The Book of Lost Things (John Connolly)

26 January 2022

The Book of Lost Things

'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.

Average Rating:

Ross Hetherington (25 May 2022 15:12)

I wish I could give it less than 1 star.

One of the five worst things I've ever read, and I can only remember a couple of the others, unlike this unfortunately!

Sean Aaron (25 February 2022 11:58)

I enjoyed it, bar the coda, which was overly grim, but the shortcomings overall are numerous and the result isn’t terribly compelling.

Sinclair Manson (29 January 2022 17:56)

Sort of an anti-Narnia, in which an adolescent boy has to grow up by putting aside childish fantasy and accepting the dreary muddle of the real world. This is an interesting book to contemplate, intensely driven and heavily loaded with Freudian symbolism, but I didn't find it an enjoyable read. The tone is dark and heavy, but scattered with whimsical intrusions that set off an unpleasant dissonance for me.

In the end, laying out the main character's emotionally brutal adult life in the last chapter seems intended to hammer home the key point that real life is divorced from the clarity and satisfaction of fiction. It makes the whole thing seem self-defeating, like finishing a seduction with an enumeration of the disappointments and compromises that are sure to follow. A strange and frustrating novel.