This intensely cute, captivating story about a young angelic girl, Evelyn, who comes into contact with a feverish man suffering his final days of malaria. Patrick McGrath and Tim Walker make a great team: the photos in this book replay the same sense of angel-like youth and imagination. The Lost Explorer is full of metaphor and light imagery as are the film stills.
The foggy film stills of Evelyn in her garden seem to be moving by themselves.
This book is suitable for young children as well as adults. Reading it, I was reminded of how vivid my imagination used to be...
Evelyn's character is one I think most young girls can relate to in that, when coming into contact with someone who is ill or dying, she is sympathetic yet curious. Angelic, yet so full of wonder.
There were a few instances where I was reminded of Nabokov's Lolita, yet there is, to a large extent, an overall innocence that envelops this story.
The sense of child-like imagination vs. grown-up "immutable routine" (as Evelyn's parents are described as prone to in the story) is a theme that makes it possible for both adults and children to relate to this story. It's a common notion that as adults, we yearn for excitement but stability and routine alike, and sometimes when find ourselves stuck in a routine, we think back to days when life was simple, we could stroll about in gardens, and play outside with friends: both real and imaginary (although speaking for myself I was never lucky enough to have an imaginary friend as complex and real as Evelyn's explorer!)
I did a bit of research and found out something fascinating: Tim Walker is actually a fashion photographer. He's worked mostly for Vogue magazine. Judging by these film stills alone, I can tell he's quite talented.