-RADWIMPS' NEW ALBUM IS SO GOOD?
This surprised me, actually -
I was excited, but loving nearly every track off one of their albums is a definite first for me.
-MODERN TIMES REPACKAGE ON 20 DEC ASDLJFWL
Trying to get back into the reading habit.
Attempt #1 was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,
which was... a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. D:
Occasional moments of promise (beautifully-expressed thoughts, an interesting - if caricatured - main character)
but ugh so painfully pretentious,
especially that whole subplot about mute grandpa
and that useless scene about the bombings and the escaped zoo animals
(which I remember for all the wrong reasons).
Very Miss-Miss-lookie-I-can-write! tryhard.
Attempt #2: So I decided to borrow the first book that caught my eye, commercial or otherwise,
and ended up with Let The Right One In (I know, something like 4-5 years late).
About a third of the way through now and it's difficult going (the ugliness is kind of suffocating)
but it is bald and chilling and just all-round fab.
Then I gave up the indiscriminate gig and borrowed an Auster book. :3
Finished Let The Right One In.
Getting the brickbats out of the way:
1) It sort of ran out of speed in the last third.
Something to do with the multiple parallel storylines and brief lapses into floridity, I think.
2) Appreciated the devotion to detail, but the vampire mythology was a tad too neat/complete
(by the end I pm know exactly how vampires are made, why stakes kill,
what bloodlust feels like(!) and why it's so difficult to resist, etc etc).
Leave something to the imagination pls :(
But I loved it.
Actually remarked out loud at one point that this felt like the future of modern horror lit?
I adore that the vampire menace was merely a vehicle to explore the monsters humans carry in us.
Our brutality, our fear, our pride, those shameful urges we hide from the public eye;
our thirst (no pun intended) for life even at the expense of others
(you even get Virginia as a symbol of the choices Eli could have made but didn't,
just in case you didn't catch it the first time round).
Oskar's eventual isolation and departure is - more than a product of his relationship with Eli -
the culmination of bullying, bystander effects, permissive parenting...
and, perhaps, a simple lack of understanding.
It's a feat that this is where most of the bleakness in the novel lies,
not in cheap supernatural/gore tricks (though this was nicely done too, lol).
Also: ambiguous, sympathetic characters and relationships,
pretty good use of multiple POVs to tell a story non-repetitively (though that pesky lack of gaps again),
the matter-of-fact handling of pricklier subjects (homosexuality, gender, paedophilia),
nicely crisp style.