I Am Behind You (Platserna #1) by John Ajvide Lindqvist

iambehindyouI Am Behind You is the strangest psychological horror that I think I’ve ever read.  Quite an accomplishment really!  Bizarre, creepy, insidious, thought provoking, compelling and  absolutely baffling.  I don’t really know what happened to be honest.  I”m not totally sure how to review the book but I do know that this has kept me thinking for days and I know without doubt that I want to read the next instalment – I simply have to, I need to.  Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Twilight Zone.

At the start of this story we pretty quickly become aware that overnight four caravans and their occupants have been mysteriously transported from the campsite on which they resided and literally dropped into a never ending field.  The green grass and blue sky stretch as far as the eye can see and an exploration by car just uncovers more of the same.  You’re hooked by that aren’t you – you can’t deny it.  Exactly like I was,  Why were these four families picked up and removed to this strange place?  What’s the connection?  Have they all died overnight and ended up in a hell of their own making?  My mind was simply racing with the need to find out what was actually happening.

So, to the occupants of this unusual territory.  We have four caravans and their occupants.  One, a couple of blokes, friends for many years and maybe with a friendship on the brink of developing into something more – it just needs a nudge.  An unhappily married couple with a young daughter called Molly.  Molly is one of those children that gives you the goosebumps, you can feel a chill on the back of your neck when you’re reading her chapters, as though somebody’s cold breath was on your skin.  We have another couple, they don’t really know each other as well as they could, they have a son called Emil, a shy boy who is a little tied to his mother’s apron strings.  Finally a couple whose family have grown and left the nest, leaving them a little in the land of ‘do we really like each other now we have nothing to occupy us’ territory.  Basically we have this eclectic bunch of characters, thrown together in an unusual and stressful situation and we watch as the cracks begin to show and develop from cracks into deep yawning chasms.

The writing here is so good.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The author has an excellent way of making his characters come alive in the imagination.  Slowly and surely he develops a picture of all of them and most of them have skeletons in their closets just waiting to jump out.  It’s a fascinating and compelling ride watching all of them as they basically try to hold their sanity together.  To be honest, many of them are not likeable characters and as their pasts are revealed you can’t help but wondering if this is some devilish punishment for past misdemeanours.

In terms of the action.  Well, this is where we really enter the land of bizarre.  Literally, prepare to encounter Darth Vader and his star troopers, an entire class of frantically exercising females, huge, six foot tall rabbits, tigers, zombies and James Stewart.  I kid you not.  Plus looming storm clouds and an horizon that seems to disappear into blackness with who knows what beyond.

I’m not going to deny that this book is unusual.  I also admit that it might not be for everyone.  There are no neat and tidy wrap ups here, no clean cut solutions.  You’re probably not going to have any lightbulb moments and if the thought of reading a book and thinking wtf just happened doesn’t really appeal to you then you might just want to give it a swerve.  Simply put, although I like answers as much as the next person, I found myself totally absorbed and want to read more. I guess I’m hoping for answers eventually but even without them I’m in the zone now.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

 

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15 Responses to “I Am Behind You (Platserna #1) by John Ajvide Lindqvist”

  1. sjhigbee

    I love your review, Lynn – but I think I’m going to give this one a miss… though I have to admit the Darth Vadar reference did tempt me.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a bit trippy but also compelling – but, given our reading mountains sometimes sense has to kick in doesn’t it.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Yes… not something I am generally good about – but with so much going on this autumn, I really MUST get a handle on my Netgalley habit. I have a feedback ratio of between 87-89% right now and would be a bit fed up to lose just because I couldn’t resist the lure of new books!

  2. Tammy

    I’m so excited to read this review, I’m dying to read this book! I’m hoping for a US release, and if not I’ll be heading to The book Depository to buy a copy. It definitely sounds strange but I loved his first book, so I’m on board!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s very unusual and probably not everyone’s cup of tea but I did like it and I’m definitely on board to continue with the series.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’d love to give this a try too; even though I recently learned about it, the stuff I’ve been seeing in reviews has gotten me very curious. Like Tammy said though, there hasn’t been an official US release yet so it’s a bit tough to find outside of third party sellers online.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I didn’t realise it wasn’t released US – I was so excited to receive a copy. It’s definitely a very unusual book but I was hooked and I need to read on with the series to find out what’s going on.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I just featured this on my Can’t Wait Wednesday feature this week and I’m hoping to track down a copy today an get an order placed. Your review has me that much more interested.

  5. Carmen

    Great review, Lynn! You captured the oddity of this book quite well. Now I’m intrigued! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It is definitely intriguing – and odd. But I need to read on now, i’m hooked.
      Lynn 😀

  6. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    This did indeed sound weird from the start, and it got weirder with each new paragraph: big rabbits and zombies (not to mention the rest of it)? That’s the kind of book that could fall both ways…
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It could definitely fall both ways I think but I’m hooked now.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Jennifer | Book Den

    Oh, wow. This was already on my wishlist simply for being a Lindqvist book, but your review has me sooo intrigued!

    • @lynnsbooks

      This is just one of those books that once you’ve started you have to finish – and then it doesn’t really make sense and you’re trying to think of what went on! But, even with that in mind, I really enjoyed it and want more.
      Lynn 😀

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