The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

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I’d been wanting to read The Book of Lost Things for a while, since I read that it was sort of like a compilation of fairy tales retellings, which is exactly the kind that I like. The beginning of the book is great. So great, I knew I had to read it as soon as I read the first couple of paragraphs in the library.

The book tells the story about David, who lost his mother and found his dad marrying another woman with her son. Drowned in despair and jealousy, he was distant from his new family and retreated more into the worlds he found in story books. Not long after that, when a plane came crashing down the house’s garden, David was somehow brought into another world that wasn’t his own. A world with twisted fairy tales, with human-wolves, bad Little Red Riding Hood, a gay knight, obese Snow White, and vampire Sleeping Beauty. Don’t forget Rumpelstiltskin, the one who inspires the main villain in the story.

I though the book was interesting, but wasn’t amazingly good. Somewhere in the middle, I felt that it slowed down, and I quickly got disinterested with the half-wolves. I thought they were just ordinary creatures. At the back of my mind, I was worried that it was becoming just another adventure story, with a little kid that overcomes obstacles and beats the baddies at the end. So in a way it is, but then there are other elements to keep it unique among others. I enjoyed it but thought it could’ve been done even better. The ideas were great, but the details weren’t spectacular. Perhaps I just had a high expectation, so it’s hard to be met. Still, I’d recommend it for people who like adventure story with fantasy elements. Or for people who like twisted fairy tales.

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Apparently John Connolly is originally a thriller/crime writer. That’s not exactly my favorite genre, so I doubt that I would read his other books. But who knows what might come next?

ps: I love the cover. (I read the blue one instead of the red one.)

Rating: 4 out of 5
Pages: 339
Publication year: 2006

Awards
Nominee 2007 Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year
2007 Alex Award

First paragraphs

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.

Last line

And, in the darkness, David closed his eyes as all that was lost was found again.

Also reviewed by

The glowing reviews: Stephanie’s Written Word | Stuff As Dreams Are Made On | Biblioaddict | Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books | The Hidden Side of the Leaf | Things Mean A Lot | Everyday Reads | Book Escape | Blue Archipelago | Kay’s Bookshelf | She Reads Books | Melody’s Reading Corner | A Striped Armchair | Suko’s Notebook | One Swede Read

The so-so reviews: Fyrefly’s Book Blog | Fiddle-de-dee’s not English | The Bluestocking Society | MariReads | Valentina’s Room | It’s all about me

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10 thoughts on “The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly”

  1. High expectations do have a way of ruining perfectly good books sometimes! I’m glad you enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t everything you thought it would be.

  2. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it as much as I did, but glad to hear you enjoyed it nonetheless! Connelly has also written a collection of short horror/fantasy novels called “Nocturnes,” which you might be interested in reading if you want to give Connelly another go. So far, that and “TBLT” are the only things he’s written outside of his series, which I too have never read.

    Wonderful blog, by the way! :)

  3. Thank you for linking! Maybe you could try Nocturnes, as J.S. Peyton suggested. I read and liked that but if this isn’t the kind of genre you like reading, maybe you should check out the Nocturnes site first (sorry, I don’t have the link on hand) to check if you do want to read another Connolly.

  4. You know, now that 2 people mentioned Nocturnes, I might just give it a try. It does sound interesting, though I don’t think I’ve ever read anything in horror/fantasy genre.

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