Published by Quercus on August 2nd 2007
Genres: Adult, Horror
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It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.
But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night...
Imagine for a moment that you were at an event, like the 1995 Rugby World cup where South Africa both hosted and won. Imagine being there in the heat of that moment – the cheer and ebulation. That light, almost unreal sense that the world has faded away and there is only that moment. Nothing else is important and you want to quietly capture the complete bliss you are experiencing and put it in a bottle somewhere. Hopefully at some future date you can take it out and rekindle those emotions and bask in that one, perfect moment again.
Then imagine that you are standing outside of a train station. A train has just crashed in front of you. Pleople are screaming, and the stench of smoking meat is tickling your nose as your eyes sting and water. There’s that same feeling. That feeling of, “Is this really happening?” Light. Dizzy. Disbelief. Overwhelming to the point of nausea. You can’t forget that moment. It will haunt you. Every time you catch a wiff of smoke those memories will come flooding back, whether you want them to or not.
Same feelings, at their most basic level, but entirely different in their mode. In the first situation you jump and holler. You’ll hug those around you, even if you don’t know them, and celebrate together. Knitted into temporary friendship because you’re experiencing the same, awesome event. For weeks later you’ll tell anybody who listens that you were there. You’ll tell them about how incredible it was and try to impart on them some semblance of what you felt.
Cut back to the second scenario where you’ll stand quietly in solidarity with those around you. Once again, knitted together. Brothers and sisters formed from tragedy. You may hold each other and gather around silently. When other people ask you about it, you’ll get that look in your eyes that tells them you’ve seen things.
You’re just as altered as the first scene, but where there was ebulation then, there is horror now.
This is what happens when I read certain books. Books like Stolen fit in the first category. They touch me and move me, so I run around telling everyone that I read it. It was amazing. Share in this experience with me. I want to help you feel what I felt.
Then there are books like this. Now I quietly tell you that I read it. That it touched me. Changed me. I look you in the eye and I don’t want to elaborate. I quitely turn away and think a little bit more on what I’ve seen and read, and how it made me feel.
And maybe if you’ve read this book too, you might be able to understand why there’s really nothing more for me to say.
This book….I came to this book after seeing the Swedish film based off of it. I was wowed by the book and it does give me that feeling you described. That, “I have read things that have changed me and I cannot express it to you.” feeling. A very good book that makes you think.