epub pdf The Book of Lost ThingsAuthor John Connolly – Wildlives.co
Rumpelstiltskin aka the Crooked Man is one seriously scary and diabolical CREEPSTER Trust me, after reading this book, the above image of a sadistic, powerful, child slaughtering MOFO will forever displace your previous perception of old Rumpy being nothingthan a half pint, mischievous prankster with ethical deficiencies a Disney tale this is not a light, comforting happily ever after children s story this is not However, what this story is.is beautifully written, richly characterized and brilliantly executed Put simply it s wheel barrow full of WONDERFUL My feelings for this book surprised me after my intensely passionate, torrid love affair with The Child Thief I sort of felt bad for this book as I really thought it had no shot of being anythingthan a diversionary get my head back together rebound novel I certainly didn t imagine it had any chance of sweeping me up off my feet and carrying me way into its narrative but it did The story made me love it despite myself PLOT SUMMARY Set in England at the outbreak of WWII, young David loves books and stories We meet David as he is watches his mother slowly die from illness When she finally succumbs to death, David is devastated I told you book this wasn t a bright box of sunshine Eventually, David s dad gets remarried to a woman named Rose and the three of them move to Rose s country home where David s half brother, Georgie, is soon born David is given the room of Rose s uncle, Jonathan Tulvey, who shared David s love of books and stories Jonathan vanished as a young boy and has never been seen since The books in Jonathan s room are old and full of ancient stories and many contain odd notes written by Jonathan While Rose is nice and tries to form a bond with David, he finds himself increasingly angry at her and his new half brother He spendsandtime among the old books which begin to whisper to him and David starts to witness strange occurrences, including the appearance of a crooked man watching him Eventually David finds himself in another world where dark, grim versions of classic fairy tale characters exist but are nothing like the way they are normally portrayed The depictions of these characters are outstanding and it often takes a while to identify who they are because they are so stripped of the normal fluffy accoutrements While, most of the tone is serious and even bleak, there are some great moments of comedy For example, in one of my favorite scenes, David encounters the Seven Dwarfs who turn out to be communist revolutionaries and political activists straight out of Monty Python s Holy Grail Their relationship with Snow White is anything but pleasant However, it is very, very funny David soon discovers that he must make it to the King of this new world who might have the power to send him back home However, David s journey is dark and perilous and he is constantly hunted by the crooked man who has his own need of David THOUGHTS The beginning of the story takes its time to develop, but this leisurely pace didn t bother because Connolly does an amazing job with it He keeps us engaged as he introduces us to the characters and slowly allows the fantasy elements to creep and and crawl and bleed into the narrative This makes the transition from our world into the fantasy world feel authentic and seamless In addition, the early events of the story turn out to be critical to the central plot and final resolution of the story and so form important threads in the overall tapestry As alluded to above, I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel given how emotionally spent I was after reading The Child Thief It s a credit to how marvelous a job Connolly did with this work that he was able to hold me enthralled to the narrative throughout The characters are well drawn, with details and shadings to their personalities that make them come alive I bonded with David very early on making the dangers that he faced all thegripping Finally, the plot itself was compelling and page turningly addictive and Connolly s prose and descriptive talents were both excellent Overall, a sensational book that over came great odds to pleasantly surprise me If you get the chance to pick this book uptake it 4.5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be This turned out to be a lot darker and crueller than I expected it to be But in a good way.Now, if you consider reading this with or to your children don t If I had to set an age limit I would say 13 years, at least This is some real twisted Coraline shit Don t mistake it for anything else.It starts off promising but without any hint where it is going It could have been a historical novel for all I know Maybe magical realism Don t let yourself be fooled, this is prime time fantasy.The writing captured me right away It created a magical and fairytale atmosphere and pulled me right in One thing is for sure, John Connolly can write.A few chapters in, when the main character left reality for the parallel fantasy world, I