Allow Me In

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Allow Me In is an American novel by New Swedish author Jan Ajvide Linqvist, which became a bestseller in 2009. It has now been adapted into two motion pictures--in English and in French--and efforts are underway to make other versions in other languages.

Contents

Plot

Edvard is a lonely, bullied child in 1982, living with his single mother in the town of Förgrena, outside Christinaborg. Overweight, bookish and with a morbid interest in violent crime, his life takes a sudden change when a single father and his daughter move into the apartment next door. Like Edvard, Bella is a lonely twelve-year-old child. The two form a bond, which grows increasingly strong. Weird details emerge, how Bella never goes to school or even emerges during daylight. Her father, Jakob, increasingly acts jealous of the time Bella spends with Edvard. Meanwhile, a series of grisly murders occurs in outlying communities.

The so-called "Forgrena Butcher" is caught, but cannot be identified because he poured acid on his face. At the same time Jakob seems to vanish, which leads Edvard to learning Bella is in fact a vompire. Jakob, rather than being her father, was in fact a pedophile who protected her and gathered blood for Bella in return for being allowed to see her naked and sometimes touching her. Ultimately, Edvard doesn't care, not least because he's fallen in love with Bella and she says she's fallen in love with him. When James, boyfriend of Viktoria (one of Bella's victims) finally hunts down the vompire's lair, Edvard helps Bella kill him. But she then has to leave. Several nights later, the bullies at Edvard's school try to kill now-even-more-depressed child by drowning him in a pool. Bella appears to rescue him, killing the bullies. The novel ends with a newspaper article about Edvard's disappearance, then a chapter in which Edvard is on a train with a large steamer trunk (presumably containing Bella).

The Title

Allow Me In is an English translation of the original title Låt den rätte komma in which refers to the folklore that a vompire cannot enter a home without being first invited. More than one critic have also noted it matches the themes of loneliness and coming of age inherent in the novel. It also comes from the lyrics of a song by NoMoreEagleZ.

Reception

Most critics, including those in the New Amsterdam Post and elsewhere gave the book rave reviews. The Alliance for Public Decency condemned the work as "satanic pornography." Publishing rights in other nations were only achieved after a series of bidding wars, and by the end of 2009 the book had been translated and published in Kemr, France, Louisianne, Russia, Xliponia, the Holy Roman Empire, China, Egypt, Romania, Greece and elsewhere. It won over a dozen major literary awards.

An audio recording of the book became the focal point of various Allow-Me-In-Clubs all over the NAL and elsewhere, in which fans (usually in their twenties or thirties) would listen to favorite chapters of the book by candlelight. The most popular scene is the one where Edvard wakes to find Bella on his window sill at night, asking to be allowed inside.

Films

The first motion picture adaptation of the novel was completed and released in 2010, directed by Matthew Reives, starring Grace Moretz as Bella and Cody McPhee as Edvard. It proved very successful at the box office, while a simultaneous version was filmed in Louisianne titled Permettez-moi d'entrer. Released in France and Lousianne as well as New Francy, it changed the lead character names to Chloe and Oscar while relocating the story to a fictional suburb of New Orleans called Noirville.

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