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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  6,777 ratings  ·  720 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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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,777 ratings  ·  720 reviews

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Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Just finished Människorhamn by John Ajvide Lindqvist and this was the very first book I've read by the author, and I really, really like this book. I both listened to the audio version (read by the author himself) and read the book, sitting outside in the sun (far away from water). This is a perfect book for those that love reading books with a paranormal angle. ...more
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes the smiths & scary stories.
Recommended to Alekz by: a friend
Probably one of the best books I've ever read. A. Lindqvist writes horror stories in a weirdly realistic way. Even though you know it couldn't be true, he puts his monsters and unreal creatures in a real environment and makes you feel like it actually could be this way in our world. The feelings for family and nature are strong and you will easily sink into the story of the main characters. READ THIS BOOK! ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
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
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, horror, mystery
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
Oct 07, 2012 rated it did not like it

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.


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
Ian Laird
Very minor grammatical edits, 9 February 2021.

This otherwise quite interesting story came unstuck when one character gets a slug which he puts in a match box.

This is soon after we learn that Anders has lost his six year old daughter, Maja, vanished in the snow.

Here I need to introduce the spoiler early, just in case anyone wants to read John Ajvide Lindqvists’s Harbour. (view spoiler)
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel isn’t really a horror novel, to me. It was rather tense a couple times, but I wouldn’t classify it as horror. I’m not sure what I’d say it’s genre is, but it was good...!
This novel varied from incredibly interesting history and knowledge of Sweden and the towns mentioned, to utter weirdness. GOOD weirdness! Usually it takes me two days to listen to an audiobook, or maybe three if I don’t have much time. But with this novel I kept rewinding parts to listen to again. The narrator isn’t
Ian Connel
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
E.  Nygma
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Rich Stoehr
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-vine
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
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Supernatural, small town horror. I loved it!
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
Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good scary story and I liked the characters of Anne Marie, Simon and Anders, but I felt it was too drawn out
3.5 The writing is a 5/5, however the length and pace bring the rating down a bit. Still, very good!
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
John Ajvide Lindqvist is known as a Swedish writer of horror novels, before becoming a published writer he was a magician and stand-up comedian. So, naturally my thinking was that his novel would incorporate fun and funny elements but that’s not to be, you won’t find magical fun or humour in this novel, although the blurb does state ‘a cocktail of suspense and bizarre humour,’ haha, I can agree with that, bizarre alright.

I rarely read horror but as this was my international male author challeng
Valentina Vekovishcheva
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
A really atmospheric book in which the setting is far better constructed than the plot. Highly enjoyable, but the ending is somewhat strained
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, translated
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 sty ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
[Name Redacted]
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Lauren Stoolfire
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, horror
Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist is an intriguing horror mystery that will pull you in right from the opening. I wouldn't quite call it flat out scary, more unsettling and atmospheric than anything for me. Honestly, I'm not sure if any novel from this author will ever top my love of Let the Right One In as it set the bar so incredibly high. Oddly enough, I had the movie The Lighthouse (2019) in the back of my mind while reading this as I had watched the movie earlier this month. So, yeah, it was ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, urban-fantasy
What a difficult book to describe or categorize! The story revolves around an island community in Sweden and while largely set in 2004 or so, there are large 'flashbacks' to decades and sometimes centuries earlier. Anders, our main protagonist, lives on the island with is wife and only child; one sunny winter day, they take a hike/ski to a lighthouse in the harbor for a picnic lunch. All is well until the child wanders off and never returns. A few years later, Anders returns to the island with a ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. Swedish literary horror novel about a dark force affecting a remote island community. The story develops slowly, with lots of character development and island history. (I found all of that interesting, so it didn't slow down the story that much for me.) Supernatural elements are slowly introduced as the plot progresses, leading to a more action-filled second half.

I think you have to be in the right mood for this book. If you're looking for a fast-paced horror story with
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not "Read" but more of "Did not finish". Was not having fun with this one. Jumping in time thing is annoying and the story did not grab my attention much. More power to you if you enjoy it or end up calling it "great". ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
This novel was an epic. Definitely in volume, but also in scope, it covered (in great detail) the lives of generations of residents of a small island off the coast of Sweden. It was very easy at first to become engrossed with their lives, the author does some very good descriptive writing and he really spends a lot of time fleshing out his characters. The horror aspect in this book is less traditional...first it was his take on vampires, then on zombies, but in this story the antagonist is the s ...more
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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.

His Let the Right One In was a bestseller in Sweden and was named Best Novel in Trans

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