wasn t sure this magical atmosphere would hold Suddenly too many things happened at once, the pace increased and new characters were introduced almost every page.Luckily, Connolly managed to keep the atmosphere from crumbling and built an incredible and dark tale, based on many familiar characters and stories from popular fairytales Just keep in mind that this is anything but Disney The author stripped the fairytales of most romanticising aspects and went back to the original and often cruel version of the tales He gave them his own, sombre twist and developed an exciting and often surprising plot view spoiler I just have to talk about Roland here, for a minute We are introduced to this strong and tall knight in shining armour, who takes the main character under his wing for a while After a time we get to know him a little better and find out that he is looking for someone, another knight, whose picture he keeps hidden in a locket around his neck I could smell the gay from far away His was such a beautiful and tragic story, and I really wanted to knowabout him, he deserved a happy ending, but I knew, and he knew, that there was no such thing in his future Which made my heart ache a littleEnough rambling hide spoiler , , , , ,, , , , , , Part fairy tale and part psychological study, I found this to be an engrossing and powerful book Recommend to everybody, particularly those who have used reading and books to get themselves through difficult times, especially in childhood.I don t look at this book the way some readers apparently have as sci fi or fantasy, but instead see it as showing the redemptive power of books and stories in children s and adults lives And as an account of one boy s inner life and imagination.I m not sure which way the author intended it, but it s a wonderful coming of age story. High In His Attic Bedroom, Twelve Year Old David Mourns The Death Of His Mother, With Only The Books On His Shelf For Company But Those Books Have Begun To Whisper To Him In The Darkness Angry And Alone, He Takes Refuge In His Imagination And Soon Finds That Reality And Fantasy Have Begun To Meld While His Family Falls Apart Around Him, David Is Violently Propelled Into A World That Is A Strange Reflection Of His Own Populated By Heroes And Monsters And Ruled By A Faded King Who Keeps His Secrets In A Mysterious Book, The Book Of Lost ThingsTaking Readers On A Vivid Journey Through The Loss Of Innocence Into Adulthood And Beyond, New York Times Bestselling Author John Connolly Tells A Dark And Compelling Tale That Reminds Us Of The Enduring Power Of Stories In Our Lives Extraordinary book, really special.Story about the seven dwarves made me laugh Magical book I have my eyes on Nocturnes now of Connolly. I stayed up till 1 last night to finish this book I REGRET NOTHING.Recently I ve taken quite a fancy to fairy tale re tellings You can go right ahead and blame Gail Carson Levine for that The Book of Lost things belongs to that genre, albeit a bit LOTdarker.The book begins by introducing us to 12 year old David who has just lost his mum He finds out that his dad is getting remarried and pretty soon finds himself with a baby brother, whom he hates on sight Deep in his depression, he begins to hear voices coming out of the books he and his mum used to read together That is when he first sees the Crooked Man One late night, David hears his mum s voice calling out to him, asking him to come rescue her from something horrible He follows her voice to a hole in the garden wall and ends up in fairy tale land with no way of going back the hole in the wall closes after he passes through And that is when things get nasty.Immediately after arriving, David runs into the Woodsman The Red riding hood one who rescues him from certain death at the hands of a group of half human, half wolf mutants Now, David has to find his way back by searching for the Book of Lost things with the help of the Woodsman and the brave Knight Roland, while escaping the werewolves and the ever lurking Crooked Man, who follows him everywhere he goes Another novel to have been mistakenly classified as a children s story, the Book of Lost Things, is like a roller coaster ride inside a scary, haunted house filled with your deepest, darkest nightmares involving live, flesh eating monsters and blood LOTS of blood But, not to worry there is light comic relief in the middle, in the form of view spoiler a tyrannical and grotesquely obese hide spoiler Didn t like this book as much but it did motivate me to sketch Take all your favourite fairy tales from your childhood from odd mixture of Wizard of Oz to Labyrinth to The Never Ending Story to the most sadistic part of Grimm s Fairy Tales , now throw in some well known poems and mix together with a story of a child coming to terms with the death of a parent And you ve pretty much got this But did it work This books is rather dichotomous There were some really wonderful bits, and there were parts that were just poorly executed But my biggest grouch was with the predictable and