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The book of lost things by John Connolly

The book of lost things (original 2008; edition 2006)

by John Connolly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,7022981,162 (3.97)2 / 472
Title:The book of lost things
Authors:John Connolly
Info:New York : Atria Books, c2006.
Collections:Your library
Tags:2010, Library, Fiction, Novel, Fantasy, Faërie

Work details

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2008)

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English (292)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (298)
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
Reread ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
If Neil Gaiman wrote a dark version of Narnia with a dash of The Wizard of Oz- this would be it.

Twelve year old David is still mourning the loss of this mother, and adjusting (not so well really) to his fathers new wife and his new half brother. While a war wages on in Europe, they are tucked safely into a house on the countryside where David pours his time into his books. He begins to notice whispers from the books, of which only he can hear and one night, finds himself sucked into another world through a crack in the wall of a sunken garden in the yard.

This world is strange. From the wolf/human hybrids (descendant of a girl in a red cloak), to the seven socialist dwarfs, and the crooked man who seems to be lurking around every corner, David fights to survive in this strange world, coming soon to realize things weren’t so bad afterall at home. Davids storybook characters have seem to come to life, albeit grotesquely, and he isn’t sure he will ever be able to find his way home again.

Overall this was an enjoyable read, if dark and twisted at times. It was full of some of the most well known fairytales many of us have grown up with, with a warped, twisted edge to them. There was plenty of action and danger and something very nostalgic about childhood. Wanting to run away into a book is a feeling I am very familiar with, and to see David do just that was almost like living out a childhood fantasy. Davids progression from a petulant( if grieving) child, into a selfless and brave young man was really fascinating to read.

Also gotta give a shoutout to the audiobook narrator who really lent a great theatrical feel to the whole read. Steven Crossley really did the book justice with his performance!

Any fans of Neil Gaiman are sure to love this read, and is one I would for sure recommend to any of my readers middle grade and up! ( )
  courtneygiraldo | May 28, 2019 |
A fairytale story for grown-ups. John Connolly proves that he can write more than just thrillers. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
This has been in my TBR pile for a while so I made it my pick for my moms’ book club this month. It was a slow start, I feel like it took about 100 pages to get to the action but it picked up. I did enjoy the intertwined and twisted classic fairytales and was rooting for David but there were definitely some parts that were very dark and graphically violent. It’s classified as young adult but I wouldn’t recommend it for the younger end of that audience or anyone who is averse to gratuitous violence, torture or brutality.
Despite the icky parts and the slow beginning, I did enjoy the book and thought it was well-written with interesting characters and stories. 4/5 stars ⭐️ ( )
  justjoshinreads | Mar 22, 2019 |
Dark yet enchanting at the same time. A fun cross between Grimm's fairy tales, Pan's Labyrinth, and Neverwhere. I liked the acknowledgment in the end that "life is filled with great grief as well as great happiness, with suffering and regret as well as triumphs and contentment." This book was enjoyable and entertaining. ( )
1 vote nu-bibliophile | Feb 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 292 (next | show all)
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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Original title
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Boy who hears books talk
is a jerk to his stepmom,
but he learns better.

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 4 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 9 descriptions

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