I decided this was the perfect holiday rejoinder, grey Swedish tones and a dash of horror. I also wanted to finish it up before managing to get out to the highly-touted adaptation
... but the book was even better than hoped, and all-around fantastic: grim and horrifying, then slyly funny and revealing, about the viciousness and loneliness of adolescence (and of a certain strand of alcoholism, and of the constraints of class); then a whole other horrible using the tropes of vampire mythology, a page-turning epic rich in subplots, which smartly reconceives even as it reiterates generic conventions. It worked as a northern European cover version of Salem's Lot
, and is easily the best horror novel I've read in some time; it as convincingly lets the vampire stuff slip into mise-en-scene, and works as a dark, moving character study.