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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!
Extraordinary and very topical; disturbing and visual. I've never read a book quite like Lost Boys. Compelling - and such a vivid ending. Miller is a tremendous writer!
Published on 12 Aug 2009 by Sienna

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't find Neverland
I got increasingly irritated while reading this book and almost didn't finish it, but pursued it in order to find out exactly how the author was going to wrap up the story he had started. Not sure why I bothered. Too clever for its own good it culminates in an orgiastic apocalypse and redemption finale that left me feeling cheated. I'd lingered with these stuffy,...
Published on 29 Aug 2008 by Mr. G. T. Mackenzie


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book!, 12 Aug 2009
By 
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
Extraordinary and very topical; disturbing and visual. I've never read a book quite like Lost Boys. Compelling - and such a vivid ending. Miller is a tremendous writer!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most original and unusual book to have been written so far about the Iraq war and its consequences., 8 Aug 2009
By 
Hero M. Mackenzie (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
LOST BOYS, is one of the most original and unusual books to have been written so far about the Iraq war and its consequences. Miller deftly up-dates Peter Pan with more sinister elements to weave an intoxicating, mysterious fable that draws disturbing parallels between the disappearance of a child and the damage caused by Western interventions in the third world. Powerful, compulsively readable, saturated with moments of visionary power and despair, LOST BOYS is a haunting, unforgettable book that justly deserved being selected by TIME OUT magazine as on their best books of the year.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't find Neverland, 29 Aug 2008
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
I got increasingly irritated while reading this book and almost didn't finish it, but pursued it in order to find out exactly how the author was going to wrap up the story he had started. Not sure why I bothered. Too clever for its own good it culminates in an orgiastic apocalypse and redemption finale that left me feeling cheated. I'd lingered with these stuffy, privileged unsympathetic characters for what? Loaded with obvious Peter Pan references in both characters and locations, it is an attempt to bring Barrie's ideas into a modern setting but does so with such a knowing air that it upsets the pace of the book - the reader is forced to slow with the glacial progress of the characters' thinking whilst the obvious signposts indicate the way things are heading. As the central characters muse on the events portrayed they seem to wilfully ignore the evidence that is in front of them. For example, we are expected to believe that none of them has read Peter Pan, for why else would his name never be mentioned? A child such as Timothy would surely explore the connection when confronted by a boy in green sitting in a tree outside his window (doh! who could that be?).

Topical? - well, throw disaffected youth, computer gaming, fundamentalism, oil, and a Middle Eastern back story into the pot, finishing with a fist full of sex and violence and yes there is a topicality there but again it seems very arch and knowing. Not rocket science to find interest in those areas but in the end to me it smacked of sensationalism and a way to add colour to aid the colourless characters. There is something very male-centric about this book too, despite the mother/carer/lover roles played by the females. Maybe that is to be expected in a book called Lost Boys but there is something fetishistic about the detailing of weapons or vehicles which smacks of badge-collecting and male obsessiveness. If that is the point then for me it often becomes tedious and gratuitous.

Some good writing is not enough compensation for the weariness I felt when putting this book down, an enervated feeling of having ridden on a disappointing fairground ride and thinking, is that it?
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping debut novel, 8 Aug 2009
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
Refreshing, brave, beautifully written and packed with drama, LOST BOYS is the best book I've read so far this summer.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and topical supernatural thriller, but lacks originality, 4 July 2008
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
Lost Boys starts out like a Lord of the Flies examination of adolescent mindset and the dynamic between groups of middle-class boys who have come into contact with a darker side of the world and deep primitive impulses. It's superbly compelling and sinister, establishing a slightly unsettling supernatural tone when the boys, many of them sons of foreign diplomats and high-profile international businessmen, start to disappear, lured away from their comfortable lives by a recurrent common dream of a young foreign boy.

An investigator soon identifies the connections between the disappearances but the conclusions and the scale of the problem are too disturbing to contemplate. Lost Boys then takes on a J.G. Ballard tone, examining and relating the destruction of the middle-class Western family values and a generation exposed to increasing levels of violence, terrorism and wars, not only in video-games and on television, but in the whole nature of the turbulent state of world affairs. These serious concerns are tied up in the most brilliant and suspenseful of intrigues, the supernatural elements only highlighting the underlying horror and absurdity of our relationship with Asian and Middle-East nations and the exploitation of their people and resources.

