Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

From the book:
High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
I really loved this book. Although some may mistakenly think this is a child's or young adult type of book, I do not think so. It is most definitely an adult book. Yes, the main character is a 12 year old child and they deal with fairy tales, but there is darkness that surrounds the boy. This darkness is inappropriate for children. There are also principals identified within the story that may be lost on the younger set, but noticed by adults with more life experience.

The fairy tales in the book are more reminiscent of the old fairy tales in which do not always have a happy ending. Connolly goes further and twists those fairy tales into nightmares. Nightmares of David and the old king's making. As each fear is dealt with, more of the self to David is revealed. It is a book about dealing with one's own fear and the loss of ignorance we have as children. Ignorance of the world's darker half, before we are prepared to handle it, is what makes us innocent. That is what this book explores. It is David's painful journey into adulthood and the choices he makes that determines who he eventually becomes.

The ending is what got me the most. So, I don't reveal too much, I feel that I can safely say that Connolly gives the best meaning to names having the most meaning. You'll just have to read the book to figure out what I meant by that. :) My only criticism is that I felt it didn't quite meld the Greek mythology quite as successfully as he changed the fairy tales. But, that really, is a slight criticism.

This book has my highest rating and my recommendation.


  1. I loved this book when I first read it, and I agree, it is very much an adult book. Great review!

    I think I'll re-read it. It's fairy tale season --

  2. This sounds really good. I have never heard of it before! Think it must go on my wish list!


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