Book Review: The Movement
First and foremost, I hate the English title. It's stupid and makes no sense. The entire Place trilogy has terrible English titles. I am Behind You, I Always Find You, I am the Tiger. They are all terrible and I don't understand the choice behind them. Lindqvist's books have never had their titles changed before, why start now?
For this review, I will refer to the trilogy by their translated from Swedish Titles: Himmelstrand, The Movement, and X. I feel bad writing a review for The Movement without first writing a review for Himmelstrand. However, I wasn't writing book reviews at the time, so allow me to give a brief review of Himmselstand. It's weird. It's really weird and confusing. I like the mystery of The Other Place, but there is a lot left to your imagination.
The Movement sets out to at least make some sense of the surrealism that is The Other Place. Lindqvist is one of my favorite authors writing today. He may not be the easiest for everyone to read. In my experience, a lot of horror writers go scary intro, world building, history, scary, spooky, climactic ending. Lindqvist is more like history, world building, day-to-day lives of people, something weird happens, people go about their lives, weird things continue to happen, more mundane life, "okay, what the hell is going on? Why is an Eldritch horror rising out of the ground and now everyone is dead?"
To say that Lindqvist's stories are slow burns would be an understatement. However, that's what I love about them. The Movement is told as an autobiography of John Lindqvist moving into a shitty house. During his time in the house, he wants to recount a traumatic incident that happened to him only a few years prior.
However, as John's "autobiography" begins to unfold, he finds himself offering a blood sacrifice to a strange blob living in the communal bathtub to transcend this existence to a strange ethereal realm known as The Other Place. I told you his stories are crazy.
The Other Place is a concept that was introduced in Lindqvist's previous book, Himmelstrand, it is a large field with a cloudless sky. It occasionally rains acid and the grass drinks blood. There is a strange Slenderman wandering the plains along with burning zombies. There is also a darkness that lies on the outside of the field and it is slowly closing in on our protagonists.
Personally, I prefer The Movement over Himmelstrand. This book felt very personal and it was neat to find out things about an author that I'm not privy to learn because I'm Amerifat. There were also some genuinely creepy moments throughout The Movement, whereas Himmelstrand left me wondering why I think this guy is a good horror writer. The Dead Couple and the phone calls in the middle of the night were two things that immediately come to mind when I say creepy.
I want to recommend The Movement over Himmelstrand, however, Himmelstrand introduces themes that are in this book. It's definitely the best out of the trilogy, so far. I have a copy of X, so I'll definitely be reviewing that one in the future.
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