Let the Old Dreams Die

'Let The Right One’ in is probably one of my favorite books of the last decade. So when I found out that the author was finally going to reveal the fate of Eli and Oskar I had to get my hands on Let the Old Dreams Die as soon as possible. Unfortunately, more time was spent crafting an ending for Handling the Undead,’ than to ‘Let the Right One In,’ but both are still entertaining in their own way. If you are unfamiliar with John Ajvide Lindqvist style of horror it is spare and dark, but never boring or cliché. I will say a few of them are effectively chilling (Border, Majken, Equinox and Paper Walls) the others just seem like filler (Substitute, Can’t See It! It doesn’t exist!); the latter stories could have easily been removed without disturbing the flow of the other stories within the collection.

As to Eli and Oskar’s fate, I am not sure how I feel about it. It is briefly addressed in a short story that shares the same title as the book. While I actually loved the story that they are supporting characters in, I was simultaneously disappointed and pleased with the resolution to their story. For some who are looking for it, it does not give a finite happy ending for them, which may be part of why I was not too happy with the ending. But, I also like that it is so open ended; I am free to imagine that they are quietly roaming Europe enjoying each other's time.

I was also pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Paper Walls. It starts off in such an innocent fashion about a little boy, a box and a night in the woods. You could almost wonder why this story was placed into the collection as it just seems so familiar and “cute”, but this story is so much more sinister than many other of the stories in the book. This is one of those stories where words really matter, how one change of verb tense can change the meaning of the story when you re-read the story. This story and Majken are closer to reality than most of the other stories in the collection, which make them so much creepier and well done.

While I was disappointed in certain stories in the collection, overall, it is another excellent effort by Lindquist. I highly recommend this book to horror fans, or just someone looking for something new to read.

Book Blurb for Let the Old Dreams Die

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.

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2014 4.00