March 19, 2011

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Title:  The Book of Lost Things
Author:  John Connolly
Format:  PB
Pages:  338
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Publisher:  Atria, 2006
ISBN-13:  978-0739482865
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  Instead, 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.

Synopsis (Amazon):  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.

Review:  Another new author that I am so glad I found.  I understand that John Connolly does not usually write in this genre.  However, his grasp of storytelling and his ability to draw the reader in are both evident in this book.  While I don't actually need any more new books, I've added his other YA series and a stand alone novel to my reminder list.  I probably would add his longer thriller series to my list, but I really do not need another long series to keep track of.

This book was dark, wicked, and disturbing.  It was scary and nightmarishly believable.  It was grimmer than Grimm.  It was so dark and disturbing that I almost hesitated to put it under the YA sub-genre, but it is about a young boy discovering truths that will make him into the man he will become, so it feels like that's where it belongs.  Like all good fairy tales (and fables), it had a moral or two.  The three I found to be most obvious were:  Be careful what you wish for or you might just get it; Nothing you want is without a price so be sure you're willing to pay; and Life is never exactly as you expect, but it's well worth the trip.

I wanted to visit the world behind the stones of the sunken garden.  I found the idea of a world being run (and changed) by our fears to be irresistible.  I revisited many well-known and well-loved fairy tales and fairy tale characters, albeit changed and twisted, but recognizable all the same.  The Crooked Man was deliciously evil.  There were Roland, the homosexual knight; the strong, quiet Woodsman; and the obese and nagging Snow White to round out my favorite characters.  David, the main character in the story, was a normal eleven-year-old boy, with a bit of dark and light and in-between all mixed together and vying for control.

This book is easily finished in one sitting, catching hold of your imagination and not letting go until the very end.

Rating:  4.5 / 5

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely loved this book and reading your review has made me want to read it again!
    Everybody should read this one it's just so good.


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