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Let the Right One In

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  89,784 ratings  ·  5,936 reviews
An alternate cover edition can be found here.
and here.

Twelve-year-old Oskar is an outsider; bullied at school, dreaming about his absentee father, bored with life on a dreary housing estate. One evening he meets the mysterious Eli. As a romance blossoms between them, Oskar discovers Eli's dark secret - she is a 200-year-old vampire, forever frozen in childhood, and condemn
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Paperback, 521 pages
Published January 22nd 2009 by Quercus (first published May 2004)
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Chrissy UnDisclosed I recommend watching the Swedish version of the movie. It was really good. The American one was very very watered down. Technically the book is way mo…moreI recommend watching the Swedish version of the movie. It was really good. The American one was very very watered down. Technically the book is way more brash and violent and twisted and disgusting than both movies. But I definitely think the Swedish movie is great and would actually recommend watching it whether you read the book first or not.(less)
Erica Grimm You've probably read it (or not) already but stuff from the perspective of the pedophile handler (including attempted rape) I couldn't handle and felt…moreYou've probably read it (or not) already but stuff from the perspective of the pedophile handler (including attempted rape) I couldn't handle and felt was totally unnecessary to the story. Didn't finish it. Loved the Swedish film version (the pedophilia was implied, not graphic like the book).(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  89,784 ratings  ·  5,936 reviews


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Paul Bryant
Sep 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, spooky-ookums
I finally got my revenge on Sweden. For most of my life I’ve been bombarded with newspapers and radio telling me how Sweden is so much much very much absolutely completely better than Britain at practically everything. Here’s some random quotes from the BBC news archive :

“Sweden has probably the strongest freedom of information law anywhere in the world.”

“Sweden has one of the best staffed health services in the world. But as a parent, Sweden seems the perfect place to have children.”

“BBC's Joe
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Jayson
(A) 86% | Extraordinary
Notes: Tenderness with ferocity. It's lonely, desperate people living in ashen desolation. The grey makes the red stand out.
Manny
You know that bit at the beginning of Amadeus, where Salieri has composed this very uninspired little march, which he and the Emperor play for Mozart? Then Mozart sits down at the keyboard and says, hm, that's not quite right, is it? And he messes around with it for a couple of minutes, until he's suddenly transformed it into "Here's farewell to the games with the girls" from The Marriage of Figaro.

Well, it's like that Låt den rätte komma in and Twilight. John Ajvide Lindqvist has looked at Ste
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Jason
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, reviewed, for-kindle
Yo, lesson for you, Stephenie: this is how you write a fucking vampire novel.

So you can run and tell THAT.

Antoine Dodson
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Stephen
Soiled…soiled and a bit emotionally off-kilter.

That’s the best I can do to describe how this book made me feel. It’s dark, morose and...really…really...REALLY…creepy. Not strange sounds and creaking doors creepy. Creepy like that "overly affectionate" uncle who stares at you too often and always wants a hug that lasts for an inappropriate length of time. That kind of creepy.

This book oozes it. 

The working class Swedish suburb where the story takes place feels dingy, depressing and rundown. The p
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Kemper
After watching the Swedish movie this book is based on, I thought it was an intensely creepy film and promptly got the book to check out the full story. I figured that the planned American film version would be a pale shadow of the original because there’s no way that a Hollywood movie studio is going to show that messed up tale in it’s original form to audiences in the U.S. Little did I know that even the Swedish producers didn’t have the collective nutsack to give us the full story on how godd ...more
Matthew
2.5 to 3 stars

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion. I don't think I have ever seen on statuses for books I have read before so many people professing their love for a book! But, for me it was everything from just okay at times to drawn out and boring. Sorry everyone! *ducks as things are thrown his way*

Another thing thing that I am not sure I liked or disliked, or if it even added to the story, was the excessive gore and shocking content. Let me be clear, I am all about gore and sho
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Kat Kennedy
Imagine for a moment that you were at an event, like the 1995 Rugby World cup where South Africa both hosted and won. Imagine being there in the heat of that moment - the cheer and ebulation. That light, almost unreal sense that the world has faded away and there is only that moment. Nothing else is important and you want to quietly capture the complete bliss you are experiencing and put it in a bottle somewhere. Hopefully at some future date you can take it out and rekindle those emotions and b ...more
Tatiana
As seen on The Readventurer

I can't even find the words to describe how much I LOVED this novel. But let me start by warning Twilight lovers that this book is not about sexy sparkly vampires and teenage love. If you are not ready to read about ugly realities of human life, do not open this book.

