Authors: John Ajvide Lindqvist
‘Fabulously creepy.’ Jennifer Byrne,
‘Lindqvist balances horror with credibly drawn feeling—the characters here are also a vulnerable bunch—and of course the setting helps enormously: they make a vivid picture, blood and snow.’
‘Conjures a setting that chills the blood. Yet
is also a love story—several different types of love, each moving in its own way. Intelligent writing, poetic imagery, a deft turn of phrase, this is no slice and dice shocker (except for the chainsaw duel).’
‘Effectively mixes the societal tensions found in Scandinavian crime with the supernatural horror of Stephen King.’
‘Suspense, humour and an enormous climax.’
‘A magician of genre fiction…Lindqvist again trips along that thin high wire between supernatural devices and psychological verités…Between monsters outside and demons within, Lindqvist covers the haunted waterfront.’
HANDLING THE UNDEAD
‘Horror fans will rejoice…A macabre and strangely affecting tale, at once compassionate, witty and deliciously gruesome.’
‘I would have said his strengths were more cinematic than literary—until I read this. Haunting.’
Weekend Herald NZ
‘Unsettling and shocking.’
‘In the end it is its compassion, not just for the dead but for the wounded living, that lends Lindqvist’s haunting postmodern fairytale its power.’ James Bradley,
‘Horror is the genre du jour and…Lindqvist is one of the best practitioners around.’
‘So clever that perhaps it could be the one horror novel not to be missed this year…Lindqvist isn’t afraid to touch nerves and violate taboos.’
‘You’ll be leaving the bedside light on after reading this.’
‘Unerringly explores the nature of family relationships, how to cope with loss and literally the nature of life and death.’
‘Lindqvist’s dark star continues to rise with
Handling the Undead,
a subversion of the zombie genre whose strange glow is proving similarly mesmeric.’
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
‘A genuinely gripping read. If you read only one gore-filled, vampire love story complete with rich, dark humour and strong cinematic possibilities this year, make sure it’s
Let the Right One In.’ Age
‘Brilliant and unexpected…not simply shock and gore, but an offbeat exploration of fear and the meaning of violence.’
‘Like all good vampire books, you want to gulp it down in one go.’
‘Reminiscent of Stephen King at his best.’
Independent on Sunday
‘A terrifying supernatural story yet also a moving account of friendship and salvation.’
‘An unsettling and durable horror tale from the mind of a dangerously imaginative man.’
‘A surprising and sometimes delightful reading experience…
Lindqvist manages to maintain a light touch in an otherwise bleak landscape.’
‘This was a bestseller in Sweden and could be equally big here. Don’t miss it.’
‘An energetic, noisy, highly imaginative novel that blends the most extreme kind of vampirish schlock-horror with a complicated love story, a profoundly gory sequence of murders and some rather good domestic realism about life in 1980s Stockholm.’
Sydney Morning Herald
‘A compelling horror story, but it’s also a finely calibrated tale about the pain of growing up.’
‘Lindqvist has reinvented the vampire novel and made it all the more chilling…Immensely readable and highly disturbing.’
Let the Right One in
Handling the Undead
JOHN AJVIDE LINDQVIST lives in Sweden and has worked as a conjurer and stand-up comedian. His first novel,
Let the Right One In,
was published in eleven countries and adapted into two feature films: one by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson, and an English-language version,
Let Me In.
MARLAINE DELARGY is based in the UK. She has translated novels by Swedish writers including Åsa Larsson, Ninni Holmqvist and Johan Theorin—with whom she won the CWA International Dagger 2010 for
The Darkest Room.
TRANSLATED FROM THE SWEDISH
BY MARLAINE DELARGY
The Text Publishing Company
22 William St
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Copyright © John Ajvide Lindqvist 2010
Translation copyright © Marlaine Delargy 2011
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright above, no part of this publication shall be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
First published in Sweden as
by Ordfront, 2010 First published in English by The Text Publishing Company, 2011
Cover design by WH Chong
Page design by Susan Miller
Typeset in Stempel Garamond 11.25/15.75 by J & M Typesetting
Printed in Australia by Griffin Press, an Accredited ISO AS/
NZS 14001:2004 Environmental Management System printer
Ebook ISBN: 9781921834790
National Library of Australia
Author: Lindqvist, John Ajvide.
Title: Little star / John Ajvide Lindqvist.
ISBN: 9781921758577 (pbk.)
Dewey Number: 839.738
Everyone is actually called something else
Solliden, Skansen. June 26, 2007. Ten minutes to eight. The presenter is warming up the audience with a sing-along version of ‘I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again’. When the song ends a technician asks if all parents could please lift their children down off their shoulders so they won’t be hit by the camera cranes.
The sun is directly behind the stage, dazzling the audience. The sky is deep blue. The young people crowding the barriers are asked to move back slightly to avoid a crush. Sweden’s biggest music show will be on air in five minutes, and no one must be allowed to come to harm.
There must be these oases of pleasure, where everyday cares are set aside for a while. Nothing bad can happen here, and every possible security measure has been taken to keep this place of enjoyment safe.
Screams of pain, of terror, are unthinkable; there must not be blood on the ground or covering the seats when the broadcast is over. There must not be a corpse lying on the stage, with many more on the ground below. Chaos cannot be permitted here. There are too many people. The atmosphere must be calm and pleasant.