A Tale of Two Novels

I finished reading two books recently – Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, which I started reading in the beginning of August, and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, which I finished roughly two weeks after I had started reading it.

Both novels are very different in genre and style, but both good and interesting in their own rights.

It’s very difficult for me to write a review/analysis of a huge classic like Les Miserables, as I know I won’t do justice to it.  Suffice it to say that it is an immensely complex novel which reflects a whole spectrum of human emotions and experiences, such as misery, suffering, sacrifice, but it also tells of love in all its different forms, compassion, hope, gratitude, shame, pride and honor. 

I was surprised that despite the novel’s length, topic, complexity and language, it was a fast-paced, fascinating read.  The constant action and turn of events will keep readers enthralled, despite the infrequent direct dialogues among characters in the novel, and readers’ hearts will go out to the characters in their victories and struggles.  

Les Miserables should be on everyone’s “must read” list – it may take some people longer than others to come around and read it, but no one should go through life without reading it.

The faster read of the two novels was Let the Right One In by Swedish author, John Ajvide Lindqvist.  The novel, originally in Swedish, was made into a movie, also in Swedish in 2008, and was re-made into an English movie entitled Let Me In, released October, 2010.

Let the Right One In is a story of friendship between a young boy, bullied by his classmates, and his enigmatic neighbor, who strongly exhibit vampire-like qualities.  Let the Right One In presents readers with a unique take on old well-known vampire lores. 

The Swedish movie version of the novel was very similar to the novel, though some events and characters from the novel were cut from the movie, probably due to time constraints. 

In today’s popular culture where vampires are usually associated with emo, sparkly teenage, romance, Let the Right One In provides a different kind of story for those who, despite Edward Cullen, are still interested in good old fashioned horror stories about vampires. 

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