The Book Of Lost Things: A Novel

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The Book Of Lost Things: A Novel

by John Connolly

Atria Books | November 7, 2006 | Hardcover

The Book Of Lost Things: A Novel is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 10.
New York Times bestselling author John Connolly''s unique imagination takes readers through the end of innocence into adulthood and beyond in this dark and triumphantly creative novel of grief and loss, loyalty and love, and the redemptive power of stories.

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.

An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, John Connolly''s latest novel is a book for every adult who can recall the moment when childhood began to fade, and for every adult about to face that moment. The Book of Lost Things is a story of hope for all who have lost, and for all who have yet to lose. It is an exhilarating tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 1.09 in

Published: November 7, 2006

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743298853

ISBN - 13: 9780743298858

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from An instant classic! Since I started reading more book blogs, and started up my own book blog again, I’ve been seeing so many great recommendations for books. Normally, when I hit up the library, I’ll wander aimlessly and pick out a book from the huge collections of spines on the library’s shelves. Now, I don’t complain about that—this is how I discovered the greatness of Kristin Hannah—but sometimes it’s nice to have a quick trip to the library, knowing exactly what I’m picking up. I’ve been frantically putting books on hold, or on my “later” shelf at my local library these days—not to mention, my shelves at home are quite full, leading me to seriously consider buying yet another bookcase for my collection. One such book that I had heard great things about was John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. I honestly had no clue what it was about, but I had seen it recommended so often that I didn’t care what it was about—I had to read it. After finishing it, I was happy to have listened to everyone’s suggestion—it was truly a book not to miss. Reminiscent of Narnia, Harry Potter, and maybe even a bit of Saw (yes, those scary movies), The Book of Lost Things follows young David as he loses his mother. In time, his father moves on and marries Rose. With her, they have another child, a boy, named Georgie. David keeps his spot in his room, reading his books, wanting nothing to do with this new family. Strange things start happening—his books seem to whisper to him, a strange man appears in his bedroom window—and David ultimately lets his curiosity get the best of him as he searches the sunken garden in the yard, which leads him to a hidden world. Obviously, Narnia comes to mind when this happens, and I figured it would be just another story of a young boy in a faraway land. However, this book was unique in that there are so many fairytale references going on—and not just your usual Disney-fied fairytales, but old tales of the Grimm brothers. Those creepy, not quite right, tales. The mood of the book was light in places, suspenseful in various chapters, and downright creepy and scary as a whole. Yet, it left the reader feeling satisfied in the end, leaving many messages to the reader. It’s a book about growing up, facing your fears, and learning to love what is new. It is easy to grow attached to all the characters in the novel, as Connolly writes them so well. At times, the reader is in a fairytale but doesn’t know it. At other times, the reader knows the fairytale so well that it’s a treat to see Connolly’s spin on it. Once you finish the book—at least in my copy—there’s about 100 pages including an interview with Connolly and references to all the fairytales referred to and written about within its pages. Connolly goes through the origin of the fairytales and gives the reader the original tale, or one which he thought was fascinating. While I had learned quite a bit about fairytales in university, I learned so much more from this book. I had no idea there were so many versions of these fairytales. This is not a children’s book. While the thought of fairytales may automatically ring alarm bells in an adult’s mind that this book is too young of a read, be warned. There are quite a lot of scares in this book. The fairytales are not what your kids may be used to. The Book of Lost Things is not to be missed. It is a great read and one of those books that will instantly be deemed a classic.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from through a glass darkly "Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother." Thus begins John Connolly’s amazing story The Book of Lost Things. When I finally turned the last page of this book this morning, I felt that keen sense of satisfaction one feels when they have read an amazing book, a book you know you are going to recommend to everyone. I loved every minute of it. David is just twelve when his mother dies. An only child, David is devoted to his mother and does everything in his power to keep her alive. "He prayed. He tried to be good, so that she would not be punished for his mistakes….He created a routine, and he tried to keep to that routine because he believed in part that his mother’s fate was linked to the actions he performed." David is not able to save his mother however; she dies. Soon after, his father remarries and he and his new wife, Rose, have another son, Georgie. David, still heart-broken over the loss of his mother, resents his father’s wife and his new brother. This family drama plays against the backdrop of WW2. One night, after a fight with Rose, David escapes to the garden. From the sky, a German bomber falls and to escape, David slips into a crack in the swimming pool turned sunken garden. He finds himself, suddenly, in another world; a world of dark and twisted fairy tales. I am making the book sound much simpler than it actually is. The Book of Lost Things is a coming-of-age-tale and a hero’s journey, a quest for truth and a horror story all rolled into one. Fairy tales, many familiar, are upended, revealing their slimey and rotten underbellies. David’s youth is slowly taken from him as he must fight, both alone and with companions, for his survival. David begins his journey as a scared and self-involved adolescent, but as he makes his way towards the castle where the old king apparently has a ‘book of lost things’ which may have the answer of how David can get home, he matures and comes to understand certain truths. It’s an exciting story; funny in places, creepy in others. And like Dorothy’s journey to Oz, David soon comes to understand the value of what he has left behind. At journey’s end, he is a changed person. I was profoundly moved by the book’s final pages.
Date published: 2011-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fairytales gone wrong yet so right This was just the book I needed to rebound from the disappointing one I read before this. John Connolly spins a fairytale in its own right, building from some of the traditional fairytales we know so well and adding great ideas of his own. Even with its imaginative fantasy, the plot remains real and grounded. The language is simple and the story starts of that way so much so that I thought it was miscategorized as an adult fiction rather than teen fiction. The fairytales become more sinister as the story delves deeper into a child's journey into adulthood, learning to put behind his grief, fears and insecurities, while embracing new emotions and morals that will save him from the distorted world of darkness. It does not matter where it is shelved or what age you are, so long as you and others read it. A movie adaptation (or better still, one that stays 100% true to the book) that will not suck, please?!
Date published: 2010-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from **A Genuine and Pure Story** A coming of age story that takes a young boy on a (imaginary?) journey battling characters borrowed and warped from fairy tales like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Narnia, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Wizard of Oz, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf among others The book reads simply and smoothly on the surface as a new (and at times somewhat gruesome) fairy tale but that also carries a fundamental story beneath it of discovering the boys own bravery, cooperation, trust, faith, and hope, while overcoming his jealousy, fear and pride. Some of the themes throughout include; names we assign DO have power – but only if you let them, it is not only the destination one aims for but the journey as well, and that which we see as black and white when we are younger become shades of gray as we age. There were a few times when the narrative was a bit predictable but I didn’t feel it diminished the story at all. Overall I really enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2009-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular Murder mysteries are usually my first choice when it comes to reading material so this one was unexpected. This fantasy world that Connolly creates is so well crafted and his ability to integrate classic fairy tales (with a bit of a twist) into the plot drives the story from beginning to end. Anyone who is a fantasy fan or even if you just like fairy tales, this book is for you.
Date published: 2008-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Fantasy Fans of the Brothers Grimm and Alice in Wonderland will love this adventure form beginning to end. A story of what happens when an innocent mind mixes reality with the stories of childhood. The young boy in the story embarks on adventure that takes him through a land inhabited by fairytales but with a dark and menacing twist to every character and story he encounters. A land where he must think his way through every dark corner, and evil villain in order to reach the castle with hopes of getting home.
Date published: 2008-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous read!!!! I loved this book very much! John Connolly takes a very interesting view on fairy tales, and I couldn't get enough of it!! This book reminds a lot The Chronicles of Narnia, a really great adventure!!!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pays off when someone does some searching My boyfriend searched dilligently this christmas for a book for me and discovered this gem of a book. The plot is interesting and disturbing at the same time.
Date published: 2008-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A sweet, wonderful book. What a wonderful story! Dealing with such themes as loss, grief and a child's anger, it nevertheless manages to be funny and touching at the same time. I adored the way John Connolly incorporated classic fairy tales into this book, it felt like I was returning to the old stories I loved as a child, only different (and perhaps better!) The only tiny negative I'd have is that there are about 125 pages at the end of the book that detail all of the fairy tales used (Rumplestiltskin, The Three Surgeons, etc). It was a little disappointing to expect to read a 450 page book only to realise that the last section was just filler. Otherwise, though, I loved this book.
Date published: 2007-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely enjoyable A dark and enchanting fairy tale with ingredients of a modern twist. It tells the story of David, who mourns the death of his mother, entering the world of petrifying ancient fairy tales. Superb story-telling. Extremely enjoyable. I love this book, simply as that. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2007-12-16

