Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

let-the-right-one-inOskar was weird, in the bad-kind-of-way, which is probably why he’s a soft target for the bullies in his school. Oskar was more of like the quiet guy who sits at the back of the class, who had no friends at all. Oskar could be described as dull, without anything sticking out of him at all. Oskar himself lived inside a broken family. His mother was probably the only person he had a connection with, his father’s status unknown. Alcoholic, he was assumed to be living in the countryside.

The harsh bullying  he received and the loneliness which followed caused him to have an unnatural tendency to collect clippings of articles regarding crimes and murders. With a quick deal with his friend Tommy, Oskar had acquired a knife for himself, where he could spend his time plunging the blade into wood. He would fantasize himself plunging a knife into the gut of the ringleader of the bullies–Jonny.

Every bullied kid feels that way. Oskar is an example of someone that has been broken inside. There are many psychological things that would come with bullying and neglect. Oskar was described to be a very quiet boy, unable to stand up for himself to the point where he couldn’t even raise his own hand. He even had a piss-ball, making the torment that he goes through daily just something that should be faced without a fight, so that he could escape the problem faster. Oskar longs for somebody who could protect him, even to the point where he was ready to tail a policeman and hopes to get offered some form of shield from himself and the bullies.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

night circusThe Night Circus isn’t an ordinary circus. Not the kind in where lions jump over flaming hoops of fire, and acrobats balance on tightrope, or when magicians use mirrors and distractions to do their tricks. It’s a circus that opens only at night, named Le Cirques de Reves, meaning, the Circus of Dreams, features beautiful imagery stuff, blooming with details. Like a garden made of ice, acrobats are soaring without a net, and a cloud maze where you simply get lost, step off and float to the bottom of the tent, and even a contortionists, who twists herself into small tiny impossible knots.

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcement precede it, no paper mentions it on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions on advertisements on local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” –Opening line

 

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The Name of The Rose by Umberto Eco

the name of the roseThis story was set in the year 1327. When King Edward III acceded to the English throne in the year January 25, and on February 1st became King of England. It is the first novel of an Italian murder, which means that the setting is in an Italian Monastery. The two main characters had visited the monastery. The story was narrated by Adso, the helper of the main character, Brother William. The story was mostly about him.

On the trip in the monastery, suddenly, somebody got murdered, leaving the whole Monastery shaken with fear. William accepted the Abbot’s request to help find the murder. So on was the quest, William started talking to many people to search for clues. He interviewed the herbalist to find out which herb killed. Meanwhile, Adso just watched, and learned.

The story got even more and more confusing, as more people died. William noticed that three of their fingers were stained with black, and their tongue was black too. They were also found in random places, like death in the bathtub. And their corpses mostly found in water, looked recent, confusing the ‘detective’ even more, and frustrating him.

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

draculaThis story plunges deep into its dark genre. So deep, it is horror itself. The readers will be mesmerized and glued to the first sentence, uncovering to the last terror plot. As the synopsis says, “The reader is warned that he who enters Castle Dracula may not escape its baleful spell even when he closes this book.” I felt a chill ran to my spine as I read this. Written in 1897, this is the mother of all modern vampire books that we are aware of in the present time. For vampire lovers, this book is dedicated just for them. There is plenty of stalking, biting, slashing, blood drinking…  Hands down, this is the greatest horror novel ever written.

It is understandable why people often call vampires as ‘Dracula’ (I also did that when I was small and Mom told me that I was really wrong. That ‘Dracula’ is just a name). It’s the same as people calling clownfish as ‘Nemo’. The story must really manipulate the culture that almost everyone call every being that looks like it as the name of the character in the book. Of course, I hope people are sensible enough not to find a clownfish and shout, “Look, it’s Nemo!” or to see a vampire strolling on the street and scream, “It’s Dracula! Everybody, run!”

The book contains blood transfusion, so allow me to explain its history. In 19th century, there was a little knowledge of medicine and science. But doctors already got the idea to transfer blood. When somebody almost died of blood loss, some doctor would try to transfer blood from animals, such as sheep or cow, to humans.  And of course, it didn’t work at all. Then, they came to a conclusion that humans and animals blood were not the same. They tried to transfer blood from human to human. They did this for quite some times to finally discover that there were human blood types in 1900. To think how fancy Stoker’s mind is, I am amazed, when he formulates the blood transfusion scene in the storyline.

