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The Book of Lost Things Paperback – 5 Apr 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 190 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (5 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340899484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340899489
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Brilliantly creepy coming of age novel. (Mirror)

'Here Connolly steps directly into the enchanted forest, and the journey along its twisting path is as sinister and unsettling as anything invented by the Brothers Grimm . . . Connolly's control of this material is superb; tension, terror and gallows humour make the book a gripping read. But this allegorical coming-of-age story also cleverly shows the way that traditional stories have been used to reflect the sometimes harsh concerns of our world.' (Eithne Farry, Daily Mail)

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. (The Times)

Book Description

Special tenth anniversary edition, with black and white illustrations and a new afterword.

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

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Ashford VINE VOICE on 14 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. That doesn't seem a strong enough statement somehow. This book is in my top 5 ever and I'm an avid reader. It's a beautiful fairytale for grown ups full of magic and mystery. The story follows a young boy whose father has remarried and had a baby with his new wife and how this young boy deals with the loss of his beloved mother and jealousy towards his new step-brother. What follows is a beautiful tale of adventure and acceptance as the boy's stepbrother is stolen away by a mysterious figure and his journey to rescue him. I really don't want to give too much away but I highly suggest you read it. A perfect book to curl up with on a winters day with plenty of hot chocolate.
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