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The Book of Lost Things Paperback – October 16, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
I was working as a journalist when I began work on my first novel. Like a lot of journalists, I think I entered the trade because I loved to write, and it was one of the few ways I thought I could be paid to do what I loved. But there is a difference between being a writer and a journalist, and I was certainly a poorer journalist than I am a writer (and I make no great claims for myself in either field.) I got quite frustrated with journalism, which probably gave me the impetus to start work on the novel. That book, Every Dead Thing, took about five years to write and was eventually published in 1999. It introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Dark Hollow, the second Parker novel, followed in 2000. The third Parker novel, The Killing Kind, was published in 2001, with The White Road following in 2002. In 2003, I published my fifth novel - and first stand-alone book - Bad Men. In 2004, Nocturnes, a collection of novellas and short stories, was added to the list, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, The Black Angel. In 2006, The Book of Lost Things, my first non-mystery novel, was published.
Charlie Parker has since appeared in five additional novels: The Unquiet, The Reapers (where he plays a secondary role to his associates, Louis and Angel), The Lovers, The Whisperers, and The Burning Soul. The eleventh Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, will be available in the UK in August 2012 and in the US in January 2013.
The Gates launched the Samuel Johnson series for younger readers in 2009, followed by Hell's Bells (UK)/The Infernals (US) in 2011. A third Samuel Johnson novel should be finished in 2013.
I am also the co-editor, with fellow author Declan Burke, of Books to Die For, an anthology of essays from the world's top crime writers in response to the question, "Which book should all lovers of crime fiction read before they die?" Books to Die For is available in the UK as of August 2012, and will be available in the US in October 2012.
I am based in Dublin but divide my time between my native city and the United States, where each of my novels has been set.
Top Customer Reviews
This tale builds slowly (as it should and during the brief passage of the first five chapters) through the eyes of a twelve year old boy named David. But the tale soon picks up speed on the doorstep of Chapter six. And then... watch out!
The source for most of the tales encountered by David, during his journey through an alternate but un-named land, is the Brother's Grimm. And the structure itself lends closely to Lewis Carroll's tales of Alice's adventure in Wonderland and her journey Through the Looking Glass. But we cannot omit L. Frank Baum from this porridge of evil but sublime. His imprint is there and presiding with more than a tip of the hat to Dorothy and her journey to Oz and to the `Magnificent Wizard' (and a reminder of at least a couple of her companions, along the way through that journey).
But don't think I'm going to say this tale is a `copy' of any of the above! The story is wholly original in the telling... and then some.
It should be said (and already has been) that this rendering is not for children. And it is not for the faint of heart. If anything, the story can be viewed as cautionary fairy tale melded with contemporary warning to the likes of Ed Gein and John Wayne Gacy (and Gacy especially, when `feeling' the creepy crawly `below-world' of the crooked man and some of his personal culinary delights). Both of these monsters could easily have existed in David's alternate world.
And wasn't that, after all is said and done, the original warning of the Brother's Grimm?
Beware of that which seems innocent and pure because... it may be not!
He runs into the woods to leave this situation and on the other side of a tree is another world. A world that David would have to conquer in order to be released from it, and understands the true nature of goodness and love. After many adventures with stories of fairy tales that we might have read, (but these stories have their own twists), David must choose between good and evil. During this journey David finds himself growing from a child to a young man with a true heart. All lost things are found again.
This is definitely not Disney's version of fairy tales and even the Brothers Grimm might find parts of this a bit horrific. Connolly's definition of "happy ever after" may be realistic but is definitely sad. Yes, there are lessons of bravery, loyalty and love, but I found the story repetitive and lacking the "magic" that makes fairy tales so memorable. Connolly is a superb writer. His Charlie Parker books, up until "Dark Angel." were masterful in their balance of horrible and humor, humanity and paranormal and were written with such a lyrical style. That was lost with "Dark Angel" and is missing here as well. The last 10-11 pages were wonderful but it's not a story I'll go back and re-read as I do "Beauty and the Beast," Neil Gaiman's 'Coraline,' or Raymond Feist's "Fairie Tale," one of my favorites.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I agree with the few reviews that describe this book as disgusting. I am only about 1/3 of the way through and am astounded with the incredibly disturbing message - John Connolly... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Sara E. Kitaeff
Absolutely loved it, it's so vivid and fascinating and you definitely want to keep reading to see what happens next!!! Read morePublished 19 days ago by Dinar
I was disappointed. It was just too much fairy tale instead of fiction. John Connolly is a really, fantastic author. He is also quite versatile. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Susan R. Elig
This is one of the top 10 books I've read in my 27 years, and I read A LOT. It was amazing, I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nicole Harvey
This book is reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. Although it isn't as complex as HP, it still has the wonderful mixture of story and characters that can draw an 11 yr old / 43... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Laurel K.