What is a vampire? It is  a mythological creature, which is believed to be as strong as twenty men, can become a bat, controls thunder storms, and lives forever. This blood-thirsty monster will drink human blood and they will die of blood loss and become undead, just like him. This is the next thing I will talk about. There is a girl in the story named Lucy, who is gentle, sweet, and kind. Dracula bites her and she slowly dies of lost of blood. A few days after her death, she does not sleep in peace. She wakes up every night and drink children blood. In the end, the professor decapitates her and shoves garlic in her mouth.

Jonathan, the husband of Mina, is going to explore a castle in Transylvania; greeted by the Count. The Count warns him not to go around in the night. Jonathan is curious and goes around strolling. He is confronted by three female vampires, and is saved by the Count. The Count seems really friendly but then, it is all a trick. It does not take Jonathan too long to understand that he is a prisoner; he is stuck in the castle. He barelys escapes with his life. After reading the last part of his journal, I assume he is dead, but he is not. For me, death is better than escaping with a huge trauma. Throughout this story, Stoker demonstrates how horror can be very suspenseful.

As the vampire moves towards England, people fall as his victims. One of them is Lucy, as I mentioned above. Almost a whole crew of people in the ship dissapear. I guess the vampire is too hungry: he eats the whole men. Vampires exist in fiction; for it is not, it means death to us all. Do your maths and you will understand what I am trying to say. If a vampire bites one man who dies and becomes vampire, both them have the power of forty men. And then they would start biting victims, eating their blood, and those people would become vampires too. That would be the ending of human race.

The author, Bram Stoker must have a good imagination. He was born in the Victorian Era. By that time, there was no blood transfuson; therefore it surprises me to read a classic from this period that could just as easily have been written a hundred years later in 21st century. It’s so modern, so powerful, so genius. This book is much famous across the world. It is a scary, fascinating read; similar with contemporary novels in many ways, making it an easy read for me. For a long time, Dracula will be regarded as the all-time classical horror story.

The Panthom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

LA_BOCA_POTO_500pxThere was once an opera in Paris, that was believed to be haunted. Indeed, super natural things were starting to happen. On the day of the retirement of the Opera Managers, a group of ballet girls had saw something ‘peculiar’ making the good-bye of Sorelli mixed up. Sorelli, a senior dancer, was not so happy about the interruption and asked the ballet girls what had happened and what they had seen. The girls said that they saw a ghost. More typically, the Opera Ghost. They said he was really ugly and hideous. But Sorelli did not believe them, until, she heard a faint rustling coming from outside her dressing room. One of the girls said that it was the Opera Ghost, and Sorelli felt fear rushing towards her. She slowly opened the door. But there was nothing in the hallway.

What happened next was even weirder. A woman appeared, out of breath, and seemed spooked really bad. She informed them that they found the scene shifter, Joseph Buquet dead. He was hanged on the third floor cellar by a rope. When the witness called for help and the managers commanded to cut  the rope, the rope mysteriously disappear! And that was the beginning.

The managers were even more surprised to Christine Daae. Her bad voice suddenly transformed into a very beautiful voice, and she could sing a really beautiful song. Raoul, the little brother of Philippe, had fallen in love with this beautiful lady. After singing the most beautiful song in front of everybody in the opera, she fainted. Right on stage.

Raoul hurried to her dressing room, where Christine had recovered and told her he wanted to speak with her. Then suddenly, Christine told everybody to go out. Raoul did go outside. He remembered that he told her he wanted to communicate with her privately, and that perhaps she liked Raoul after all, and wished to talk with him alone too.

As he was about to go in, he heard a voice. Another man’s voice! Christine seemed to be talking and pleading with him. Then Raoul saw Christine went out of the room. When he looked into the room, he saw no one inside. Although he checked every corner, it was empty. Raoul vowed to find out more, but for a mean time, there was exactly nothing he could do.

The mangers were getting frustrated.  The lady who cleaned up and took care of Box Five had told them that it was the Opera’s Ghost’s box. She admitted to them that in the middle of the first act, he was always there and sometimes told her to do him some favors. He also gave her some ‘prizes’ for presenting him the things that he needed. She knew the Opera Ghost was a man because of his voice.

The managers soon decided to sell Box Five. But before they could do that, they received a very polite note from the Opera Ghost, or rather O.G that they should not sell Box Five. With many confusion, they did not sell the box after all.

