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Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist Review

Title: Harbour

Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist

First published January 1, 2008

650 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9781849165136 (ISBN10: 1849165130)

Rating: 3.65


The breathtaking winter landscape of the Swedish archipelago serves as the backdrop for Anders, his wife, and their six-year-old daughter Maja’s day trip to the lighthouse on Gavasten. But when Maja suddenly vanishes without a trace, Anders’ life is shattered, and he spirals into a dark, alcoholic abyss.

Two years later, he returns to the archipelago, only to find Maja’s toys and a strange, unsettling presence that seems to haunt him. As he delves deeper, Anders discovers a web of secrets and a sinister connection between the island’s inhabitants and the sea.

Brace yourself for a spine-chilling tale of loss, grief, and the supernatural in John Ajvide Lindqvist’s gripping novel, Harbour.

About the Author

Meet John Ajvide Lindqvist, a renowned Swedish author who spent his childhood in Blackeberg, the same place where his famous novel Let the Right One In takes place. As a young man, he dreamed of becoming something extraordinary and mysterious, leading him to pursue a career as a conjurer and later a stand-up comedian for over twelve years.

Lindqvist has also lent his writing talents to Swedish television.

His work has been a bestseller in Sweden, and his novel Let the Right One In was awarded Best Novel in Translation in Norway in 2005. Lindqvist has also authored other acclaimed works, including Handling the Undead and Harbor.

To learn more about this talented author, check out his profile in Russian.

Editoral Review

Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist is an eerie, thought-provoking novel that immerses readers in a world of mystery and darkness. Lindqvist, a Swedish author known for his horror and supernatural fiction, delivers a haunting tale that blends elements of suspense, thriller, and fantasy to create a unique and captivating reading experience.

Set in a remote fishing village in Sweden, Harbour tells the story of Anders, a middle-aged man struggling with personal demons and haunted by the memories of his past. When a young girl mysteriously appears in the village, Anders is drawn into a web of secrets and danger that threatens to unravel his already fragile existence.

As he delves deeper into the girl’s past and the dark forces that surround her, Anders is forced to confront his own demons and make a choice that will change his life forever. Lindqvist’s writing style is masterful, seamlessly blending poetic prose with vivid descriptions of the landscape and characters.

His attention to detail creates a palpable sense of atmosphere and tension, drawing readers deeper into the world of the novel with each page. The story is suspenseful and unpredictable, with twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Lindqvist’s skillful pacing ensures that the story never lags or feels overly drawn out, making for a thoroughly engaging read. One of the strengths of Harbour is its complex and nuanced characters.

Anders is a flawed and troubled protagonist who struggles with addiction, regret, and a deep sense of loneliness. The young girl, Maja, is equally complex, with a tragic past that is slowly revealed over the course of the novel.

The supporting cast is equally well-drawn, with each character bringing their own backstory and motivations to the table. Lindqvist’s attention to character development adds depth and emotional weight to the novel, making it more than just a standard thriller.

In terms of themes, Harbour explores a number of weighty issues, including addiction, trauma, guilt, and the nature of evil. The novel tackles these themes with sensitivity and nuance, never resorting to cheap thrills or heavy-handed morality.

Additionally, Lindqvist weaves in elements of mythology and folklore that add a layer of richness and depth to the story. While Harbour is certainly an engrossing read, it does have a few flaws.

At times, the novel can feel overly bleak and bleak, with little hope or optimism to balance out the darkness. Additionally, some readers may find the supernatural elements of the story to be a bit too far-fetched or implausible.

However, for those who are willing to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in the world of the novel, these flaws are minor. Overall, Harbour is a beautifully written, thought-provoking, and genre-bending novel that will appeal to fans of horror, suspense, and literary fiction.

Lindqvist’s skillful writing and unforgettable characters ensure that the novel will stay with readers long after they have turned the last page. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a dark and atmospheric read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. While Harbour is an excellent novel, it does have a few minor flaws that detract from the overall experience.

However, for fans of horror and supernatural fiction, the book is a must-read.