– More About This Product –

The Book Of Lost Things: A Novel

by John Connolly

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 1.09 in

Published: November 7, 2006

Publisher: Atria Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0743298853

ISBN - 13: 9780743298858

About the Book

In the tradition of C.S. Lewis and Gregory Maguire's "Wicked," bestselling author Connolly ("The Black Angel") offers a creative coming-of-age story about one boy's journey into adulthood by combining dramatic themes with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a fantastical imagination.

Read from the Book

I Of All That Was Found and All That Was Lost Once upon a time -- for that is how all stories should begin -- there was a boy who lost his mother. He had, in truth, been losing her for a very long time. The disease that was killing her was a creeping, cowardly thing, a sickness that ate away at her from the inside, slowly consuming the light within, so that her eyes grew a little less bright with each passing day, and her skin a little more pale. And as she was stolen away from him, piece by piece, the boy became more and more afraid of finally losing her entirely. He wanted her to stay. He had no brothers and no sisters, and while he loved his father, it would be true to say that he loved his mother more. He could not bear to think of a life without her. The boy, whose name was David, did everything that he could to keep his mother alive. He prayed. He tried to be good, so that she would not be punished for his mistakes. He padded around the house as quietly as he was able, and kept his voice down when he was playing war games with his toy soldiers. He created a routine, and he tried to keep to that routine as closely as possible, because he believed in part that his mother''s fate was linked to the actions he performed. He would always get out of bed by putting his left foot on the floor first, then his right. He always counted up to twenty when he was brushing his teeth, and he always stopped when the count was completed. He always touched the faucets in the bathroom and t
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From the Publisher

New York Times bestselling author John Connolly''s unique imagination takes readers through the end of innocence into adulthood and beyond in this dark and triumphantly creative novel of grief and loss, loyalty and love, and the redemptive power of stories.

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.

An imaginative tribute to the journey we must all make through the loss of innocence into adulthood, John Connolly''s latest novel is a book for every adult who can recall the moment when childhood began to fade, and for every adult about to face that moment. The Book of Lost Things is a story of hope for all who have lost, and for all who have yet to lose. It is an exhilarating tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

About the Author

John Connolly is the author of "Every Dead Thing", which was a bestseller in Britain & Ireland. He is a regular contributor to "The Irish Times", & has traveled extensively in the United States. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.