HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson
Loading...

Of Things Gone Astray (edition 2015)

by Janina Matthewson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11225154,228 (3.54)10
Member:othersam
Title:Of Things Gone Astray
Authors:Janina Matthewson
Info:The Friday Project (2015), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson

None.

Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. I've read a lot of eARCs this season,and most I was content to just read once and move on, but I may have to eventually acquire a paper copy of this one.

In this story, things start going missing- the front wall of a house, a man's job, a young woman's sense of direction, a pianist's piano's keys, etc.- and with no explanations in sight everyone has to just get on with life as best they can. In the process maybe they find that they are regaining things they hadn't even known they'd lost.

IF you like Borges, Saramago, or Bradbury, you'll probably enjoy this book.

(I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Reread notes: I got my local library to buy this book, so I of course had to reread it. Still a fantastic book. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people wake to find something important to them missing, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work.”

Can you imagine? You get up, shower, dress, have some coffee and head to the office. When you get there, the building is gone. Not demolished, not boarded up with a For Sale sign, just vanished, as if it was never there. What would you do? I would assume that I had gone insane. Who would you ask? You couldn’t very well start stopping people and saying, “Are you from the neighborhood? Didn’t there used to be a building there?” Would you call your colleagues? Sure, but – and I would be worried about this – what if they don’t answer? What if the phone number that has always worked for the office goes to some other company? Possibly even worse: what if they DO answer? What if they say they are in the building that isn’t there? What if they don’t know who you are?

Janina Matthewson doesn’t answer all of these questions in Of Things Gone Astray; she seems more concerned with the impact it has on Robert when his business – his job and office and colleagues – are all suddenly gone. The characters in this book have all lost something very important to them, and it impacts them in unexpected ways.

The story is told round-robin style, with short chapters, many less than a page long. Each chapter is from the point of view of a single character, and they tell the story in a roundabout way.

Each character has lost something, but not in the usual way we think of it. One character has lost her sense of direction; one morning, she starts to walk to the corner store and she ends up wandering for hours, hopelessly lost in the neighborhood where she has lived all her life. Mrs. Featherby has lost the front of her house. She wakes up one morning and the entire front wall is gone, with her home exposed to the street and the open air.

Over the chapters, we come to understand what these things mean to the characters. Mrs. Featherby is a very private person, very proper and dignified, and being observed from the street, having people stop and look at her house and even speak to her – it’s horrifying. Delia begins to realize that she hasn’t just lost her sense of direction on the streets, she’s lost it in her life. She’s lost her drive and her life has become kind of aimless. She meets Anthony, a widower who is losing touch with his son, Jake. They now don’t even see each other when they are in the same house – literally, it is as if they are invisible to each other. It’s an extreme sort of estrangement, as they both deal with their grief over the loss of Jake’s mother.

The stories are interesting in a tangled way. They overlap, with characters meeting each other. Some resolve themselves, but others don’t wrap up neatly. Some of them are heartbreaking (the flight attendant stopped to ask me about the book because I was crying on the flight). A rather amazing first novel.
  LisaLynne | Feb 4, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Thank you LibraryThing for the advance reader's copy. I love the artwork on the cover. I enjoyed the book after I got into the rhythm of it. I felt the book jumped around a lot between characters. I'm glad I read this book and am looking forward to Ms. Matthewson's future books. ( )
  lvmygrdn | May 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a beautiful book and very much in my wheelhouse with it's unique way of discussing and exploring loss. Also, it has the prettiest cover graphic. The only issue I had with the book is how manic it felt due to the format of extremely short vignettes and constantly jumping from one character to the next. It's the only time I've experienced whiplash after reading a book (exaggeration for dramatic effect.) At the same time the format was pretty perfect and I'm not sure how else this kind of story could have been told. Finally, as other reviewers said I felt a little bit cheated with the ending. All in all though I'm happy I read this book and I think maybe it's the kind of book that will get better after a second reading now that I know what to expect. Thanks so much to Librarything Early Reviewers for providing a copy of the book. ( )
  SarahKat84 | Apr 14, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The second I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. Matthewson tells an intriguing story about several characters living in London who have each lost something or someone crucial to their identity. Their reactions are mixed; some of them find a new way to thrive, and some of them completely shut down.

The chapters are really short, so it's easy to fly through several in one sitting. I think that's what kept me from putting the book down. Each chapter showed just a small peek into that character's journey, and I HAD to keep reading to find out what they did next. After awhile, the characters start meeting one another. It was a great look into how we can help each other heal, and in the meantime, heal ourselves. I'll definitely keep track of this author and her future books. ( )
  brittanygates | Apr 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
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
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007562470, Hardcover)

Mrs Featherby had been having pleasant dreams until she woke to discover the front of her house had vanished overnight …

On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work.

Meanwhile, Jake, a young boy whose father brings him to London following his mother’s sudden death in an earthquake, finds himself strangely attracted to other people’s lost things. But little does he realise that his most valuable possession, his relationship with his dad, is slipping away from him.

Of Things Gone Astray is a magical fable about modern life and values. Perfect for fans of Andrew Kaufman and Cecelia Ahern.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:23 -0400)

Mrs Featherby had been having pleasant dreams until she woke to discover the front of her house had vanished overnight ...On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work. Meanwhile, Jake, a young boy whose father brings him to London following his mother's sudden death in an earthquake, finds himself strangely attracted to other people's lost things. But little does he realise that his most valuable possession, his relationship with his dad, is slipping away from him. Of Things Gone Astray is a magical fable about modern life and values. Perfect for fans of Andrew Kaufman and Cecelia Ahern.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Janina Matthewson's book Of Things Gone Astray was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.54)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 2
2.5 2
3 10
3.5 4
4 14
4.5 1
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,606,314 books! | Top bar: Always visible