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The Book of Lost Things [Paperback]

John Connolly
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

5 April 2007
'Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother . . .' As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters, his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340899484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340899489
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968. His debut -EVERY DEAD THING - swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He is the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award. (For Every Dead Thing). In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature.

Product Description


'The book's epic villainy, mournful tone and tested morality is the essence of Connolly. Worst of all is the Crooked Man, who ranks with the Travelling Man, the Collector and even Mr Pudd among Connolly's most memorable villains. 'THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS is peculiar and perverse and humane, with an incredibly lyrical finale . . . The novel should earn the author new readers.' (The Irish Times)

'Brilliantly creepy coming of age novel' (Mirror)

'A powerful, powerful writer. I got a very real chill down my spine. This is an amazing book.' (Jeffery Deaver)

'Charming, disturbing and outrageously imaginative. A tremendously exciting change of pace.' (Lawrence Jackson, Producer of BBC Radio 4's adaptations of John Connolly's short stories)

'The book is beautifully written ... It is obviously the product of someone with a very powerful imagination' (Newbooks Magazine)

'John Connolly has a cult following for his crime novel and can clearly plot twists and turns. He has applied that talent to his own life by producing a very different book... a highly original novel using stories that we all know. But think twice before reading his version of Hansel and Gretel to your kids' (Times)

Book Description

Bestselling author John Connolly turns his unique imagination to the ancient tradition of legend and fairytale in this engrossing novel about the loss of innocence and the enduring power of story in our lives.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Adventure 14 Feb 2007
By H. Ashford VINE VOICE
This is a lovely book. It takes teenager David on an adventure through a fantasy world and a journey along the path from childhood to adulthood. In some ways it reads like a reworking of Wizard of Oz, except that the different aspects of David's personality are integrated in one person (unlike Dorothy's, which appear externally - in the scarecrow, the lion and the tin man). All the same, David has to develop and learn to use cunning/brains (when he solves the riddle of the two bridges), strength and courage (when he defeats the monster in the village), and, hardest of all, love for his step family, before he can defeat his enemies and return home. There are references to various fairy tales and nursery rhymes - some of them twisted and quite dark.

I've marked it down to 4 stars because, for me at least, it reads like teen fiction - it's basically a thriller given a fantasy setting and a little bit of a message - and this book doesn't match up to the best of fantasy fiction (eg the Narnia books, or Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy). The material is rich enough to carry so much more. For instance we could have been asked to question (just a little) our notions of right and wrong - ie is it always "good" to kill our enemies? Without wanting to give the end away, it would have been nice to have been left with a question mark over whether the ending was really "morally right".
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everything the brothers grimm film wasn't 15 Sep 2006
Once again this author has hit the mark of great story telling. This is a story of a young boy(David) who loses his mother and has to adjust to life without her. His father eventually re-marries and they are soon joined by a new half brother. David, feeling left out retreats into a world of books and stories.

When they all move into his stepmothers house, things become rather strange.

David finds a hole in the garden wall which transports him to a magical fairy tale like land of werewolves,trolls and the evil crooked man.

I don't want to divulge too much of the plot, so I'll just say that this story is a fantastic mix of fairy tale and horror. Much like the Brothers Grimm film, this story contains a collection of the famous fairy tales all coming together in the fast paced adventure. That is the only similarity as 'The Book of Lost Things'was a far supperior story.

Not knowing the premise of this book, I thought it would be another action/thriller type book like his others. I have enjoyed all of J.C.'s books, but this one has been the most amazing story yet. It may have been very different to the Charlie Parker books, but it still shared the same dark tone that all his books follow.

This was one of those books I had a hard time putting down.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups 30 April 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this stand-alone novel Connolly has adapted or taken extracts from a number of classical fairy tales to create one story, which in common with The Chronicles of Narnia takes place in Second World War England and involves a secret portal to a magical mystery land with battles of its own being fought and involving half-human, half-animal hybrids. While on the one hand it's tempting to suggest that this is purely an indulgence on the author's part, there's no denying that it's well written and the imagery and atmosphere he creates - so often a Connolly strength - is probably his best to date because he has given himself free rein to fantasise as much as he wants to.

In my own paperback copy, an unusual supplement to an already unusual book includes an `interview' with Connolly in which he is asked such questions as why he wrote the tale at all. I won't spoil things here, but I do find it curious that the novelist finds a need to justify the writing of a story and to publish those reasons in the book itself. Not that it matters, it takes a little while adjusting to the nature of the story after the very different style of the Charlie `Bird' Parker series but once the reader becomes familiar with it, it makes for entertaining reading. Despite its fairy-tale underpinnings, however, this is not a story for young children; there is no bad language at any time but some of the violence, while pretty tame compared to traditional Connolly fare, would make for an uncomfortable bedtime story for your seven-year-old daughter!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book of pretty good 8 Aug 2008
I bought this on a whim when i was desperate to read something and the cover and blurb sold me. It does have a stunning cover, kudos due to the designers.

I was pretty happy with my impulse purchase. Though not bitingly original, skewed versions of fairy tales have long been a staple of student writing and drama, this was a well written enjoyable read.

Dealing as it does with themes of bereveament and the onset of puberty as well as drawing paralells with fairy tales and fantastical worlds, this book can be considered a reasonable success. However it scratches surfaces too often when deeper exploration was desired. It feels, at times, that the author was overly cautious and dipped his toe rather than dived in.

Some elements, such as the Snow White segment are merely re-jigs of well explored variants of the tale.

That said, the book moves along at a brisk pace and is an enjoyable read. I got through it comfortably in a few days of evening reading and, whilst it would be untrue to say that i was terribly sorry it had ended, i was left satisfied and entertained. Very often that is all you want from a book after all. So, for a diverting,disposable read i would suggest that you could find much, much worse.

Could be a good one for Book clubs. Also, it had a number of authors essays at the end, along with a selection of original fairy tales. A very nice touch and much appreciated by this reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark, twisted version of the classical fairytales.
“Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother.”

The tale begins during World War II and 12 year old David has... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sarah
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It's difficult to write a sophisticated dark story through the eyes of a child, and Connolly fails here.
Published 24 days ago by RhiAnima
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Dark Tale.
Bought after enjoying other John Connolly books and without realizing it was a fairy tale, i don't think i would have bought it had i known. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Huscarl
2.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Disjointed Things...
It's difficult to really explain how I feel about 'The Book of Lost Things'. On the one hand it's quite well written and kept me reading, despite the fact that the majority of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by madaboutbooks
3.0 out of 5 stars Fearsome tale
A good story of right and wrong and how to tell the difference . Pilgrim's progress as a fairy tale
Published 3 months ago by polly lister
5.0 out of 5 stars Advised to read at different ages
I first read this when I was 13 at the same time my dad did we had similar conclusions but still some differences between us. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Alexandra O'Donnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good times
A very interesting, intriguing book, which made me want to carry on. Strange how fairy tales were twisted and told
Published 6 months ago by MISS J HOWIE
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This is a dark and delightful story. Well written, well paced and beautifully imagined. I thought it an excellent read.
Published 8 months ago by N. W. Steel
5.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly enjoyed
I loved this book. It takes your imagination to its deepest place. Whilst mainly being a dark story I felt all types of emotion reading. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Miss L Norris
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect fairy tail
I absolutely adore this book!
I didn't want it to end, completely in love with it, now sad that it's over
Published 9 months ago by kiki
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