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4.0 out of 5 stars The sheer enjoyment of storytelling..., 21 April 2011
By 
Chris Hall "DLS Reviews" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
First published in April 2011, Claude Lalumière's novella `The Door To Lost Pages' was constructed and complied from a sprinkling of previously published segments, which once woven together, became the lucid and mesmerising offering of surreal and highly imaginative fiction that is this dreamlike tapestry of interconnecting stories.

DLS Synopsis:
After tolerating her drug addicted parents for ten the first ten years of her life, Aydee finally decides to run away from home. The cold concrete of the streets soon envelops her, until out of reality comes a giant lioness to offer comfort and warmth. Waking up the next day ten-year-old Aydee witnesses a battle between two winged creatures that appear outside of the vision for everyone else on the crowded inner-city pavement.

From the wounded skeleton angel, Aydee is sent in search of both help and answers to which she is directed to a mysterious bookshop known as Lost Pages. There she is given a new life, amongst the crammed and overcrowded bookshelves. And over the years that follow, she too will meet those that too come in search of answers to those questions that have always troubled them. Through the shop door will come customers from all walks of life, each baring their own story and their own demons.

Lost Pages is where the books that tell the tales of forgotten and lost histories can be found. A corner in the universe where the threads of time collide. A place with answers. A place where many eventually see their true home...

DLS Review:
The novella begins by leaping through an open door into a mindboggling world of gods and monsters, demons and angels; all at war with one another in the chaos of dreams and multi-layered timelines. Confusing and daunting to say the very least, the reader claws through this early onslaught of godly warfare to re-emerge the other side of this short but arduous prologue in a stupefied state of disorientation.

The calming waves of a reality that appears somewhat normal to us is waiting in the next segmented section of the novella. From here a sense of slow understanding can be gradually (and rewardingly) pieced together. For with Lalumière's delightful prose comes a fluid and instantly accepting storytelling that so effortlessly draws the reader into his dreamlike world.

Unrestricted imagination twined with the sheer enjoyment of storytelling bring together what is essentially a patchwork of tales; each one stemming from the inspiring seed that is Lost Pages. This is a book that is so unashamedly by and for book lovers. Around every corner is the fantastical escape of books. On every shelf lies another secret to be uncovered between the pages of a forgotten book. The love and passion for books and the mysteries that they hold constantly envelops the reader throughout each one of these miniature tales.

Parallel universes , multi-layered timelines and histories that contradict each other open up a whole world of magical possibilities. The limitless scope for entertaining the author's unquestionably excitable imagination is breath-taking, if not utterly refreshing. Leave your worries at the door and walk on into the fantastical world where magic and mystery lie hand-in-hand with the beating heart of humanity and the limitless questions within the universe.

For all its easily enjoyable storytelling, `The Door To Lost Pages' does shift and lightly stubble across perhaps too broad a landscape to allow the reader to remain part of the puzzle. The briefness of the novella may have driven too much of a restricting stake through the overall tale. The looseness of the individual story segments may be too untameable to be woven into a whole. However, what it lacks in its completeness, it certainly makes up for in its imaginative adventure.

This is a novella to become quickly and unconsciously lost within. Its open expanse of lovingly created passages into dreamlike stages of life, immerse the reader in the unobstructed enjoyment of storytelling. And that's what it always seems to come back to here. The utter and unashamed enjoyment of storytelling. And that pretty much sums up the book - the sheer enjoyment of storytelling...

The book also includes a six-page introduction by Paul Di Filippo. The novella runs for a total of 200 pages.
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The Door to Lost Pages
The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere (Paperback - 3 May 2011)
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