Lost Boys
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Lost Boys

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  6,185 ratings  ·  622 reviews
For Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children, the move to tiny Steuben, North Carolina, offers new hope and a new beginning. But from the first, eight-year-old Stevie's life there is an unending parade of misery and disaster.

Cruelly ostracized at his school, Stevie retreats further and further into himself -- and into a strange computer game and a...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published January 25th 2005 by HarperTorch (first published October 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dave Williams
Apr 09, 2008 Dave Williams rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Dave by: Who knows anymore?
Shelves: fun-books
This is an odd book...It doesn't really seem to be about anything in particular until you get to the very end, but it's also somehow a very gripping page-turner. For most of the book, it's just about a bunch of random, disconnected stuff that happens to this family, but Card makes the family so real and lovable (partly because a lot of it is very autobiographical), that you just have to keep reading.

And then the ending comes along and stomps you right in the gut with steel-toed boots.
Rebecca Maines
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Synesthesia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick
As far as Mormon authors go, Orson Scott Card is by far the best. That in itself doesn't say a whole lot, since he is the only one I can stand. This one is pretty different from his other books - not much of a sci fi aspect to it, and not a religious book either, though the family the book is about is Mormon. It's a very compelling read though, and be prepared to not be able to put it down. Also be prepared to cry your guts out. I finished this book during the middle of a workday because I just...more
Lindsey
I bought this book second-hand in hardback, *without* a book jacket. I read it blind, completely ignorant of what it would be about. After seeing the title, I just sort of crossed my fingers and hoped it wasn't about vampires. It wasn't.

I must say, I was absolutely captivated by the story of this family. I loved it. Orson Scott Card has a way of - well, saying 'a way of humanizing 10 year old kids' would sound all kinds of wrong - but I what I mean to say is that he has a way of elevating his ch...more
Sabrina
Nov 22, 2007 Sabrina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people without children or who like horror
For my wonderful LDS friends out there:

Orson Scott Card may be a member of the LDS church, and I understand that he has written some very compelling apologetics for the same; however, this does not, in any way, mean his fiction is something that you would enjoy. Let me begin by saying that I felt the book was very well-written, and that Card is able to create some very realistic characters throughout the story. In the end, though, it was just too creepy, and if you have children or have any str...more
Fred D
I have strong mixed emotions about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed Card's writing style, his character development, and the twists in the plot. I also enjoyed seeing regular, everyday Mormons and their day-to-day lifestyle being portrayed favorably in a mainstream novel. On the other hand, the very subject of the book, child abduction and murder, plus the gut-wrenching, parents'-worst-nightmare ending, gave me nightmares. I also thought the end was cheesy in addition to being tragic. The n...more
Mark
I had some friends who raved about Card's science fiction, which I've never yet picked up, but instead, I read this book. I have never had a book hit me with such completely contradictory feelings. On the one hand, I found the main character's description of everyday life in the Mormon church, how it worked, and the movement of the plot, all to be interesting, much more so than I would have imagined. On the other hand, the delving into child molesting and murder was so upsetting that I had to fo...more
Ashley
I wasn't a big fan of Lost Boys, even though I seem to love everything OSC writes.

The family unit in this story is strong. After I while, I just wanted to scream at the book "I get it! This is a strong family! Can we move on with the story, please?" I understood the family dynamic after the introductory car ride, but I had to sit through DOZENS of small and sometimes large arguments or conflicts, with the same result... a strong, reasonable family decision. It got to the point where I couldn't u...more
Flannery
I love most of what Orson Scott Card writes, despite my repulsion towards several of his personal beliefs and quotations. However, this one really tested my waters more than his sci-fi works. It was interesting to learn more about how Mormons live day-to-day, but extremely frustrating how every part of the book was laced with religion and every choice every person made was motivated by religion.