It is not an easy book to read. The story is complex and involves many characters, whose presence sometimes is just momentary. The action moves from one character to another very quickly. But once you und
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Fabian
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An unlikely FLAT-OUT MASTERPIECE that contains the most visceral type of horror fiction elements. He expertly expands them toward a precipice of dread. A one-of-a-kind experience, a delicious sassy slap to the moribund reader.

To be read AT ONCE. Do it! NOW! Nothing comes as close as this one to a true modern EXPERIENCE (that feels simultaneously as old as time itself). Take the title of this work literally. Find the time to seek this one out--nothing American comes even close to its gorgeous mon
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Melissa
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dear Stephenie,

This is how you write a "vampire" book.

Sincerely,

The World
F
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, sweden, seen-movie
Loved it.
Scary as hell and so violent.
Loved both films
Kristen
Terrifying, engrossing and a book that encompasses many different topics. Not just a story about vampires; this book takes on such issues as bullying, revenge, pedophilia, prostitution, drug use, alcoholism and the sheer desperation of loneliness. Beautifully written and terribly disturbing. This book sets the bar for the genre.
Edward Lorn
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The character writing is phenomenal. The story is brutal and unsettling and, at times, eerie. It is not only one of the best vampire novels I've read, but one of the best horror novels I've ever come across. Deserves to be shelved with the greats.

Håkan and Eli's reunion is now one of my top five most disturbing scenes in literature. It will be a long time before I get that vile shit out of my head, if I ever do.

In summation: This review is short because I have nothing bad to say about Let the R
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Bradley
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-shelf, horror
Wow. I know this is one of those sensational books coming out of Sweden and all and there's already two movies made which I haven't seen but STILL I hadn't gotten around to reading it until now. And now? Wow.

Seriously creepy. I mean, if it wasn't for the pedophile PoV creeping the freaking hell out of me for a grand swath of the beginning, I'd still have been digging the early eighties references, the crisp and delightful prose (even if translated), and the details of life around Kiss and Rubic'
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Shovelmonkey1
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: my sister
I finished reading “Let the right one in” last night and immediately started reading a book about some nice people having a nice Catholic life in a nice part of Northern Ireland with a nice summer house and a nice family. It was all very nice. (for those of you who are wondering the nice book is The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin - it’s on the 1001 books list.)

I’ve had this nice book on my shelf for about three years and never bothered to read it till now. So, why now? I can only conclude that s
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Joe Valdez
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I listed the things that scared me most, vampires running around looking for blood wouldn't rate in my top 10. They wouldn't rate in my top 50. That said, John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In (translated and distributed in the U.S. as Let Me In) unsettled me in multiple ways. I actually started reading it in 2012, then again in 2013, before finally making it through its house of horrors. And I'm sure glad that I did.

The title is a play on the Morrissey tune "Let the Right One Slip In"
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Felicia
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Google the word atmospheric and this book should be the first result of the search. This story is a full sensory experience transporting you back to 1981 in a cold, gray suburb in Sweden. What is billed as a horror story is less horror and more heartbreak. The sheer terror of this story is brilliantly tempered with the tragic lives of two children, Oskar and Eli, who both find themselves living on the periphery of a life they desperately wish to belong.

"Why can’t I be allowed to live? Because y
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Christy
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True horror lovers, those who want a REAL vampire story--not a glittered up one
Wow!!!!!
One of my all time faves, hands down....

Best writing and characterization I've read in a long time! (Not to mention best horror book--ever.) I am in awe of Lindqvist's ability to write, it is impossible for me to enjoy a book without great writing and the translation was so spot on it did not read like one at all.

Sweden, a place I've never been, became real to me without having to put much of my imagination to work. The streets, stores, housing, woods--everything was laid out so well, as
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Johann (jobis89)
“What he was scared of was not that maybe she was a creature who survived by drinking other people's blood. No, it was that she might push him away.”

John Avjide Lindqvist feels a little bit like the Swedish Stephen King. Bodies drained of blood are showing up in a small town in Sweden. At the same time an unlikely friendship forms between a lonely schoolboy and a young girl who only comes out at night...

Let the Right One In is an incredibly dark book - there’s pedophilia, self-harm, child sexual
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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
No spoiler review.