They received another note saying that Christine should take the main role of the performance in the evening, not Charlotta, a really beautiful singer and a popular one too. Or else, a curse shall be placed in the opera. But the managers did not agree in this note. Charlotta would sing. Charlotta had also received a letter from the Opera Ghost regarding her not to sing as the main role. But still, Charlotta did not want to listen and refused point-black to give up her role.

The managers decided to sit on Box Five and watched the performance of Charlotta. When the show started, nothing had happened and the director said that it might happen in the middle of the first act. But nothing happened too. At the most dramatic part (just when the managers and director were starting to get convinced that actually nothing was going to happen), what came out of Charlotta’s mouth was a croak like a toad. And instead of stopping, Charlotta hotheadedly  continued singing, now, every line of her song ended with a croak. Sometimes she croaked like a toad in the middle of the line. As for Christine, she disappeared.

There was going to be a masked ball. Christine sent Raoul a note. Now everybody had believed Christine was gone disappeared. Receiving a note, Raoul was indeed, really suprised and did everthing the letter said. He found her in the masked ball and together they walked about. Christine informed him that he would never meet her again and ran away.

Raoul was really unhappy about this and went to hide in her dressing room, hoping to find out who exactly was talking to her. As she entered, she immediately sighed, “Poor Eric!” This was making Ralph even more confused. He saw her dance into a mirror. After Raoul emerged from his hiding place, Christine was gone, again.

Raoul saw Christine at her mother’s house where Raoul decided to visit to question. This time, he noticed that she was wearing a golden ring. Raoul grew suspisious and took her hand, only to get it snatched alway by its owner. Raoul also questioned her about everything that happened, only to find it denied by Christine.

She also saw her the next day, still wearing the golden ring, and he talked to her. He found out everything that happened from her. They decided to run away. But alas! Christine lost her ring. The only way that made the Opera Ghost as her friend. So that was what happened. In the middle of a show, Christine disappeared.

Raoul and a Persian grouped up to find Christine. They went using the second way to get inside the Opera Ghost’s house. After facing many obstacles, they managed to get in. Christine was really in a bad condition. The Opera Ghost, Eric, was mad. Telling her ’till eleven o’clock, she had to marry him or die. Christine chose the first option. Suddenly, there was a big flood inside. Raoul, the Persian and Christine nearly died drowned.

The Opera Ghost saved the Persian. Since he himself was dying, Eric allowed Christine to marry Raoul. And then the Opera Ghost died. End of story.

***

The story is about a triangle love. Christine loves the Opera Ghost and Raoul . They both love her back. But they both detest each other.

Christine adores Eric, who is her Angel of Music. What does the ‘Angel of Music’ mean for me? For me, it means inspiration (of music). It can be a band, or even a simple song. The Angel Of Music will inspires people to play music. With its inspirit, people will play music beautifully, or even create the most mind-blowing and stunning songs. Have you got a call by your Angel of Music? I have not. But soon, somewhere along my life, I think my Angel of Music would come to me. By then, I would be “his little apprentice”.

I think ‘Angel of Music’ is equivalent with the other patrons of art, for example “the patron of painting” and “the patron of story”. Before writing the series of Warriors, for example, my favorite author Erin Hunter must be inspired by her “Literary Guardian”. What I mean by Literary Guardian is it could be someone she loves, or could be from her experience. I know she is a naturalist and believes in suppotitious and allegorical explanation for animal behaviors.

‘Music is the heart and soul’. Is that a quote really common? What happens when there is no music? The world will become dull. We hear music everywhere. There is no place without music. With my experience of playing the violin for six years, when I play it for a very long time, I will forget my sorrow, which is really magical. Not only that, during a small survey at school, I found out that everybody has “music” in their body and soul. Our heart, that is alway faithfully beating like a drum, is also a melodious song.

I assume everyone can play at least one instrument or simply sing. Everything starts from something simple because that is the nature of music, after all. Like music, this is what the story is all about. Tender, yet painfully beautiful.

The author, Gaston Leroux, lived in Paris. He was born on the year 1868, 6th of May. He died on the year 1927, on 15th of April. He is an author of many books. And almost all has a France title. Overall, The Phantom of the Opera is one of the best medieval and gothic musical books that I had ever read.