Saturday, 12 December 2009

Creeped out in Barkaby

I've been in Sweden with work this last week. On Monday I found myself in Uppsala waiting for a train to Stockholm and found this book in the store at the station. "Let the right one in" is a tale of vampires, murder, mayhem and the less savoury aspects of life in Stockholm's western suburbs during the long dark Swedish winter. Where did I get off the train and start wandering around in the dim light of dusk? Stockholm's western suburbs. Did it freak me out? Hell yes!

The 500 pages of the book only took a few days to read as it was a compelling read. Somehow it took various aspects of the Vampire mythos and turned them on their head in a refreshing way. It then also added to the mix several other normal story lines and characters and let them all begin to converge in a way that moderately predictable. The ending managed to be slightly surprising in the way it unfolded although thinking about it for 10 minutes told me exactly where the clues were. I'm avoiding a precis of the plot as it works on many levels and let us face it and 200year old vampire befriends small boy isn't your average premise for a book. The fact that it jumped into other genres as well; crime, low life, romance only added to the enjoyability of the read.

As I am travelling a lot at the moment I am keen to find books that pass the time away, don't demand too much attention and yet are above average quality. This book fits that criteria and it was better vampire book than twilight.

So now I am kicking around looking for a new book, preferably still in the Vampire genre which seems to be where my head is at right now.


While in Stockholm I was lucky enough to have a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner on a boat cruising the archipelago. While it was a huge meat and drink fest which has all the staples of Scandinavian cooking (I felt like a herring the next morning) this one included some of the less often served dishes which I was keen to try: pigs trotters. I understand the whole mind over matter thing and I almost chickened out before the first mouthful however I can recommend them! Of course they are not as good as other bits of the pig but do not be afraid! They are quite fatty and there isn't so much meat on them but they are like eating ham to all intents and purposes and that isn't so bad is it?

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