Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Book of Lost Things--John Connelly

Year Published: 2006
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Pages: 352
Rating: 4.5/5

I have never read Connolly before, but after this book I plan to read more. I really liked this book. Set during World War II, it features a pre-teenaged boy who is grieving his mother's death while trying to get used to his father's new wife and son. David is a good boy, but he is struggling with his jealousy and bitterness. He also seems to have mental issues (he demonstrates OCD-like behaviors, and also has seizures) and believes the books in his room are talking to one another. An avid reader, David was raised on the fairy tales his mother read to him. After a particularly nasty fight with his father and stepmother, he finds himself in another world--one that seems to be a mixture of all the fairy tales he has read, as well as other books. While there, he is forced to face his fears and battle a number of villians while trying to get back to his world.

There are many reasons I enjoyed this book so much. First of all, I love archetypical symbolism, and this book is littered with it. The world is David's subconcious fears as told through all that he's read. At the end, the author expounds on all the stories he chose to include, including their history, their meaning, and other variations of them. Secondly, it was so clever. The stories are twisted to fit David's life in ways that are sometimes disturbing and often amusing. I loved the seven dwarves being Communists--because David had read a book on Communism. Third, the story was suspenseful and fascinating. This was not a book for children. There was lots of violence, and it was dark and foreboding. Most of the characters David encountered were evil at best; many were vile. The world was alive and frightening, a mixture of our world and something foreign, reminiscent to me of Stephen King's Dark Tower world (which Connolly referenced in the end, as pertaining to the poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"). But I like that kind of stuff! I hope that Connolly's other work is as fascinating and enjoyable as this.

Challenge: R.I.P. III
Book-a-Week #: 42


mari said...

Wow. I want to read this book just for that cover. Beautiful.
Great review. I might have to add this to my list for the R.I.P challenge as well.

DesLily said...

I read this book last year and enjoyed it nearly as much as you did! It really was a good book, glad you enjoyed it too.

Rhinoa said...

I really need to get around to this, it is one my list for this year. I love your tattoo by the way.

katrina said...

I really enjoyed this, the real world with the war raging in the distance was equally as dangerous as the fairytaleesqe world if I remember rightly. Great review

Book Zombie said...

Wonderful review, I have this on my RIP list and I cannot wait to read it - more so since I've read your thoughts on it :)

Nymeth said...

I completely agree with you about this one. Such a great book :)

Heather said...

So glad you enjoyed it! It's one of my favorites.

Framed said...

Great review. I'm planning on reading this book for the RIP challenge and really look forward to it.

Quixotical said...

I'm really late commenting on this review, but I'm playing catch up!

I read this one last year and absolutely adored it. Am very tempted to pick it up again soon. I am looking forward to checking out more of Connolly's work in the near future.