I have had this book on my shelf for a few years and I dubbed 2018 as the year I was going to check some boxes that needed to be checked.
This book had been recommended to me countless times-in fact, *every single time* I ever mentioned that I am a huge fan of vampire lit.
So I bought this with huge anticipation and BIG expectations since everyone I respect as a horror reader has rated it 4-5 stars.
My first thoughts are on the writing. For me, this is the first time a translate
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Char
For some reason, I thought this was a YA tale. Where the hell did I get that from? I purchased it anyway, about 2 years ago, but just haven't had the chance to read it yet. Recently, I saw the audio available at my library, so I downloaded this bad boy and, wow-what fun!

There are thousands of ratings and reviews on this book, plus there's a movie, so what more can I contribute to this conversation? Not that much! I enjoyed the main characters, I enjoyed how the issues dealt with herein-bullying,
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Em Lost In Books
the first vampire books that I read were from Twilight books and after that whatever I read of them, I read in PNF genre. Needless to say these vampires were good, sexy, killing evil and saving the damsel in distress. Then three years back I read Fevre Dream, and that shattered the good image of vampires. Vampires were blood thirsty, scary, dangerous and murderers. I liked this version more than the love sick one and now I prefer this version over the PNF. So I was happy when I finished reading ...more
Tanu Gill
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book! Such a thrilling, keeping-you-hooked type of story! Thank you, Kavita, for recommending (your version of recommending anyway :-P) this book to me.

This is such a marvellous piece of writing. The words, the story, the characters... I feel soaked, coated with the amazingness of this work by the author. I feel like if I ever meet the honourable person, I would just bow down in sheer awe...

The secondary characters (and there was a spotlight on a squirrel of all things for a short time
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Graeme Rodaughan
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pretty much no one.
Shelves: vampires, horror, re-read
Like wrapping a blood-drenched knife in cotton wool, this is a five star novella wrapped in a 2 star novel. There's just way too much unnecessary fluff.

On re-read with the fine folk over at Horror Aficionados it has become clear to me that this is an extremely flawed book.

The core of the story is the relationship between Oskar and Eli, everything else is secondary to that. Unfortunately, subplots relating to Tommy, Lacke, Virginia, Jocke, and especially Hakan litter the pages with distracting st
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Tom Lewis
2.5 stars. It was well written and atmospheric, but there were too many really really really disturbing things that kept me from giving it a higher rating. I'll give two spoilers below for two of the scenes that I wish someone had warned me about.

SPOILER

A 12-year old castrated boy is strapped to a table and castrated
The same 12-year old boy (now a vampire) is raped by a grown man
Ginger
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars! The last 20% of this book brought up the rating for me. What a finish!! I couldn't quit reading at the end. Fantastic.

This was a creepy and disturbing look into having the main character of a vampire as a kid. I enjoyed this concept and it sure was unpleasant at times.
Eli, our vampire is actually 200 years old but looks 12. And this helps her out when looking for her next meal!
Her friendship aka weird parent/child relationship with Håkan was just wrong, wrong, wrong. And Håkan(view spoi
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Emma
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, vampires
This is as good as my other favourite vampire story- Fevre Dream by George R Martin. As much as I loved the vampire story, there was much more to this. It is also a story of lonely children, of bullying, of perversion. The setting adds to the sinister atmosphere. What really drew me in was the budding friendship between Eli and Oskar. This is not for the feint hearted. I haven’t seen either of the films although they are meant to be quite creepy. On finishing this I have straight away bought ano ...more
Kasia
It's bumming me out. 50 pages in and I'm giving up. I don't think I can take this much gore any longer. It's disturbing. I need at least one likable character - someone to root for, only then I can take in gore, serial murderers, pedophilia and such. Without somebody to identify with, suffering through one violent description after another is no fun. This was no fun.

And now I'm fighting this urge: I want to crawl in under the table, wrap myself up in a blanket, stuck a thumb into my mouth and r
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Gabrielle
I had been meaning to read this book for a very long time and I could never seem to get around to it, but this year, I decided to go on a horror novel spree for October; “Let the Right One In” is the first book I reached for as soon as I made that decision! I had heard plenty of things about it: that it was bleak and gross and deeply unsettling. And holy moo-cow, it is all those things… on crack!

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably aware that it’s set in a lower-middle class suburb in
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2,745 followers
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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