It's topical certainly, but unfortunately, as the novel develops, the debt it owes to other works becomes more and more apparent. With the missing son, a fractured middle-class family, and a father with a guilty colonial secret receiving threatening anonymous videos, it's perhaps most reminiscent (if not actually derivative) of Michael Haneke's 2005 film 'Hidden' (Caché). Well-written, Lost Boys is a fine and relevant read then, if not exactly as deeply original or as challenging as those works it all too obviously references.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utter Drivel, 23 Sep 2008
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
I have read hundreds of books and this looked like the sort of thing i like, modern setting, new author, contemporay themes, but as the book wore on i began to wonder whether i had slipped into some other lost world myself. I have never been compelled to write a review in my life but it left me so angry a) that i'd spent some money on it and b) that i read it on an otherwsie fantastic holiday. What drivel. The story was so weak, the characters so dull (apart from capatin hook in his cameo). God how i hated the parents, no wonder the kids were so awful and wanted to run off. The private detective.....you wouldnt hire a peodophile to look for your lost son?! By the end i thought someone had slipped some acid in my tea. I dont want to nose dive into someone's S&M fantasies....if you are that hung up, get therapy, go indulge without guilt, but please dont just tack it on the end to try to spice it all up. It made me want to be sick. And after all that we can all run round in our cloths and skip through the palm trees....no girls allowed.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Literary fiction? I don't think so, 9 Nov 2008
By 
disappointed (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
I only didn't drown this book in the bath (where I do most of my reading) because I'm attending my first book club meeting where this sorry offering is on the table.

How could Beryl Bainbridge give it a good review? How could one of the other reviewers here talk about "luminous prose"? I suspect that was a family member.

It is embarrassingly badly written. Cliche upon cliche. Clunky metaphor after leaden simile. I wouldn't normally quibble, but the tag of literary fiction sets up expectations. I'm astonished that an author who lectures on fiction isn't mortified to read back his own prose, so lazy and laboured as it is.

There wasn't a believable character or the pull of a plot to make reading pleasant. He had an interesting idea, and he wrote it out, doggedly. Unfortunately he killed the interest in this reader at least because he can't actually write well. How does this stuff get published?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The author has left the building., 19 Jan 2012
By 
EmmaH (Dorset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
Such an intriguing premise, the mass disappearance of teenage boys, and so much potential to embellish Barrie's original tribute to youthful innocence and exuberance. And it started well, the dreamlike atmosphere mixed with growing mystery and menace, and yet also a sense of promise.

A shame, then, that it all descended into writing as formless and chaotic as the dystopia it portrayed. It started going downhill with a lazy authorial `tell' session via the detective's tapes, then wandered off into somewhere aimless and anarchic and never came back. So many things left unanswered and unexploited - the Captain Hook character for one. Where did he go? If you're going to create a contemporary pastiche of Peter Pan, why leave out one of its most essential elements? And what on earth was the dominatrix all about?

There was an intriguing idea in here somewhere. And some meaning. Just occasionally, as you turned the page, you would glimpse it out of the corner of the eye, the promise of something profound and significant, then a few paragraphs on you wondered if you had just imagined it. By the end, you knew you had.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and Pretentious, 12 Dec 2010
This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
I guess I'm missing the point of this book. "Too clever for its own good" springs to mind. I know that a lot of people have discussed the deeper intellectual meaning of the book and the themes that it raises, but I found it about as thought provoking as a my navel. It was slow and tedious and do not expect any real explanation about where the boys and eventually the father actually go.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Midwich Cuckooland, 5 Aug 2008
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This review is from: Lost Boys (Paperback)
What a strange book. On one level it's a straight missing-child thriller, and it works reasonably well on genre fiction terms - characters are ciphers, dialogue is cloth-eared, but it rattles along. On top of this, though, is a weird conceit about the nation's youth being spirited into a sort of Midwich militia to battle against Western hegemony, and it's a vehicle for the author to pontificate rather gauchely on big geopolitical themes - essentially, he seems to think that the 'developed' world is smugly detached to the point of psychological illness, and deserves whatever it gets in the way of a terrorist wake-up call.

I have to agree with other reviewers about the ending of the novel. I read an interview in which Miller said he was blocked for months, before finishing the book in one crazed burst. My goodness, can you tell. It's pretty much an acknowledgement that the novel had no organic structure when he started, and could only cop out with an adolescent 'was it all a dream?' fantasy sequence.

It's different, though. I give it that.
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Lost Boys by James Miller (Paperback - 6 Aug 2009)
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