Title: Let the Old Dreams Die
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Date(s) read: September 16 – , 2013
Genre: Short Stories, Horror
Source: Publisher (ARC)
A classic short story collection from the writer called Sweden’s Stephen King that continues the breathtaking story begun in the internationally acclaimed classic Let the Right One In.
Because of the two superb films made of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s vampire masterpiece Let the Right One In, millions of people around the world know the story of Oskar and Eli and of their final escape from Blackeberg at the end of the novel. Now at last, in “Let the Old Dreams Die,” the title story in this absolutely stunning collection, we get a glimpse of what happened next to the pair. Fans of Let the Right One In will have to read the story, which is destined to generate much word of mouth both among fans and online.
“Let the Old Dreams Die” is not the only stunner in this collection. In “Final Processing,” Lindqvist also reveals the next chapter in the lives of the characters he created in Handling the Undead. “Equinox” is a story of a woman who takes care of her neighbor’s house while they are away and readers will never forget what she finds in the house. Every story meets the very high standard of excellence and fright factor that Lindqvist fans have come to expect. Totally transcending genre writing, these are world class stories from possibly the most impressive horror writer writing today.
Thank you to Raincoast Books for an ARC of this book for review!
I don’t know what it is, but I LOVE horror novels. I love the feeling of being creeped out or scared just by reading words. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of the masters of horror are the foreign writers. I’ve read a handful of John Lindqvist’s books and think they’re all perfectly creepy. This one was great because it was short stories — horror in small doses? Yes please.
The funny thing about this book is how weird it is. I mean, I’d be reading a story thinking it was totally normal and then it would get stranger and stranger — some of the strangeness made my skin crawl, other strangeness had me furrowing my brow as I read, and there was the odd strangeness that I just didn’t understand.
One thing I liked was how there was the odd character used, or referred to, in multiple stories — even characters that appeared in Lindqvist’s full-length books. It’s a little hard to get into the character’s names at time since they have Swedish names, not normal North American names, but that only happened here and there. We even get to visit OLD characters, like the main character in Let the Right One In, something that really excited me about reading this book.
I do have to mention that I skipped one of the stories, but only because it was the sequel to Handling the Undead — the only Lindqvist novel I haven’t read. I didn’t want to spoil it for myself, since I do plan to read that story! I did read the sequel to Let the Right One In and was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t how I thought it would be. We get glimpses of the main characters from the story but I thought it would be more of a first-hand account.
There was also one story I didn’t really like … though, maybe I didn’t totally get it. I’d mention the name, but I would rather readers make up their own minds about it without my assistance. The funny thing was that when I was reading the afterward at the end of the book, Lindqvist mentions that this particular story is probably only liked by him and readers tend to not like it. I had to laugh at that.
These stories are quirky, spooky, and will make your skin crawl. My favourite stories in the collection include The Border and Equinox. My only word of advice? Go in with an open mind. Lindqvist knows how to dole out the creepy, but he definitely works in plenty of quirkiness alongside of it.