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Lost and Found Paperback – 15 Aug 2013
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Witty, off-beat and moving ... Tom Winter delights with a deadpan turn of phrase. (Daily Mail)
A keenly observed book about loneliness and longing ... Winter makes the reader not only smile, but pause and, in the final line, shed an appropriate tear about what it means to be given a second chance. (The Lady)
A touching tale, full of pathos and laugh-out-loud moments. (Candis)
Set against the bleak backdrop of London suburbia and blackly comic, this is an easy read and a gentle tale of the everyday but no less moving for it, perhaps because of it. (NewBooks magazine)
'Original and surprising ... it left me glowing.' (Saga)
'Winter's style is chatty and his wit gentle, but he has a sharp enough edge to avoid sentimentality.' (BookOxygen.com)
'I laughed out loud ... this book's one to keep.' (TheBookbag.co.uk)
This is a black comedy full of wit and deadpan humour...Spiky and charming, bleak and heart-warming at the same time (Mail on Sunday)
This is an easy, if poignant, read with delicate (and sometimes more biting) touches of humour (The Herald)
Stunning debut by Tom Winter. Meet Albert and Carol, two lost souls, brought together through a series of unforgettable letters.See all Product description
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Themes of disappointment and dysfunctional relationships dominate. Carol chose to remain in her marriage to kindly but boring Bob, her ‘eternal man-child’, for her daughter’s sake, only for her daughter to reject her. The difficult mother-daughter relationship is encapsulated in a wonderful description of how Carol senses her daughter’s presence as a ‘chill in the air’, and how she can ‘project her emotions’ through rooms, walls, and ‘perhaps one day the entire population of London will figure out it’s actually Sophie making them feel like crap’. While laughing at the hyperbole, you connect with the deep discontent within the family home. Carol, Bob and Sophie may appear to be a family unit but they are essentially alone.
Themes of isolation and loneliness are developed further through Albert, who lost his loving wife many years previously, and lives on a bleak housing estate in Croydon, south London with only his cat for company. His neighbour is a thug, his working life is nearly over, and it’s only the arrival of Carol’s letters that give him some purpose. His response to the letters is touching and funny, highlighting his vulnerability and naivety.
This is one of those quiet but moving stories of everyday people, living with thwarted dreams. It is superbly English in its tone; mixing dry humour with bitter tragedy, capturing the mundane and absurd nature of life.
In all good novels, as well as humour, there is sometimes heart wrenching sadness. I was able to cope with it though as it was peppered with humour as I have mentioned, and honest emotion which kept me turning the pages to see what happened to these characters. I cared about the ending and wanted there to be a happy one. I won't give the game away by saying if it was or wasn't, but only that I felt satisfied when I turned the last page. Can't wait for more from this author!!
It is the story of Carol, who writes a letter to the universe, marking the envelope with a smiley face. It is the story of Albert, a postman close to retirement, shunted into the dead letter office to keep him busy until his final day - where he finds Carol's letters.
It's funny, full of glib asides naturally done rather than heavy-handed punchlines.
It is life and life's claustrophobia: decisions made badly, the treadmill beneath your feet, the "just this and then I can ...". It's bittersweet rather than angsty.
It's characters you want to know more about, who - in the tradition of all the best British sitcoms - manage to be comedic yet somehow true.
It is very, very rare for a book to get 5 stars from me. Harold Fry did, because even at the end, even when you know the shape of the story, it still manages a gut punch. Lost and Found gets 4 and the rare words: I will definitely be reading more by this author.