I love Lindqvist’s work and would go as far to say he is my favourite horror writer, so I was really looking forward to reading this. And it’s terrifying. Truly. If you don’t like gore and visceral scares there are definitely some scenes to skip, but the storyline is intriguing and the characters alluring in all their nastiness.
A jaded musician rescues an abandoned baby, who displays no normal infant behaviour at all but can sing in perfect pitch. He and his wife raise her in isolation in the cellar, worried that the outside world will corrupt her beautiful gift; the stories that he tells her as she grows, that the world is full of big people that want to eat little people like her, will come to have terrifying consequences as the child, Theres, eventually emerges from her prison. Lindqvist’s cutting satire on reality television and the Facebook generation collides with the suppressed rage felt by teenage girls who do not wish to conform to society’s expectations, in one of the most horrible endings to a horror story I’ve read. I will, quite simply, never be able to listen to Abba again. There were moments whilst reading this that I quite genuinely felt like I was having a panic attack, so well does Lindqvist capture our darkest fears. Little Star is gripping, yucky, and terrifyingly possible; Lindqvist surpasses King as master of horror, and his real talent is in creating absolutely believable, corporeal characters, and getting right inside their head. After all, that’s where true terror lies…. Rating: ****
Quercus, 2012, ISBN 9780857385123