Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on LITTLE STAR by John Ajvide Lindqvist

John Ajvide Lindqvist is a master in the art of sympathy. And he does it with such mechanical precision and lack of sentimentality that the reader doesn't even know it’s happening. He builds characters who one feels they can understand even if they could never relate to them. What they do, how they feel, becomes somehow understandable even in the midst of it being entirely unacceptable. It's reminiscent of what Mary Shelley did in Frankenstein. If society plays a part in the creation of the monster mentality, then isn't society at least partially to blame for the actions of that monster? And yet the monster has allowed itself to act out these things that were never the only route to choose. Where does the blame lie? Or does it shift to a point where no one and everyone is to blame?

So whether or not the writing is more graphic than I would normally choose (and I say that as someone more adverse to sexual graphics than horrific graphics) I have to applaud his story crafting ability. The dude rocks moral and societal questions like nobody I know. A slight disclaimer though... Little Star is not for the faint of heart. If that scene in Misery, you know, the one with the hammer and the feet, right that one, if that nearly made you ill, then this might not be the story for you. Picture that, only about 10X more frequent, graphic, and painful. This is a disturbing read with very little warm and fuzzy to be found. It's society, depraved, destructive, and totally possible at every turn.

There is one thing, at the end of all the carnage that did make me chuckle though. And that was... 'With special thanks to ABBA, for inspiration.'
Now, there's a man who listened to a greatest hits CD on repeat through a wall one sleepless night and never recovered from it. (See prior post here.) Lindqvist, you are a very interesting writing specimen. Funny guy, for someone whose mind thinks up what yours does.

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