Also, I became annoyed pretty quickly at the fights between the husband and wife. Maybe this is becau...more
Brooke
When I found Lost Boys on the shelf at the library, the synopsis on the back of the book was intriguing enough that I decided I was willing to try one of Card's non-Ender novels. The book's plot summary gives a creepy description of a child's imaginary friends and vague promises of terror and evil; I haven't done a good horror novel in a while, so I was looking forward to reading it.

Except it's not really a horror novel. For about 500 pages, it's really just about a family. I read about their mo...more
Chris McKenzie
Jun 07, 2008 Chris McKenzie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: a friend
"Lost Boys" has just enough surrealism in it to make it slightly creepy, but at the same time it is completely believable. The depiction of family life is warm and real and sometimes quite funny, as in the first chapter when the two-year-old throws up all over the car. This is definitely something every parent can relate to. The story's believability serves to make the end even more shocking, and terribly poignant. I learned a lot about the Mormon faith from reading it as well. Peopled with vari...more
Matt
Orson Scott Card is quite a prolific author, and despite his position as a fixture in science fiction world, many of his novels transcend that genre. Lost Boys is an unusual little book well outside of the Sci-Fi genre. As it was put in another review I read, nothing really happens in Lost Boys until the end, but despite that, it's a thoroughly gripping read right from the very beginning.

It's difficult to discuss the plot of this book without giving away too much, but the story follows a young...more
Haley
What a horribly written book! The back cover says, "As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers' concern turns to terror...And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it's suddenly clear: Stevie's next on the list."

However, for 400 pages NOTHING HAPPENS. Oh sure, we get Card belabouring the reader with the point that Mormons are average Joes just trying to have a job and raise their kids...more
Rachel
At the writing workshop I attended, Orson Scott Card said that Lost Boys was his most autobiographical novel. He also mentioned that he deeply regretted putting a prologue in this book, and recommended skipping it. I skipped it and then read it afterwards and I agree. His regret and description made me curious enough to buy the book and then read it.

It's been a long time since I read a book that I really wanted to get back to a finish reading quickly. The relationship between the husband and wif...more
Kevin
WAY too much mormonism in this one. The story was ok and I still like his writing, but the preachy elements started to overwhelm any enjoyment of the book. Near the beginning, it was mildly entertaining to see how their version of the church works, but that got old FAST.

I totally agreed with the analyst's interpretation of religion and its effect on the kid so much so that I was laughing as she delivered this to Step. I knew where he was going with this, but still found it hilarious. Barely a 2...more
Liz Zubritsky
Another reviewer said this is an odd book because it doesn't seem to be about anything until the end. For me, that was partly true. One can guess from the title and from the book's opening that boys disappear, so I had a sense of dread all along. "Is this the guy?" I'd ask myself. "Is this when something bad happens?" The structure of the book is similar to "Ender's Game." The book is about all the things that are happening on a daily basis, but out there, something bigger is happening. I won't...more
Natasha Szmidt
Throughout this whole book, I knew OSC was playing with me. And yet the brilliance of it is that I was completely enthralled about it.
This book starts out very creepy, and you already know what's coming. And then for almost the whole rest of the book, I was completely on edge. Even though I had read the other reviews that said the plot happens at the end. The whole time, OSC is spinning this magnificent web of suspense, filled with his beautiful characterizations (okay, I have to gush here: the...more
Tad
Ok, I will have to agree with the reviews on here that say that nothing really happens in this book for the first 400 pages or so. There is a lot of character development in this book. However, as someone who recently read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which is the very definition of slow-moving), I had enough faith in Card's abilities as a writer to trust that he was going somewhere with this story. This book is the very definition of a slow burn. The payoff, however, was so worth it. The en...more
Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
I listened to the audio version of this book. Read by Stefan Rudnicki, who reads a lot of Orson Scott Card audio books. (I also recently finished listening to The Lost Gate.) Rudnicki does a good job with the characters and emotions.

