Sunday, June 16, 2019

Book review: HANDLING THE UNDEAD (Hanteringen av odöda) by John Ajvide Lindqvist

HANDLING THE UNDEAD (2009) by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
(Original Swedish title: HANTERINGEN AV ODÖDA (2005).)

John Ajvide Lindqvist became a bestseller writer with his horror novel LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (a book so creepy I could barely finish it - and I mean that as a compliment!).

HANDLING THE UNDEAD was released after that monster hit (pun intended), so naturally expectations were high.

And it may not be bestseller material, but I really appreciate that Lindqvist did not try to repeat himself. The "undead" of the story are neither zombies nor ghosts. The story is not really about them, but about the living - about how we grieve and/or fear the dead, and how society tries (unsuccessfully) to control that grief and fear.

There is also an element of dark satire, when the Swedish "cradle-to-grave" welfare society tries to treat the undead as just another "social problem"... with unforeseen and ghastly results. (A "cradle-to-beyond-the-grave" society, if you wish...)

I think this novel is good. In places, it's even great. However, HANDLING THE UNDEAD comes just short of greatness. It seems to run out of steam towards the end, and the conclusion feels somewhat rushed.

It's creepy for sure, and refreshingly original, but... perhaps it could have offered a little more.
Recommended for readers of horror and weird fiction.

#bookstagram #bokstagram #johnajvidelindqvist #handlingtheundead #hanteringenavodöda #horror #urbanfantasy #ghoststories #skräck #bookreview #bookreviews #bookcover

No comments: