but that was about all. Happiness had got lost somewhere along the way.” 11 likes
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