Monday, March 01, 2010

11. THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS - John Connolly


David's mother is dying, but he counts the numbers of steps and ritualizes his mornings in an attempt to keep her alive. After her death, and his father's subsequent remarriage, he finds new rituals: books. Especially, listening to the books who talk to him.

This fantasy-filled novel, set in World War II Britain, promises to prompt memories of Grimm fairy tales and ideas of "truth" versus "story." I found that I liked this book much more after I finished it and could begin the rehashing of its meaning.

David finds a hole in the garden, and he hears his mother's voice calling for help. One night, he sees a German plane falling from the sky, and to escape from a fiery death, he crawls through the hole into a fairytale woods. From there, the story follows familiar and strange tales, the stories that we do not tell children, but we probably should. Death comes to those who make idiotic choices, for example, or are not honorable in their actions.

In order to return to the "real world," David must find the king and his "Book of Lost Things." However, is his awakening due to finding a way home, or had this been his imagination all along?

The author threw in enough irony and twists on typical children's fare to keep my attention. More thrilling is the discussions post-reading. Does this other-world exist? As the author states, he has received a unique answer from everyone he has met. A book to make one think - I'll put down my drink for this.

4.0 out of 5.0 Red Witches.

9 comments:

Hannah Stoneham said...

thanks you so much for posting this fascinating review which really motivates me to want to read this book. I am fascinated that there is clearly a complex blend of reality and dream in this work - this is a very hard thing to pull off so I am always interested in an author who is able to do this -
Thanks very much for sharing and congratulations on your lovely blog.

Hannah

Alice. said...

while i envy your extensive list of books read, and don't think i could add to it, if you haven't real the 13th tale by diane setterfield you should consider picking it up.

good luck reading.

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

thanks for this.

Kristin Dodge said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Alice! I am only reading recommended books this year, so this will be added to my list. If you have more, I'd love to hear them!

everybookandcranny said...

This was one of my beach reads last year. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I think Connolly did a great job of making this implausible world and tale feel believable. I felt transported to his world every time I picked up the book.

Maggie May said...

ps i just read Open Secrets and HIGHLY recommend it.

viola black said...

K, I thought this book was *fantastic*, much for the reasons you gave. Where does reality begin and end? --the cinnamon queen

身材維持 said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

Kristin Dodge said...

Gracias, everyone. Shame on me, but I just put in a new book order with all of these recommendations. I may need to cut back on the liquor budget.