cover image Let the Old Dreams Die

Let the Old Dreams Die

John Ajvide Lindqvist, trans. from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg. Thomas Dunne, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-62053-0

In Lindqvist’s commendable first short-fiction collection, people often are not what they seem, usually to a horrifying degree. “The Border” tells of a customs agent whose relationship with a suspected smuggler uncovers extraordinary truths about the agent’s heritage. The celebrities whom a paparazzo photographer thinks he is snapping in “Itsy Bitsy” reveal pedigrees that are as eerie as they are inexplicable. A drowning victim who dies but is resuscitated in “Eternal/Love” comes back to his lover as “something else, although still in human form.” In addition to these tales of deceptive identities and their unsettling natures, the book features “Final Processing,” a sequel to Handling the Undead, and the title tale, a sequel to Let the Right One In that riffs poignantly on that novel’s romantic relationship between a young boy and a vampire girl. Segerberg’s translation is murky in places, but the originality of Lindqvist’s ideas shines through. (Oct.)