Quick overview: Step Fletcher moves his family to Stuben, North Carolina in early 1983 to join "Eight-Bit" as a manual writer for their computer programs, even though he is a successful software developer himself, having written a popular game "HackerSnack." His preg...more
Aimee Clark
Wow. This book was amazing, and nothing like I expected. It made me
cry and disturbed me, but I also found it beautiful and touching.

The book is about a young Mormon family that moves from Indiana to a
town in North Carolina. Step, the father, is a software developer. His
wife, DeAnne, is a stay-at-home mom. They have three children, Stevie
(age 7), Robbie (age 4), and Elizabeth (age 2), with another baby on
the way. Stevie has trouble adjusting, and has a teacher that is quite
cruel to him. Soon, he...more
Stan Crowe
This book is the first of only two horror novels I've ever read (I don't count the audiobook presentation of Stephen King's "The Mist" I heard in jr. high), and it is definitely the best (that's not a knock at the other one at all, though.)

Card throws a very unique and interesting twist into the mix by creating a Mormon (a.k.a "LDS") family for use as main characters. He manages to treat Mormon doctrine pretty fairly without getting the slightest bit preachy, but "Lost Boys" is hardly a novel ab...more
Jesse
Wow, I don't even know where to begin. The first thing that drew me into this story was the characters. Reading about Stevie was like looking into a mirror and seeing my eight-year-old self. My favorite character was the father, Step, because of his endearing sense of humor I can see myself being a father like him some day. I've always loved how Orson Scott Card develops his characters and how well he describes what goes through their mind. It's seriously like I'm reading about a real person and...more
Wealhtheow
A Morman computer programmer and his family move to a new town. They all have difficulty fitting in, but one of their sons has a particularly difficult time. He starts telling stories about imaginary friends. Creepy and depressing.

Even as a teenager, I could tell that the main character was a sort of authorial stand-in. The characterization is precise and believable, but the character's actions are just a little off. There are a few too many exchanges that read as wish-fullfillment, where the ma...more
Neil
Jan 24, 2008 Neil rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who doesn't mind having a book disturb them
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ti
The Short of It:

A touching, moving, all-around great read. A perfect package.

The Rest of It:

Set in the early 80′s, Step Fletcher and his wife DeAnne move to Steuben, North Carolina to begin his new job as a technical writer. With them, are their three kids, Stevie (7), Robbie (4) and their toddler sister Elizabeth. DeAnne and Step are expecting baby number four and life looks promising. Except, that the job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and Step’s real passion is designing video games. H...more
Annie Walker
I have mixed feelings about this book. The actual writing was very well done. The characters were all wonderful as well. I loved this sweet family, and getting a glimpse into a "typical" mormon family in everyday life was very interesting.
However, the ending left much to be desired. The entire book was filled with a subtle sense of foreboding. Something was going on in the background, but you just couldn't quite get a grip on how bad it was or what exactly it was. Then you get to the ending... a...more
Ward
I was wondering when the story was going to get to the "scary part". I was wondering when the story would actually change from a Mormon commentary. I was wondering what the twist would be. Now I'm just wondering why I read that book. I loved the other stuff I've read by Card. He is an amazing author, but honestly, this book was one thing, and that one thing was depressing. This book made me want to cry... not a good cry, just a "i want to clean my brain out from ever reading this". Honestly, a b...more
Courtney
Orson Scott Card. You little fink.

I always have a hard time with Card because I want to like his stories. But he has a way of writing that makes the uncomfortable turn yucky and the odd turn... yucky. I don't know why. It's not like he writes filth. He just takes honesty one step too far into... weird. I don't know how else to say it. You know, that awkward friend everyone has that ruins the joke by taking it one step too far?

This book was odd. I am a Mormon, so I understand his Mormon reference...more
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th...more
More about Orson Scott Card...
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

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“Heck, everything we decide will be wrong," said Step, "because no matter what we do, something bad will happen later. So I refuse to regret any of it.” 1 likes
“I have never resisted the Lord in my life, Sister LeSueur, and I never will. But I'm not so hungry for dialogue with him that I have to make up his part as well as my own.” 1 likes
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