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The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things (original 2008; edition 2011)

by John Connolly

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,123292871 (3.98)2 / 449
Title:The Book of Lost Things
Authors:John Connolly
Info:Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, spec fic, fantasy, 2012

Work details

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (2008)

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English (286)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  French (2)  All languages (292)
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
This book was great. It's about growing up by acknowledging that there is good and bad within us all, but doing your best to not indulge. The spinning of the fairy-tales into the non-happily-ever-after themes keeps the novel grounded into reality, though it is definitely fantasy. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
This book was not what I was expecting. Not at all.

Coming into it, I was expecting a fairy-tale like story about a young boy going off to save the fantasy land. I was expecting something like The Neverending Story. What did I get instead? A bastardised version of Grimm's Fairy Tales with twenty times the blood, guts and horror. And it was so good.

Books about books tends to be a well-loved genre in the bookish community, and this one does it well. Your favourite childhood fairy-tales are brought to life (as freaky monstrous versions of themselves), and having a main character with a love of books is always a plus, in my opinion.

The books themselves actually do come alive in this story, with hilarious consequences. David hears them talking to each other, and what could be better than a bunch of old medical texts calling a psychiatrist an idiot?

This book touches on some very heavy topics from the perspective of a twelve year old boy who doesn't exactly understand how heavy they are. Things like death, grief, war, child rape, family problems and sibling jealousy.

I also didn't realise how apt the choice was to read this book coming into October; it is scary. Not scary like jump-scare horror movies, but scary like when you watch something so disturbing you feel your skin crawl and wonder whether you should check under the bed.

The Crooked Man is a horrifying character, but there are plenty of others who could come close to taking his place, like a Huntress with a knack for making Frankenstein-like creatures, and werewolves that are just plain shiver-inducing.

I think the only thing that brought this novel down a little was that the plot twists were predictable, (but that could just be because I'm good at guessing those sort of things), and that the book itself did not completely 'wow' me. It came close, though.

Although, I think the biggest shock I got reading this book was realising that the last 200 pages were actually just notes. I got to what was obviously the end of the novel and kept looking at the chunk that was left in apprehension. So if you end up with the same edition as mine, do watch out for that.

See more of my thoughts on my blog! ( )
  bastardreading | Oct 12, 2016 |
It's been years since I've read this novel but I actually really, really liked it. I think it's part of a trilogy now - so it would be really cool to check out the rest of the books.

It's a story about a boy who travels into this forest in World War II, and much like Alice and Wonderland, he happens upon this magical realm where lots of things happen, and shenanigans ensue.

The thing I really remember about this book was that it was quite dark, strange and wonderful. While it's technically a Young Adult novel, it was much like The Book Thief where you didn't have to be a young adult to enjoy it?

The Book of Lost Things takes a lot of tropes from old fairy-tales and reworks them in a really intricate way. The tone is quite dark and clever and very respectful of young adults, which I really enjoyed. Just because a book is meant for children doesn't mean it has to be childish, only childlike.

This book isn't really scary, but it is definitely haunting and quite dense, as well. I really enjoyed it, though, and would recommend it quite readily. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Well I just loved this. I cried twice in the first five pages and finished in two days. And I really loved the appendix at the end with the author's comments on the fairy tales he weaved into his own book. It's a bit dark, but it's an amazing work about the power of books, the way they instruct our understanding of the world, and the ways they help us wade through the murky uncharted waters of life. ( )
  aclaybasket13 | Jul 29, 2016 |
“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

I love the cover of this book, so beautiful !

This book is my favorite book of all time . I often reread it , i feel it pulling me back in , tempting me to dive in its beautiful world of adventures once again. so finally i decided to post my thoughts about it.

One thing you should know about me , is that I LOVE fairy-tales , especially those who contain a dark twist . and oh my .. this book gave me everything.

The world that the author created was absolutely mesmerizing , the world building was impeccable that I actually felt like i was there, you could feel the magic around you , the air of that forest , and the howling of the wolves , it was detailed enough that you can see the place clearly but not too much that it became boring.

This is not a young adult book like I expected . it was very dark , and some parts are just so twisted but very well written . the pacing of the story was also good , it took me a few pages to get into it , but once i did , it was impossible not to continue and not want more , so i would say that this is definitely a page turner .

I also loved all the characters in this book , they seemed so real . and i absolutely ADORED David , all his flaws made him more relatable and more human, in this story I believe we follow him in a journey of finding himself rather than finding his mother .

The characters and the magical world building was very well written which made the experience of reading this book so vivid. i also enjoyed the dark fairy-tales included in this book , it's something different , in a good way of course.

The ending of this book tore me to pieces, it's the most perfectly written ending that i have ever encountered in a book. i cried so much . it is the kind of book that stays in your head even after you finish it.

I would recommend it to everyone , because i feel like it's something that must be read at least once in our lives. ( )
  Spymer | Jul 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 286 (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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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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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)

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