Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John…

The Book of Lost Things: A Novel (original 2008; edition 2007)

by John Connolly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,919279929 (3.97)1 / 434
Title:The Book of Lost Things: A Novel
Authors:John Connolly
Info:Washington Square Press (2007), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2008)

  1. 120
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (jonathankws)
  2. 120
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman (flissp)
  3. 120
    The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (sibyllacumaea)
  4. 110
    The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (LizzieG)
    LizzieG: Dark reworkings of classic fairy tales
  5. 100
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Though Coraline was written for a younger audience, both books capture the dark side of fantasy very well.
  6. 123
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (derelicious, jonathankws)
  7. 60
    The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (fannyprice, SugarCreekRanch)
  8. 105
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Ronnyreader)
  9. 51
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (bluenotebookonline, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These fantasy novels featuring boys who get caught up in mystical, mysterious adventures both have dark undercurrents that create a strong atmosphere of suspense. Their vividly imagined fairy tale-like worlds make the stories both wondrous and compelling.… (more)
  10. 30
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (jessinfl)
  11. 30
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (bluenotebookonline)
  12. 20
    The Little Country by Charles de Lint (someproseandcons)
  13. 10
    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (shurikt)
    shurikt: Continuing the family in peril theme...
  14. 10
    Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (BoekenTrol71)
  15. 10
    The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (jonathankws)
  16. 10
    The Book of Flying by Keith Miller (fyrefly98)
  17. 10
    Strangewood by Christopher Golden (Scottneumann)
  18. 10
    Little, Big by John Crowley (antqueen)
  19. 00
    The Eyes Of The Dragon by Stephen King (ChirpyVelcro)
  20. 00
    The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski (bookgirlokc)

(see all 26 recommendations)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (271)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (277)
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
Loved this, not as much as I expected, but I still loved it.
An interesting interpretation of how important stories are in our lives - especially as children. The lessons fairytales have to offer and an interesting interpretation of loss, jealousy and growing up. ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
(I listened to this on audiobook)

The journey of a young boy into a fantastical place where fairy tales are gruesome and violent. His journey is actually about growing up and those things in our lives that we embrace or reject (and the consequences of that choice): innocence, acceptance, love, forgiveness, unforgiveness, resentment, revenge, trust, etc...

I would recommend this to people who don't mind twisted, sometimes slightly violent imagery. The Book of Lost Things refers to the good things that we can lose if we let anger or resentment or selfishness or malevolence have a place in our lives. While the moral is worthwhile, this isn't necessarily a book to recommend lightly to a patron b/c of the difficult encounters the boy faces that frequently have a gruesome twist. ( )
  SaraMSLIS | Jan 26, 2016 |
I'm glad that I listened to the audio version of the book. As this is outside of my normal reading materials, the audio version was engaging enough for me to keep listening. The book was action packed and the characters fully developed, even minor characters such as the dwarfs and Snow White. David is a believable character in a believable home situation. How he overcomes it and grows into the man he is to become is awe-inspiring. Connolly has a gift with his words here and the narrator is spot on with his protrayal of all the characters (though, the women sould a little odd!). ( )
  tmscott13 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Really enjoyed this book! I drew me in immediately and didn't let me go until the last page. I gave it to my thirteen year old son to read. This is a wonderful young adult book. Beautifully written and fully engaging. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Potential Spoilers

This has been sitting on my kindle for ages. My first experience (and, prior to this novel, only) with Connolly being his Nocturnes, I had the idea that this would be similar- a book of short stories inspired by fairy tales and myths. I really liked Nocturnes but I completely forgot about this novel until it popped up on someone's currently-reading here on Goodreads and I remembered my electronically shelved version and it's prolonged patience.

I'd say I like this novel even more than Nocturnes. It deftly inspires the turning of (flicking through) pages and I identified with the grieving child/grief-shaped adolescence theme. Even more so with the escaping into books as a coping mechanism theme. I enjoyed that the ending was rather ambiguous and left up to personal interpretation- reminding me of most of the "children's stories" I preferred when I was younger. I always liked something open stirring amidst an intriguing story- something that pulled at my mind or emotions and would be differently filled and fleshed by whatever I was currently experiencing or thinking.

I did find David's anger interesting. Just because I remember how it was when my own grief rent it's hold and tear in my life and how I kept encountering adults who said things like, "I know how angry you are," or, accountable to the area I was living in at the time which was laced intricately with dozens upon dozens of churches, "I know how angry you are at god but he works in mysterious ways," and similar refrains. I already had baggage by that time and I was more numb than angry because I dealt with everything by being extremely closed off and "logical". Because that was what I saw in books during that time- if you were logical (stayed on the path, so to speak) and worked out the issue at hand to the best of your ability then you got through the scrapes and struggles as they came. Anger, jealousy, etc. had their place- everyone felt them - but they didn't help you at all or make things change for the better. So I stayed on my path and it held its own complication as paths are wont to do.

