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The Thief of Broken Toys

by Tim Lebbon

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594360,061 (3.6)1
British Fantasy Society Award Finalist (2011) When a father loses his son and his wife leaves him, he cannot tear himself away from the small fishing village where the boy's memories reside. Thinking that his life is all but over, he takes to wandering the cliffs, carrying broken things that he always promised his son he would fix, but never did. They're a sign of his failure, and they keep little Toby close. But then he meets the thief of broken toys, and everything begins to change.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This was a short, interesting story. It was sad and hopeful at the same time with an unexpected ending. I still have some questions as to what exactly happened toward the end.

In the book, which takes place in an English village by the sea, Ray has a difficult time coping with his son's death. He meets an old man who appears to help him cope as Ray gathers up his son's broken toys that he had always intended to mend, but never did. But how is the old man helping him, exactly? And is he actually helping him? ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
A father grieving his son and estranged from his wife, a mysterious stranger who helps him keep promises to his son and heal the psychological hurts, all heading for an ending that should be creepy and unexpected when really there's no other direction it could have gone. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
This was really an odd little book, and one I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The tale centers around Ray, who lives in a fishing village in Cornwall and has been grieving for his young son who died a year before. Ray and his wife are estranged (she's sleeping with his former best friend to combat her own grief; Ray reminds her too much of their dead child) and he is the one who remained in their house, with all of their son's toys and clothes and the ghosts that memories can bring. He meets an old man (on a cliff top, in the middle of the night, with a storm raging) who asks if he's brought him a broken toy to mend. And from there the novel takes a turn into the twilight zone, as it examines the role of memory in grieving, living and healing.

An excellent novel, though strange. 4 stars. ( )
  DoskoiPanda | Sep 10, 2011 |
The Thief of Broken Toys is far more of a mood piece than a horror story, and where there is horror, it is of the more cerebral variety. This is the horror of loss and memory, and the horror of recovery. As Lebbon's fable wends it's way to a close and the importance of grief is made apparent, it is clear that he's a writer of vast talents and sublime emotional wisdom.

Read the rest of the review here. ( )
  ShelfMonkey | Jun 15, 2010 |
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British Fantasy Society Award Finalist (2011) When a father loses his son and his wife leaves him, he cannot tear himself away from the small fishing village where the boy's memories reside. Thinking that his life is all but over, he takes to wandering the cliffs, carrying broken things that he always promised his son he would fix, but never did. They're a sign of his failure, and they keep little Toby close. But then he meets the thief of broken toys, and everything begins to change.

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