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

by John Connolly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,998283909 (3.97)2 / 444
Member:exlibrislady
Title:The Book of Lost Things: A Novel
Authors:John Connolly
Info:Washington Square Press (2007), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2008)

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English (277)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (283)
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)
The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly
audio book narrated by Steven Crossley
3 stars
Twelve year-old David is having an understandably difficult time adjusting to the death of his mother, his father’s remarriage and the birth of his half-brother. Initially concerned and sympathetic, his father and step-mother lose patience with David as he grows increasingly withdrawn and hostile. Against a backdrop of World War II bombings, David slips into a darkening world of stories. David must embark on a dangerous journey to discover a way back into his own world. The inhabitants of David’s alternate reality have similarities to familiar fairy tale characters, but always with a bit of a twist. David’s visit to the seven dwarfs was amusing, but most of his adventure was as dark and violent as the original Tales of the Brother’s Grimm.
Although I found the story to be somewhat predictable, I thought it was beautifully told in its rich detail. Toward the end of the book David’s quest seemed to become a bit repetitive. Even mutilations, murders and betrayals can become boring if repeated often enough. ( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
This book was simply wonderful! It took a little prodding to get into the story, but afterwards, the book is amazing. I have recommended this book to three others and they have said the same praise. Once again, I take my hat off to Mr. Connolly, for he has done it again : ) ( )
  danaaa_99 | Apr 6, 2016 |
David has always loved stories and even during his mother's long illness, stories were the thing that made life tolerable. But now David's mother has died, he and his father have moved out of London to live with the new woman in his father's life, and David is left feeling as though only the stories in his life are reliable anymore. But when the books in his room begin to whisper to him and David finds a portal into a strange land where the stories he knows are alive and living, he finds himself on a quest to find the king and facing the question of whether he ever wants to go home.

I really loved this book and the love for stories that breathes from almost every page. David is a fascinating central character and while he is a child, I wouldn't classify the novel as children's or even YA fiction. Fairy tales are the foundation of the other world that David travels to and it is wonderful to see how Connolly builds around them and alters them to make them more resonant for David's own situation. My personal favourite were the communist dwarfs who made me giggle endlessly with their lamenting over their botched assassination attempt of Snow White. A beautiful exploration of the power of stories to help us find our identities as we grow into adulthood, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  MickyFine | Mar 17, 2016 |
If you like your fairy tales retellings to have a twisted, dark undertone of malevolence and violence, this story should appeal to you. I tend to lean towards the lighter, more comic takes on the classics (think Christopher Healy's The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom or Marie Phillips The Table of Less Valued Knights) so there were moments when this story kind of hit my uneasy buttons even while bringing back some rather fond memories of my childhood experiences reading Grimm's Fairy Tales. That is not to say that this story is all dark and foreboding. When David encounters the dwarfs - and you know which dwarfs I am talking about here - that was a truly excellent bit of comic fairy tale retelling. I like the historical WWII setting Connolly sets for David's real world, which provides an interesting parallel for the troubles to be encountered in the other realm. The characterizations are good and I appreciate how deftly Connolly weaves the various fairy tales references into his own story. Even though I found the story to be a bit slow on the uptake, once David enters the other realm, the action pick up and keeps a steady pace through to what I thought was a perfect ending for the story.

Overall, a well written enchanting coming-of-age story about the enduring power of storytelling. ( )
  lkernagh | Mar 4, 2016 |
This is one of my recent favorite books. ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 277 (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
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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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