Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Book of Lost Things

While I was away, I've had a lovely time, reading several new things. On the top of my list and one I'd like to share is a book by John Connolly called The Book of Lost Things. The red book cover is what my copy looks like, although according to Connolly's site, that cover is the paperback edition for the UK. I bought it in a US bookstore. Weird. But this way you can be looking for either cover if you happen to choose to read it. And if you do, please stop by and leave me your comments!

The Book of Lost Things is the tale of a young boy named David. He loves his books, particularly his fairy tales and myths. Old stories like those of the Brothers' Grimm and the like. When his world is turned upside down, by a death and a marriage, David finds himself in a new house. The bedroom he is given is filled with books. Among them he finds more tales that he's never read. Finding comfort only from his books, David begins to hear the books whispering in the quiet moments.

David himself is lost in this world, with the war going on out in the world, and no one to turn to but the books within his world. He finds himself in a new world, one with a Crooked Man who may not be one to trust, wolves and things worse than wolves, and characters that seem like his fairy tales, but different. His goal is to find the king who rules this land and has a book that contains all of his secrets... The Book of Lost Things.

This book is full of fantasy and imagination. It is one that keeps you guessing, and even if you do guess what may be happening, there is still enough of a twist to keep you on your toes. I thourougly enjoyed reading it. To my delight, at the end, the author included the full version of all the Fairy Tales and Myths that he borrowed from, and a little background on why he used them and how they work in the story. I found a whole extra day of reading just in the background stuff he pulled for his work. That was fabulous!

While David is 12 years old, John Connolly doesn't reccommend it for young readers. He says that adults and children would read it differently, and he wrote it more for an adult audience. My perspective on this idea is that as an adult, you can reflect on the inner struggles you had as a youth, and perhaps find some identification with David, as well as the wisdom of having come through to the other side of the struggle. A child may still be in the throws of their own struggle and not necessarily understand the ending results because they have not yet come to their conclusion. Certainly, a high school student would have a better time of reading it than a child in late elementary or middle school.

Overall, I found it very fascinating, and read it easily within a few days. I highly reccommend it.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Finished this awhile ago. I enjoyed it and really wished my copy from the library had the extra notes at the back like yours did because the fairytales I recognized were so different, I wanted to know if the differences were this author's original or rooted in a version unknown to me.
I thought it was interesting that, aside from the main villain, all the other most despicable characters were women (huntress, snow white, enchantress in the floating castle, even the beast) I wonder why? I also wonder why there are so many fairytales with wicked stepmothers. Sheesh.
Once again, thanks for the recommendation. Looking forward to the next one.