The Book of Lost Things
Mr B's review
An absolute gem of a book and one I have read many times! A dark and twisted fairy-tale, but with such a beautiful innocence to it in the form of our main character, David. I love the way John Connolly takes traditional tales and makes them his own. The story begins when David looses his mother, and is naturally devastated. They adored reading together, so he retreats to his attic bedroom to read as he finds no comfort anywhere else. Especially as his father remarries swiftly and he soon has a baby brother. Set around World War Two, it has a intriguing historical context too, especially as something happens which enables David to go into an alternate world filled with fairy tale characters. Something odd, menacing and troublesome is around every corner in this new world, and David’s bravery and moral compass are tested throughout- especially when he meets the Crooked Man, who promised to fix David’s life, and just wants one thing in return… A superb coming of age tale, mixed with dark fantasy. I can’t see it coming off my favourites any time soon! – Amy
‘A brilliantly creepy coming of age novel’ Daily Mirror
‘A moving fable, brilliantly imagined, about the agony of loss and the pain of young adulthood’ The Times
‘This is no saccharine fairytale, but an eerie fable that’s perfect for long winter nights’ Daily Mail
This illustrated edition includes two new short stories – Cinderella, A Version and The Rat King, the latter introducing the Crooked Man who is central to the world of The Book of Lost Things – and an afterword from the author.
‘Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother . . .’ As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters in his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things.
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 This is no saccharine fairytale, but an eerie fable that’s perfect for long winter nights Daily Mail What gives THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS such a chilling edge is the way the real and illusory worlds sit so comfortably together … and the most wicked of the wicked, who goes by the name of The Crooked Man, at times possesses the kind of guile and plausibility of which modern-day politicians would be proud … Even if you aren’t normally drawn to stories in which the imagination is given such a free rein, there is something tender, something strangely moving about David’s experience of the land called Elsewhere. Daily Express Engaging, magical, thoughtful read Independent Connolly imagines the emotional cave-in of puberty intelligently, even perceptively Guardian The material is grim and gripping, but this remains a poignant and imaginative evocation of the distress of losing a loved one. Daily Telegraph A moving fable, brilliantly imagined, about the agony of loss and the pain of young adulthood. The Times A powerful, powerful writer. I got a very real chill down my spine. This is an amazing book. — Jeffery Deaver 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 A new interpretation of old fairy tales, it is imaginative and beautifully written. Choice It’s imaginative, funny, sad and profound – fairy tales within a fairy tale, a child’s adventure, a fantasy journey; it’s about growing old and has the last word on dying … Each re-reading still brings a sigh and a moment of reflection. Radio Times The book’s epic villainy, mournful tone and tested morality is the essence of Connolly. Worst of all is the Crooked Man, who ranks with the Travelling Man, the Collector and even Mr Pudd among Connolly’s most memorable villains. ‘THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS is peculiar and perverse and humane, with an incredibly lyrical finale. The Irish Times Charming, disturbing and outrageously imaginative. A tremendously exciting change of pace. Lawrence Jackson, Producer of BBC Radio 4’s adaptations of John Connolly’s short stories
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