SOMMAREN 1985 – THE SUMMER OF ’85

By John Ajvide Lindqvist

It was that summer. The summer of 1985. The Summer of Live Aid.

At idyllic Särsö in the Swedish archipelago a group of teenagers have been friends for as long as they can remember. Four boys and three girls. In the summer of 1985, all but one of them have turned 14 and the relationships are starting to shift. 

In an attempt to impress the girls, the four boys get in a boat to go to the remote island Svärtan. Hidden away on a secluded beach they find something unbelivable: a siren. However, this creature has nothing to do with the delightful Disney-mermaids. It’s a beast with human features. When they find it, it is dying. Someone has tied it up and it can’t get down to the water. The boys decide to bring the creature with them. They keep in a water filled bathtub in an abandoned fishing shed. Very soon, it is starting to seem that the siren has a disruptive effect on the group. What is it actually capable of and why had someone left it to die?

The Summer of ‘85 is a story about finding one’s self in a group and who you are in relation to others. It’s about love and friendship during years that shape the future. And it’s a nostalgic trip to the 80’s and a siren’s song to the ghosts of long lost summers.

To be published by Ordfront, 2023

Brazil, Alaude
Sweden, Ordfront

The Summer of 85’ by John Ajvide Lindqvist is a novel that unabashedly cross-fertilizes Astrid Lindgren’s Seacrow Island and Netflix’s Stranger Things. […] a book whose underlying trauma, and beautiful depiction of relationships between children who are on the vulnerable verge of adulthood, stays with you.”

BTJ, Sweden

The Summer of 85’ is a solid novel, and one of John Ajvide Lindqivst’s best. […] Strangely enough, the best part of the novel is the storyline about addiction, about how incomprehensible it is that some get stuck and some don’t, how the pleasure becomes so vital for some that they can’t stop.”

– Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

“A tender archipelago noir and page-turner that combines horror with a strong depiction of the no man’s land between childhood and adolescence.”

– Sommartipset, Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

“The greatest highlight of Ajvide Lindqvist’s authorship has always been the character portrayals and depictions of human relationships, our longing for an identity, to belong. And there is perhaps no other time in our lives when this longing is as fervent as in our early teens. Like this friend group. […] It also reads like a modern urban legend, almost like a long creepypasta. For a pleasant summer horror novel, it’s just right”

– Lisa Marques Jagemark, Norra Skåne, Sweden

“Few authors in Sweden – or the world – are as good at taking seriously the inner worlds of young adults.” 

– Rasmus Landström, Aftonbladet, Sweden

“[…] that image, of a lifeless and skinless fish girl, follows me after I finish the book, sobbing inside my head.” 

– Martina Montelius, Expressen, Sweden

“The author’s trick of marrying the horror genre’s most well-used props with something typically Swedish has long been practiced to perfection.” 

– Per Klingberg, Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

“[…] youths can be difficult to understand, by their surroundings and by themselves, and can consequently be hard to handle from an author’s standpoint. John Ajvide Lindqvist accomplishes an impressive feat when he skillfully makes these young people’s complexities, and the changes they go through, come alive.”

– Anders Kapp, Kapprakt, Sweden

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