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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book i've ever read
This book gives you so much: it's magical, captivating, gives you a lot of knowledge about different topics, has an interesting storyline with just the right balance of reflections and action to make it a beautiful piece of literature, in my opinion. The first fifty pages are a bit slow, but then it's just wonderful. This is a book for book lovers, dreamers, people who...
Published on 14 Jan. 2010 by T. K. Tøstie

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I read a different book??!!
I was expecting to love this book. As a long-time book lover, to hear that there was a book about books sounded as though it would be the best read I could possibly find. However, having now tried to read this book for the best part of the week, an intense feeling of dissatisfaction has rested upon me and I cannot shake it off.

THE SECRET OF LOST THINGS is...
Published on 1 Aug. 2008 by Brida


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book i've ever read, 14 Jan. 2010
This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
This book gives you so much: it's magical, captivating, gives you a lot of knowledge about different topics, has an interesting storyline with just the right balance of reflections and action to make it a beautiful piece of literature, in my opinion. The first fifty pages are a bit slow, but then it's just wonderful. This is a book for book lovers, dreamers, people who have never stopped asking why everything is as it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book about Books, 1 Nov. 2007
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This tells the story of 18 year old Rosemary, who moves to New York from Tasmania in the 70s, after the death of her mum. All she possesses is $300 and her mother's ashes, but manages to get a job in a rambling second-hand bookstore called the Arcade, which is staffed with an assortment of weird and wonderful characters. She soon finds herself on the trail of a lost Melville manuscript. This tale will be a delight for anyone who enjoys books about books, but it is so much more too. It has a love interest, a coming of age theme and a mystery. Maybe Sheridan tried to pack too much into this tale, but I thoroughly enjoyed every page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that will stay on my bookshelf, 31 May 2008
This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
This is one of those books that draws you into its fictional world. I've read so many books where I get half way through and don't really care whether I finish the story or about what happens to the characters. With this book I cared what happened while also not wanting to finish the story because I didn't want to step out of the world that Sheridan Hay had created.

It's a real book lovers book with most of the story taking place in the Arcade, a huge book store with a literary mystery at its heart. A book store peopled by intriguing characters.

At the start of the book Rosemary,following the death of her mother, travels from her native Tasmania to New York to start a new life. Rosemary, is a very likeable protagonist, so unassuming that she has no idea how other people may be attracted to her. Although the book is quite clearly set in a modern day New York, there is also a sense of timelessness about the setting of the narrative. This fable-like urban landscape is the backdrop for Rosemary's journey to real adulthood and a new life. It's a book that I'll keep on my bookshelf rather than passing on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but Compelling, Literary Fiction, 19 Aug. 2008
By 
In reading other reviews of this book, here at Amazon and at other locations, I find critics to be sharply divided on the merits of The Secret of Lost Things. While I understand the criticisms (the actual, constructive criticism as opposed to nebulous rantings), I can only disagree with the negative outcome.

The Secret of Lost Things has flaws, but on the whole, it is a compelling tale written in lush language that is seldom seen from a contemporary writer. Rosemary, the first-person narrator, is imperfect, and so are the people she encounters. Some of her co-workers are downright disturbing (much like the people most of us encounter every day, frankly). This only deepened my interest in the story. That the novel involves a mystery (the appearance of a previously-thought-lost manuscript by Melville) set in a large bookshop, it only became more compelling as I turned the pages.

I also disagree with the critics who said that the story didn't "quite come together," as I thought Miss Hay combined the threads very well. Also, and to her credit, I did not see the plot twists coming from miles away (and there are indeed several twists). This is not a compliment I'm often able to give.

Opinion is ephemeral, as the wide range of experience for this novel clearly shows. You may loathe The Secret of Lost Things. You may adore it. I came much closer to the latter than the former, and the best praise I can offer for this first effort is that, several days after finishing the last page, I'm still mulling it over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I read a different book??!!, 1 Aug. 2008
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I was expecting to love this book. As a long-time book lover, to hear that there was a book about books sounded as though it would be the best read I could possibly find. However, having now tried to read this book for the best part of the week, an intense feeling of dissatisfaction has rested upon me and I cannot shake it off.

THE SECRET OF LOST THINGS is about 18 yr-old Rosemary from Tasmania. When she loses her mother, she is left with little in her life. On the encouragement of a close friend, she makes a break from her old life so that she can start living, travelling to New York City. Here she finds work in a bookshop, the Arcade. The Arcade prides itself in being able to find very rare editions, helped out by the unusual set of characters who work there: these range from a transsexual to an albino. The story is meant to revolve around the idea that there is a lost manuscript by Herman Melville, and Rosemary is the first one to hear about it. As expected, in such an evironment as the Arcade, this news sets the staff into a frenzy a rivalries come to boiling point.

That is the basic plot, although by the time I had reached page 113, this plotline had still not developed. Perhaps I am impatient, but as I duly picked up the novel each day, I found myself slowly becoming more and more despondenet about it. Rather than devouring it like I thought I would, instead I was slowly plodding through it, waiting for something of consequence to happen.

Although this may be a very good book, but simply lost on me, I personally would not recommend it as the riveting read it promised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...fell short of expectation, 6 Sept. 2009
By 
Allhug (Newcatle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
This book was readable but not particularly satisfying.

