The Book of Lost Things, by John Connolly

The Book of Lost Things, by John ConnollyThis is the second Text Tribe book.

Have you read it?

Do you plan to read it?

How is it going?

What did you think?

Will you – or have you – read other books by the same author?

Talk about it here!

[Please avoid posting spoilers if possible – or label them as such]


Posted on November 27, 2012, in Authors, Books, John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I’ve already read this book. It has a mix of fairy tales in it, but told in a more adult, with a twisted touch, from a different angle, not the common and definitely not the classis way. Refreshing attempt to give the whole experience of the protagonist struggle more colour. Yes, I liked it.

  2. Well I am about half way through this book and find it fascinating and disturbing. I find the descriptions of cruelty and violence upsetting. I read some reviews about the book, just to touch base and find out if my analysis was the same as others and found that this was described as a book about the transition from childhood to adulthood – which makes sense. My first thinking was that it was exploring the relationship between art, creativity and mental health. I also think that there is alot of politics in this book, about fascism and the nature of different relationships which can be positive, supporting and loving or exploitative and evil.
    I am looking forward to hearing the views of others….

  3. [A note to Didgeridoo and Diana – your comments were moved here as the content of the ‘Next book’ page changes over time and they would have got lost and not been part of the discussion. Hope that’s OK?]

  4. I enjoyed the first few chapters about the young boy in WWII London, but the Narnia-like transition and subsequent chapters were to my mind tedious in the extreme: fantasy has been done much better elsewhere, as have re-interpretations of fairytales (eg Angela Carter). I couldn’t hack it to be honest and flicked to the end of the book to see how the author brought the story round. I’ve returned the book to the library – it will be interesting to hear what others think. A really annoying niggle which, after I noticed it, came at me each time like an express train, was his use of the word “upon” when he just meant “on”. Aaaaaagh! I too read some reviews, each of which said that apart from this, the author is a very well-known writer of hard-boiled thrillers and this was a very unexpected departure for him. Anyone read his thrillers? Can you recommend?

  5. I’ve just started this – am about 50 pages in. I’m quite enjoying it so far, but I have a feeling I’m going to have the same reaction as the person above. Trying to keep an open mind!

  6. Hmmm… Very curious now, I am about to start reading. Wonder what I will make of it – there have been diverse comments so far. Books that generate conflicting opinion often lead to such interesting discussions.

  7. Oh dear. I fear Mark Billingham won’t want to be my friend – I don’t think I’m going to make it through this one. I’m 70+ pages in, and I don’t know if I’ve been influenced by other readers or not, but it’s starting to get on my nerves. I don’t normally give up on books but this one is really not doing it for me now, so I may follow some of Billingham’s other advice – to move on. It started quite well but there are all sorts of (in my opinion) shoddy bits of writing which really grate. Combine that with the fact that, as the person above said, others have done fantasy / fairy tales better and I don’t know if I want to pursue this one. Will give it a few more pages tonight and see how I go.

  8. Oh I love it – very creepy start, very Angela Carter.

  9. Finished it, and I was engrossed although not enchanted. It was all a bit simplified and obvious. It doesn’t really work as an adult book but neither would I recommend it to children. The points made were very laboured, hammered home with a blunt instrument rather than deftly woven into a magical tale. Sadly disappointing although it has reminded me of fairy tales I had forgotten and I may also re-read Angela Carter. Any other suggestions for alternative folk /fairy tales?

  10. Hmmm. Depends whether you would count magic realism as being within that category? I loved Isabelle Allende’s House of the Spirits.
    Sadly I did give up on this book, in the end. Sorry.
    Diana, did you finish it? What did you think?

  11. I read this book a while ago and remember being plesantly surprised by it. i thought it would just be another regular fantasy book, but found it quite dark and moving. I loved the way the little boy escapes from one dark world, oocupied by nazis to an even worse one. you would have liked to have imagined that when escaping to a fantasy world it will be a beautiful one, but not in this case.
    I went on to read his follow up book Noturnes and liked it just as much.

  12. I had just about the opposite reaction to several of the commenters above – I found the opening chapters a real slog (and the period voice kept slipping and jarring) and enjoyed things a lot more after David entered the other world. Sort of worth having ploughed through the first third, but, but I certainly didn’t find it as wonderful as some of the reviewers aparently did. Personally I enjoyed The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making [Catherynne M. Valente], MirrorMask, Pans Labyrnth, etc far more, and they all tread similar ground.

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