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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925603644
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Book Review: I Always Find You by John Ajvide Lindqvist - Reviewed by CloggieA (29 Jun 2018)
4.5?s “… spent some time staring at myself in the mirror. After all, there was an alternative way to explain everything that was happening to me, and I searched for something in my eyes, a sign that I was losing my mind. But what does such a sign look like, and can it even be spotted by a person who is losing the plot?”
I Always Find You is the second book in the Locations trilogy by Swedish author, John Ajvide Lindqvist. It is flawlessly translated from the original Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. As a young man, John moves out of his mother’s place to a cramped hovel in the courtyard at Luntmakargatan 14 in Stockholm, intending to earn a living as a magician. It’s a block built against the Brunkeberg tunnel and his accommodation has no bathroom, so he has to use the shower room attached to the block’s laundry.
But there is something strange going on in the block of apartments: he’s getting bizarre phone calls asking for a Sigge; his record player skips strangely; the residents seem secretive; and the shower room is oddly both repulsive and attracting at the same time. Walking through the tunnel adjacent to the shower room also produces an unsettling feeling. The crack in the shower room ceiling begins to ooze a black substance that instantly reminds John of an incident in his past, and things start to get really weird.
Is this a semi-autobiographical story? Or is it a novel about a writer who happens to have the same name as the author, and happens to have aspired to be a magician as a young man, and writes a narrative about a twelve-year-old boy’s encounter with an abused child in a forest? It doesn’t really matter because, either way, it’s an engrossing tale.
Lindqvist definitely captures the mid-eighties well, embedding certain songs and artists into the story, as well as referring to political events and fashions and social trends. Lindqvist has been described as Sweden’s answer to Stephen King, and that descriptor is certainly apt, although he might be a little bleaker than King to begin with. There’s a bit of violence and sex, and expletives are freely used, but are appropriate to the context. Like King, Lindqvist manages a near-perfect blend of moving and macabre. Fans of horror will appreciate this excellent Swedish contribution to the genre.
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