stiff writing I almost laughed aloud when I read sentences along the lines ofAnd that was when David truly transitioned from boyhood to manhood Whatever happened to the old fashioned show, don t tell rule of writing Overall it was an Okay and forgettable read. NOTICE Please read this first I m happy to discuss my opinion of this book with you if you had a different take, but if your intent is merely to attack my opinion, I m not interested Since I posted this way back in 2008, a very small minority of this book s fans have taken my review personally and have written some very long, very insulting responses telling me why I m wrong So please allow me to clarify something This is my opinion of the book It will undoubtedly differ from yours because we are not the same person You are welcome to refute me by giving the book a much higher rating andglowing review on your own account You are also welcome to tell me you disagree below, but if you can t do it in a less than essay long format, I will delete your comment If you need to get nasty and personal with your remarks, I ll probably be reporting and blocking you as well Connolly s Book of Lost Things came highly recommended as a modern take on the fantasy genre What I found instead was a completely unlikeable main character, an array of interchangeable father figures, and a disappointing rehash of the usual fairy tale parodies Lost Things centers on David, a boy whose mother dies and whose father remarries and has a second child, leaving David to bicker bitterly with his new stepmother while trying to avoid anxiety attacks that leave him blacked out and feverish And that groundwork occurs in one of the most poorly paced info dumps I ve had the misfortune to read The first chapter focuses on David and his mother, leading you to believe this will be the crux of the story but alas, she dies The second chapter focuses on the father s remarriage and David s anxiety attacks leading the reader to believe, perhaps, this is the focus of the story it is not The third and fourth chapters center on David s mostly absent father whose work is top secret and David s fights with his step mother and we, the audience, raise our index fingers and say, Ah ha Top secret Dad Conflict with the new parental figure This, surely, is the story But, alas, those are red herrings as well In fact, after the sixth chapter, neither of those characters appears again until the two chapters long epilogue The real story ends up being David s abduction into the land of fairy tales by the Crooked Man, a Rumpelstiltskin who makes vicious bargains with emotional children to feed his magical slave house David starts off his true adventure by following the voice of his dead mother but don t assume that the story somehow involves David s mother s spirit wandering painfully in the fantasy realm awaiting rescue, this too, in Connolly fashion, is completely irrelevant to the story Instead, David wanders the fantasy realm accompanied by a series of nearly identical substitute fathers who end up betraying David s trust in one way or another by being gay in one case Roland , by being fallible in another the generic Woodsman In the end, David finds another potential father figure in Jonathon, and quickly realizes that not only is Jonathon a liar and a murderer, but also that he, David, no longer needs a father figure because he s now become a man of his own right He then stares down Jonathon, the Crooked Man, and the vicious wolf monsters, who until that point only appeared in the story when Connolly felt the need to remind us that David was in danger because wolf monsters were chasing him they never catch up to him except at the end and, as I said, David simply stares them down and wins by virtue of his newfound manhood.In all, Lost Things is a plodding, thinly veiled paean to a baby boomer era view of manhood as stoic resolution and resistance to all hurts, including mental and emotional Perhaps this story plays better, and I don t wish to be insulting, with a female audience, one that s never had to grapple with questions of manliness or had to decide on an appropriate level of attachment to an older male As for me, I was insulted that David begins the story emotionally wounded by what he views as a betrayal by his father and, instead of finding closure, he learns to just get over it and be a man about it But a bigger insult, in my eyes, was the closing of the book Connolly is so in love with his work that he follows up the main story with almost 150 pages of notes and commentary on his story everything from the origins of the fairy tales he parodies to his woeful recollections of scenes that were cut from the final draft murder your darlings, ConnollyIt s as jarring as it would be had Stephen King ended Christine with detailed descriptions of a Plymouth Belvedere and ten pages of him crying about the Arnie Christine tailpipe sex scene that his editors excised from the final publication This was my first experience with Connolly, and as it s his most highly recommended