To have rated it more highly I would have needed to be locked into the mystery/detective part of the story much sooner. There needed to be more twists and turns within the mystery itself, maybe a few dead ends -it all turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. I'm not sure I really hooked onto a Melville mystery having never read any of his stuff - is he more of an American hero???

Also - I was really intrigued by the whole 'lost boys' of Argentina sub-plot but it all came to nothing. I found out nothing about the politics, the situation or the conspiracy theories etc that would have been a great 'mirror' for the main plot and added real depth to the story.

I was pretty appalled by Geist and didn't really understand Rosemary's motivations with regards to him. I understood her motivations towards Oscar as we all love a brooding anti-hero BUT, I needed to know WHY Oscar was the way he was - maybe the mystery could have been extended whereby Rosemary was investigating the lost Melville but also finding out all about Oscar too. The only characters I really liked were Pearl and Mr Mitchell.

I'm almost sorry I couldn't like this book more - I found it highly disappointing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A darker hybrid between 84 Charing Cross Road and Armistead Maupin, 24 April 2007
By 
This is a slow and careful book which charts the journey of a young Tasmanian woman in a quirky corner of New York. Rosemary, the eighteen year old central character, is both much younger than her age - lacking in worldliness and any sort of 'modern cred', and also, much older, in terms of her attraction to a life of internal, rather than external, focus.

The small cast of characters in the book are all loners, oddballs, possessed of peculiar damage in some way.

There is a lot of nuance in this book , and it is sweetly, and sadly, delightful. To my shame, I am unfamiliar with Hermann Melville, so felt that there were probably layers and echoes which were lost on me, and that I might even have rated the book as 5 star if I had read Melville's books (much of the book is devoted to the search for a missing manuscript by Melville, and there are excerpts of his letters and writings included, these allusions both driving plot and character)

I really enjoyed meeting the distinctly oddball bookshop characters (hence the hybrid in my reveiw title).

However i did find there was something ultimately unsatisfying in the tie up of the Walter Geist storyline - something not quite believable in the development of relationship, nor in the 'sting' - even though how that was going to end was quite predictable.

I DID like the way she only dropped hints about the 'stinger' and didn't spell out the obvious person responsible - there was no unmasking of their identity, Rosemary never alludes to their identity, though I think the reader will have a very definite knowledge of who it is!

My guess is, if you liked the books mentioned above, and or the wonderful 'Piano Shop on the Left Bank', you will find this to your taste. If you only like the Armistead Maupin territory, this may be just a little too slow and 'pastel' in its colours, where Maupin uses a much more vibrant set of 'colours' - Hay's cast - even the wonderful Pearl - are somehow more secretive in their weirdness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much effort for very little reward, 13 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
The Secret of Lost Things received so many positive reviews I was expecting a gripping, entertaining and unusual book. Instead I found it difficult to finish.
The central character, Rosemary, an ingenuous 18-year-old Tasmanian who comes to New York to make a new life for herself, never actually comes to life on the page, while the assortment of strange co-workers she meets in her new job as a sales assistant in a chaotic second-hand bookshop are relentlessly, tirelessly 'different.'
While I did persist until the end, I ultimately put the book down wishing I hadn't. The story of Rosemary's stunted relationship with her co-worker remains unresolved, we never really find out what happened to Melville's long lost novel, and at the end of the book we have grown no closer to any of the odd characters peopling the arcade then we had in the beginning.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant idea, rubbish execution., 18 Jun. 2011
By 
Nicola Golding (Noodles78) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
I wanted to love this book, I really did. The problem was that there was no story. It started really well, Rosemary sounded like she was going to be interesting and quirky and have characteristics that I could relate to, then it's like she stagnated. Her personality stopped at being a young orphan living in New York, yes she missed her mum but that was it. I just couldn't get a proper grip on her and the introduction of the booksellers was laughable. If you took away their very odd physical traits (albino, grossly fat, transexual) you were left with very shallow, 2d people, very very dull.

The actual storyline felt like a pointless distraction away from the 'quirky' characters, the whole debacle with the lost manuscript was, frankly, ridiculous. Who cared!

In short, I hated this book. If I wasn't reading this book for my bookclub, I would have binned it sooner than I did. The idea was brilliant, there were some lovely scenes written in here, so the author can clearly write, however, she has problems stringing a story together.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strange & Wonderful, 14 April 2009
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This review is from: The Secret of Lost Things (Paperback)
I can understand why this book has gotten such random reviews... it's a book I think you might hate or love... I did neither really... but it stuck with me, it's strange language and besides... I love detective stories about lost mauscripts, treasure ect ect...

In it's raw form it is just another comming of age story. A girl left on her own, and decides to move across the globe. She gets a job in an atique and used book store in NYC, and her she lives a sort of sheltered life inside it's walls... along with her co workes, all of thme bizarre and strange in their own way...

for me, it was entertaining... but in parts slightly boring and ever winding... The ending was alittle surprising, and I enjoyed that...

if you like books about books and fairytales with odd personalities... you'll like this :)
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The Secret of Lost Things
The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay (Paperback - 6 Oct. 2011)
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