So what about the other stories?

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's short story collection Låt de gamla drömmarna dö
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a_contemplative_life
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by a_contemplative_life » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:20 am

moonvibe34 wrote:
Equinox

Now this one was down right creepy and disturbing, and I mean that as compliments. A fantastic horror tale that really drew me in and had me questioning what was unfolding right up til the somewhat abrupt, but satisfying end.
Funny how JAL manages to turn zombies into victims!
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by danielma » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:12 am

Just finished ETERNAL/LOVE

I cringed so terribly at the finale...the miscarriage...phewww that one was pretty intense as far as straight up horror goes...
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by a_contemplative_life » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:22 pm

danielma wrote:Just finished ETERNAL/LOVE

I cringed so terribly at the finale...the miscarriage...phewww that one was pretty intense as far as straight up horror goes...
I just finished it, too. Interesting to see JAL's fascination with death assuming physical manifestation and tying it to the sea. Good story!
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by danielma » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:04 am

a_contemplative_life wrote:
danielma wrote:Just finished ETERNAL/LOVE

I cringed so terribly at the finale...the miscarriage...phewww that one was pretty intense as far as straight up horror goes...
I just finished it, too. Interesting to see JAL's fascination with death assuming physical manifestation and tying it to the sea. Good story!
I too find that interesting...reminiscent of the Spiritus from Harbour and the White Caterpillars from Handling...

Straight up horrifying though...all around, but I liked it for those reasons.
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by lombano » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:36 pm

I liked Eternal / Love too, except the title. I liked Paper Walls. I thought the same as Nightrider about Majken. Only after the afterword did I get To hold you while the music plays, knowing that it's about crucifixionimproves it, but still. I didn't like the ending of Equinox much, but the rest was good. Can't see It! It doesn't exist! didn't really work for me, there was something missing, perhaps it's the sort of idea that, to be done properly, needs more space. I didn't like Substitute, and for me that and Vertical Village were the weakest stories. A very similar idea was done in a couple of stories by a now-forgotten sci-fi writer called Stanley G. Weinbaum, whose writing suffered all the genre's usual faults, had horrible cardboard-cutout protagonists, etc, but nevertheless had a few pretty good ideas - he had a species in Mars that operated in the same way as that in this JAL story, but took it further in at one point having a whole colony of them, creating a place that was utterly deadly as well as a vision of paradise, and also touched upon the idea of not only including fairly neutral or virtuous wishes, but also one's most depraved wishes.
So my favourites were Border and LTODD, and other good ones were Paper Walls and Eternal / Love .
I commented on The Final Processing elsewhere in the past, but basically I have several problems with it, mainly that there's no way the place wouldn't have much heavier, more effective security, that a philosophy prof would have exactly the same chance of being put in charge of such an operation as Kalle or Flora and less than the local undertaker*, that scientists don't take notes in Latin (and it is English, not Latin, that is now the international language of science, and has been for a while - at least in the Americas, and in Britain, you'd find very few scientists who would be capable of doing so even if they wanted to), etc.

*In Mexico, it would be left to a military MD, perhaps a military pathologist. In the US I imagine it would be someone from bioweapons research, or at any rate definitely someone with excellent security credentials who had experience directing biomedical research. I doubt there's any country in the world that wouldn't put someone with excellent prior security credentials and a medical or biological background (and even one in chemistry or physics sound more likely than philosophy) in charge.
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by danielma » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:12 am

Finished Paper Walls last night.

Before hand, I had seen that short film that was posted on this forum. Now having read the very short story it was based on, well it makes that short film make even less sense. I liked Lindqvist's short story, the short film based on that short story makes even less sense after reading it.
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by danielma » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:42 pm

Well what I've read so far...recap

Border - As mentioned before...very much liked this one...kept me guessing right up till the very end as to what the hell was happening.

The Village on the Hill - Got to agree with Nightrider here, I love the fact it went from being something that seemed like it was feeding on paranoia to becoming a straight up monster story...I thought this was kind of a fun little read :)

Equinox - Downright Frigging Creepy...not sure how I felt about the Abrupt ending though...I take it that when she got the Axe that she was going to finish off the job and try hacking him to pieces??? I'm also not sure about her self proclaimed "Punishment"...Was it the fact that the "Dead" man came and posed a threat towards her family in retaliation? Or was it that someone discovered the body after she was presumably done with it??? I was really enjoying the story for its creep me out factor...but I couldn't help that the ending was just abrupt and kind of fizzled out. Still, really freaking creepy and just downright horror through and through....oh and the brief mention of Domaro being nearby surprised me :D Maybe an explanation for the "Dead Man"...as in maybe he came from the sea.

Eternal/Love - Again, I really liked this one...sure it's a little heavy on the melodrama, but like Equinox, I thought it was just a real creepy, sad and downright disturbing horror story...the ending really sent a cold shiver down my spine when reading it...my best friend is currently reading the book and it's the one that I am really curious to see her reaction too (Hello Cassie, if you by chance happen to read this :), since I know you've been lurking the board)

Let the Old Dreams Die - Adore it, in every way possible...again, I connected to this in a way that still manages to surprise me about Lindqvist...I mean I already identified so heavily with Oskar, but this was two for two...the story told here really sort of reminds me of a friendship with two people I know in life...not to mention that I think its a wonderful way to conclude Eli and Oskar's story whilst leaving it open for readers to still speculate :)

Paper Walls - Nice little story about growing up

Majken - Reads very much like an early run through of Little Star...or at least an early attempt at trying to do something similar to what Little Star became...again, I really liked it though

The Final Processing - bit mixed on this to be honest...on one hand, I'm glad that it gives a further conclusion to Handling the Undead...yet after reading it, I can't help but feel that I actually liked the ending of the book a little more then I did this epilogue...I really stand by the fact that I think has a pretty involving emotional climax to it...for me, that whole book is about learning to let go of the ones you love...while I enjoyed reading The Final Processing...I just couldn't help but feel that I kind of preferred the conclusion of the actual book over the epilogue.
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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by N.R. Gasan » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:02 am

I shared my thoughts about LTODD with another Infected via e-mail back in December. And now I'd like to share same here:

*SPOILERS!*

I've finished perusing LTODD, and I figured I might share some thoughts on the stories; see if you concur.