book, I ll probably pass on his work in the future. Fugue state, formally Dissociative Fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity Fugues are usually precipitated by a stressful episode.in world war 2 era england, young David loses his mother after a lingering illness and begins to experience strange dissociative episodes, often involving the sounds of books whispering to him and usually ending with him falling into unconsciousness soon enough, his father finds a new wife named Rose a nurse at his mother s hospice and David finds himself with a stepmother and an infant half brother David is deeply unhappy with this development after the new family moves out of london to Rose s country home in order to escape german bombers, David realizes a shadowy, crooked figure has sinister designs on him and his brother one night, after a particularly bad argument with his folks, David hears his mother s voice calling him following that voice, he crawls into a hole within a sunken garden just as a german bomber also falls from the sky and crashes into that garden he emerges into a sinister fantasyland his quest Find and Rescue His Mother his nemesis The Crooked Man.John Connolly is best known as a respected writer of an excellent detective series his strengths have been widely reported gorgeously dark and lush descriptive skills, a sensitive portrayal of private eye Charlie Parker an unusually tormented protagonist tragic even for a genre noted for its sad, sad heroes , and a unsettling ability to mix the prosaic with the supernatural to startling effect in this book, Connolly takes each of those gifts and streamlines them in a way that is appropriate for the reader of young adult or even children s literature although this novel is very clearly an Adult Fairy Tale the result is pleasingly distinctive there are many scenes that are striking in their psychosocial nuance, their foreboding atmosphere, their ability to evoke that wonderfully shivery feeling of fearful anticipation my favorite passage happens early on David s daunting entry into the strange fantasy world an eerie vignette that is a model of careful, suspenseful writing, featuring unearthly quiet, child like flowers, a a taciturn Woodsman, the smoking remains of the german bomber, bleeding trees, a house in the woods with a Giger like exterior, and a gathering of evil wolfish beings Dionysian imitatio, a literary method of imitation conceived as the practice of emulating, adaptating, reworking and enriching a source text by an earlier author.Book of Lost Things is a book of mythopoeic templates revisited, revised, regurgitated, remixed, and reimagined we have an entire company of Big Bad Wolves, reconfigured as ambitious wolf men, born of a grotesquely slutty Little Red Hood and sprung from the nightmares of a juvenile king a perhaps not so Wicked Stepmother a malevolent and terrifying Sleeping Beauty Childe Roland, transformed as a brave gay soldier in search of his long lost lover trolls and harpies and a savage, hungry Beast a young girl s spirit in a glass jar and our villain, a gleeful child thief, a striker of dark bargains, a Rumpelstiltskin, an old old devil The Crooked Man.the use of revisionism is, sadly, not always successful a comic interlude with the socialist Seven Dwarves and an obese, monstrous Snow White is depressingly unfunny and a little desperate at least to this reader and a long part near the end, depicting various torture chambers and examples of The Crooked Man s terrible villainy seems to be merely an excuse for Connolly to indulge himself with a gloatingly vicious array of sadistic tableau both sequences were eye rolling and sigh inducing.but those are aberrations despite them, Connollythan succeeds in creating delightful and intriguing reinterprations of figures from fairy and folk tale even better, David s character is a slow burning but dynamic one, changing in bits and starts from boy to man with each new encounter he is a realistically flawed protagonist as well as a brave and endearing little hero Memento mori, a Latin phrase translated as Remember your mortality , Remember you must die or Remember you will die it names a genre of artistic work which varies widely, but which all share the same purpose to remind people of their own mortality.the novel s extended endings were a brilliant surprise to avoid spoilers, i ll just say that i was entirely taken aback by the meaning of The Book of Lost Things itself and evenmemorably,intensely the closing pages no nonsense illustration of the potential and or inherent tragedy of human life in general and the idea of that tragedy no matter how intimate somehow not really being that tragic at all just simply a part of the greater cycle of life, death, and rebirth i hate to end a review with a tv show reference but if you have ever seen the last 10 minutes or so of Six Feet Under s final episode a wondrously sad, wistful, yet somehow uplifting experience you will know exactly what i mean the ending of this rather fantastic book is equally moving.