So, from that personal path, viewing "the grieving child" as other and as a different path-taker, was complex and intriguing. I also felt it poignant in the hunteress' storyline children were brutally attached to animals that the hunteress thought suited them or interested her for some reason. In his notes, Connolly wraps up the fear of this rather well, saying that it's our fear of being taken over by that which is other and that, in the inspiring story The Three Surgeons, "each of the surgeons finds that his individuality, even his consciousness, is under threat because of the addition of elements of beings alien to him." Which I have somewhat intertwined with David's story and the theme of grief/anger/abandonment/betrayal as a metaphor for that imbalance one feels as a child when the death of someone vital or some naivete previously held appears. As your life is taken over by something "other," so are your emotions and previous way of dealing with/seeing the world.

That being said, I'm pretty sure that the hunteress resonates with me as a casted line into the depths of my H.G. Wells love. The creations eventually turning on the creator, the question of whether it is the animal, the child/person, or the combination that drives them to strike back. Also, you can't skip over the import of the story for its time. As Connolly puts it, "particularly relevant to those in the early nineteenth century who had reason to fear physicians as much as need them." After a spate of reading Victorian Lit, this definitely brought about some interest concerning the Grimm's version of The Three Army Surgeons in that their arrogance is represented along with their skill.

I don't think there is a book-loving child out there who hasn't felt a kinship in the mass-appeal Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. I felt more kinship with it than with Beaumont's original Beauty and the Beast because I hated that the Beast kept asking Beauty to marry him and she felt so much guilt and awkwardness in their friendship because of it. I always wished that he would ask her once and let it rest until she comes back to witness him dying and it's that spurt of emotion and edge of loss that opens up a wealth of love previously hidden from her because in her initial fear of the beast and confusion as to his true nature she felt the need to not react to her growing feelings until confronted with the loss of their cause. The continual asking and Beauty's nature just aggravated even as a kid. However, for the era, it is poignant of it's own right.

That wasn't the only fairy tale that I'd have shaped differently. I remember being supremely annoyed at the Prince's liberties in Sleeping Beauty and spending days writing and rewriting alternate versions. Thankfully I never read the earlier tale by Basile as a kid.

I was grateful for the introduction to Robert Browning's Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came; there's always a towering turret of course but I'd never experience Browning's verse on such before and I love it. I can understand why Connolly says the Browning is one of his favorite poets in his notes. The imagery is wonderful and the end is either frustrating or really inspiring.

All that being said, this was a very good book and I loved reading through Connolly's notes almost as much as the story itself. ( )
  lemotamant898 | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
In addition to borrowing The Woodsman and Roland from ancient tales, Connolly brings in such bedtime-story stalwarts as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood. But he takes outrageous, albeit entertaining, liberties with these characters, exchanging their virtues for canyon-size failures of character.
added by Stir | editUSA Today, Susan Kelly (Dec 20, 2006)
This is an adult novel steeped in children's literature that cannily makes its 1940s junior protagonist credibly ignorant of aspects which the grown-up reader, or any modern kid, will catch at once.

Written in the clear, evocative manner of the best British fairy tales from JM Barrie to CS Lewis, The Book of Lost Things is an engaging, magical, thoughtful read.
added by Stir | editThe Independent, Kim Newman (Sep 25, 2006)
Good ideas, these afterthoughts, every one; but rather than go back and write them in, he sticks them down in the pluperfect and hurries on. The result is less a novel in any genre than a catalogue, a dispiritingly detailed outline for something Connolly might like to write, if he only had the time, or the talent, or a decent editor.
added by Stir | editThe Guardian, Colin Greenland (Sep 22, 2006)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connolly, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bortolussi, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryan, RobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life. - Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)
Everything you can imagine is real. - Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
This book is dedicated to an adult, Jennifer Ridyard, and to Cameron and Alistair Ridyard, who will be adults too soon. For in every adult dwells the child that was, and in every child lies the adult that will be.
First words
Once upon a time—for that is how all stories should begin—there was a boy who lost his mother.
He would talk to them of stories and books, and explain to them how stories wanted to be told and books wanted to be read, and how everything that they ever needed to know about life and the land of which he wrote, or about any land or realm that they could imagine, was contained in books. And some of the children understood, and some did not.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074329890X, Paperback)

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Taking refuge in fairy tales after the loss of his mother, twelve-year-old David finds himself violently propelled into an imaginary land in which the boundaries of fantasy and reality are disturbingly melded.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
25 avail.
288 wanted
6 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.97)
0.5 3
1 11
1.5 5
2 74
2.5 27
3 245
3.5 100
4 614
4.5 96
5 446


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 103,127,365 books! | Top bar: Always visible