Saturday, 21 August 2010
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
It took me quite a while to pick this one up and I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I began to read it.
The main protagonist is 12 year old David; he has just lost his mother who has been ill. After having his world turned upside down by his father's eventual remarriage and the birth of his brother, David retreats more and more into his books which he shared a great love for with his mother. After a particularly upsetting day for David he manages to find himself in a land of fairy-tales after stepping through a hole in the garden. He then has to navigate himself through this world in order to somehow find his way back and he starts to lose his innocence as he does so.
I tried to describe this book several times to my husband while reading it and in the end I realised that it reminded me of the films 'Pans Labyrinth', 'The Brothers Grimm' and 'The Never Ending Story' but far freakier and twisted.
This book is incredibly well written and structured as the author packs in the tiny details which makes the world David has entered come alive while still maintaining the fast pace of the book. There is some strong imagery throughout and most of the book creates some vivid scenes. The creatures David encounters are recognisable from old fairy-tales you would have read as a child but reworked to become more frightening and sinister. There is also however some light relief in places and David's encounter with the seven dwarfs (who seem hell bent on ridding themselves of Snow White) made me laugh out loud.
I admit that I lapped up the grim tales within the story with great glee, I revelled in the whole atmosphere of the book and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Would I recommend it? This is one I am sure I will re-read at some point so yes. This is essentially a coming of age story and one for adults only.
Posted by Jess