First, when it comes to the title story and "The Final Handling," I gotta say I like [name withheld] translations better. I sent an e-mail recently to [name withheld] and told him so. As I said to him, in [name withheld] translations there seems to be more of -- how shall I say? -- a flavor of Sweden. Whereas the Quercus translation has a decidedly British tone to it, using terms that are specifically British ("lift" instead of "elevator," for instance, or terms like "winding me up"). If there's ever a truly American translation that becomes available -- as with LTROI and HANDLING THE UNDEAD by Thomas Dunne Books -- I'll probably get that one as well; I find the British tone somewhat distracting. Not that I have anything against the Brits, but this is supposed to be Sweden, after all, not the U.K. Still, it's nice to finally be able to read all of these stories in English, regardless of the brand. As for the stories (I won't critique all of them)...

"Border": Great read. Aside from LTODD and TFH -- which have a particular purpose, apart from being good stories (i.e., tying up loose ends) -- it is probably the best of the "new" stories. Trolls...didn't see that coming.

"Village on the hill": OK, here's another question about this particular translation. Some time ago, at "We, The Infected," drakker, who's from Norway, commented on some of the stories in the book; he, of course, didn't have to wait for English. He translated this story's title as "Vertical Village," which seems to be more accurate to me, having now read the story. Really would like to read a translation by Ebba Sergerberg; she's the one who translated both LTROI and HtU for Thomas Dunne. Unlike the Quercus translator Marlaine Delargy, Ms. Sergerberg sounds like she could be a native Swede. Anyway, translation aside, I really liked the way JAL built the suspense in this one. A nice sense of foreboding. You knew something was coming, just not what.

"Substitute": Left a lot of unanswered questions (nothing new for Mr. Lindqvist LOL), but it was suitably eerie. Again, a nice build-up of suspense and mystery.

"To hold you while the music plays": Even JAL admits most people don't get this one. I didn't either until I
read the hint he gives in the Afterword, where he says the original title was "The Cross." Then I was like, "Oh...OK."

"Majken": Here's another one that kept me guessing to the end. And unlike the other stories, except maybe for "Paper walls," this one had no true horror element, nothing paranormal. This story is completely plausible.

"The final processing": If only for the sake of consistency, the title should have been "The Final Handling." As for the story, it does for HtU what LTODD did for the tale of Eli and Oskar, which is to say it gives satisfying closure.

Overall, the book is a worthwhile investment of time and $$$. I would heartily recommend it.

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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by gattoparde59 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:34 pm

I really loved these stories. Since I respond to virtually any effort to manipulate me emotionally, Let the Old Dreams Die really had me. Even without the epilogue to Let the Right One In, I would not have been disappointed by my expensive imported book. Here are just some random observations on recurring themes I noticed.

Loneliness:

As in the novels, loneliness is never made explicit, but it is the constant companion of these essentially solitary characters. Loneliness haunts the main character in “Border.” It is there with the guy building his scale model ship in “The Village on the Hill,” the narrator of “Equinox,” the two guys in “Substitute,” the ending of “Eternal/Love,” even the narrator of “Let the Old Dreams Die.” Of course “Majken” is a study in loneliness grounded in an all too real world. The boy in “Paper Walls” goes off alone in to the woods, and leaves a melancholy father alone on the porch. Kalle in “The Final Processing” is yet another lonely troll.

The Living and the Dead:

In many of these stories there is a blurring of the lines between these basic categories. We have examples of the dead who are not quite dead. Obviously these are the Undead in the “Final Processing,” but this also shows up in “Equinox” and “Eternal/Love.” Also blurring the lines are various examples of the living who are not quite living. I would include in that “Substitute,” Dolly and her husband in “Majken” and the ending to “Eternal/Love.”

Narrators:
Unlike the novels (for the most part) there are several stories told by first person narrators, such as “Substitute” and “Let the Old Dreams Die.” Some of these are “unreliable narrators.” You are really left wondering about the narrator of “Equinox,” who gives every indication of being unbalanced. The “unreliable narrator” is used brilliantly in “Majken,” which is one of my favorite stories and a good candidate for a movie script, much like its near cousin Little Star. Interesting that it was indeed turned into a half hour TV drama.

On the whole, good stuff! :)

I'll break open the story and tell you what is there. Then, like the others that have fallen out onto the sand, I will finish with it, and the wind will take it away.

Nisa

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Re: So what about the other stories?

Post by StefL » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:06 am

gattoparde59 wrote:The “unreliable narrator” is used brilliantly in “Majken,” which is one of my favorite stories and a good candidate for a movie script, much like its near cousin Little Star. Interesting that it was indeed turned into a half hour TV drama.
The worst part of that is that I haven't been able to find this film anywhere (except its IMDB entry at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1174700/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_2). Apparently it was produced and televised before I "discovered" JAL's literature by watching LDRKI and then purchasing all his books that had been published at that time.

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