First lines: Let the Right One In

Earlier this year, I was browsing through the site of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, when the trailer for the Swedish movie Let the Right One In (based on the book Låt Den Rätte Komma In van John Ajvide Lindqvist) caught my attention. Usually, I’m not at all interested in horror movies, but the story about a boy befriending a teenage vampire clicked with me. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t seem to hit the cinema’s in The Netherlands until early next year. So, I ordered the book.

The English translation by Ebba Segerberg, to be precise. And while the story is great, there were some passages where I had my doubts about the translation. For example, take the sentence And the floor was — he saw now on looking for it — covered in blood. It sounds awkward to me. And while I’m most definitely not an expert, one of my few core rules about languages is that if it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t right. I think I would have translated it along the lines of Now that he was looking for it, he saw the floor was covered in blood. While it detracts from the book, I think that, overall, it is good enough to overcome this.

Let the Right One In shows a more sensitive, and perhaps human, side of vampires. And not in a sappy, melodramatic Interview with the Vampire kind of way, either. If vampires are your poison, this might be a refreshing dose.

Book Read
John Ajvide Lindqvist — Let the Right One In (Låt Den Rätte Komma In, translated by Ebba Segerberg)
First Line
It makes you think of coconut-frosted cookies, maybe drugs.