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The Book of Lost Things

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  45,569 Ratings  ·  5,841 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Atria Books (first published November 2006)
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Sarah I love that series! You've just made this book land on the top of my to-read list!
Sierra This is one of my favorite books. I often reread it every other year or so. It is very dark, yet so enjoyable, especially if you like fairy tales. It…moreThis is one of my favorite books. I often reread it every other year or so. It is very dark, yet so enjoyable, especially if you like fairy tales. It is definitely worth reading.(less)
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May 12, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it
This is kind of a deceptive book. It seems like it could be young adult in tone at first but it is NOT young adult. It's an adult urban fantasy starring a child. Very cool and immersive, and a bit dark. Hell, a LOT dark sometimes, haha. The lore is very cool, you can tell that the author really loves folklore and all the elements of the world are interesting and believable. Worth checking out if you like magical realism and a lot of bite to your fairy tales.
Lisa Vegan
Jun 01, 2016 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody, especially those who have used reading to get through challenging times
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 sur
mark monday
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 n
Jan 16, 2015 Robotkarateman rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I stayed up till 1 last night to finish this book.


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 LOT more darker.

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 be
Helen Stavraki
Jun 12, 2016 Helen Stavraki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Στον μεγάλο και ανείπωτο πόνο,μπροστά στο αναποδραστο, η ψυχή και όλη αυτη η ενεργεια που την περιβαλει,πριν αφανιστεί οριστικά απο θλίψη και σπαραγμό, πριν χαθεί για πάντα στην κοιλάδα των δακρύων,πριν την τελειωτική συντριβή της κανει κατι μαγικά λυτρωτικό: ΑΠΟΔΡΑΣΗ απο το έρεβος του θανάτου και ΑΠΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΩΣΗ μεσα απο ονειρικά φτιαγμένα ΠΑΡΑΜΥΘΙΑ.
Εννοείται πως τα παραμύθια ειναι για παιδικές ψυχές τρυφερές αγνές και μεγαλειώδεις και ίσως όλες οι υπάρξεις πανω στη γη να γινονται ίδιες μπροστά στ
Karina E
Jan 09, 2015 Karina E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fairytale turned nightmare. I loved this!
First off, let me tell you that this is not something for the faint of heart. Some passages were definitely scary or just plain twisted and gross (think bad witch cutting off children's heads and putting them on animals to then hunt them..). I want to get that out of the way because the word fairytale can be misleading. Those elements in the story were used sparingly though and never took over the story to the point were it turned into the horror genre
this was fine. i think i expected it to be a little more grown-up than it was. in many ways i am a huge infant, but not so much in my reading, unless its reeeally young reader picture books. but this had some nice reimaginings of traditional fairy tales, and it certainly doesnt take long to read, so i recommend to those adults that are already reading the harry potters and twilights. you babies!
May 22, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα πολύ ιδιαίτερο βιβλίο, με το τέλος του να "παίζει" με τα συναισθήματα του αναγνώστη και να το ανεβάζει κατηγορία. Ο μοναδικός λόγος που δεν του έβαλα 5 αστεράκια, αλλά παρέμεινα στα 4 που είχα αποφασίσει να βάλω όταν πλησίαζα προς το τέλος του βιβλίου, είναι πως παραθέτει με περισσότερο "διδακτικό" τρόπο τα μηνύματά του από αυτό που θα ήθελα, και ίσως αρκετά ξεκάθαρα, ενώ εγώ θα ήθελα να τα αφήσει να αιωρούνται ώστε ο καθένας να τα ερμηνεύσει με διάφορους τρόπους. Θα ήθελα δηλαδή το τέλος να ...more
May 05, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mark by: Kasia!
This was me after finishing this novel, my first read from John Connolly:


It was so gut-wrenchingly emotional. Every bit of it. From the harrowing beginning, to the Labyrinth-on-acid fantasy world in which the main character soon finds himself.

There's so much going on in this novel. It seems like a children's fairy tale, but if I had read this as a young'un, I would probably be in an insane asylum to this day. I know Connolly typically writes crime fiction and this being my first, I'm unable to
Dec 19, 2007 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fricken-awesome
Read this book without really knowing too much about it. Just that other reviewers were impressed and it centered around a little boy and some dark versions of fairy tales that I had grown up on.


That is what I have to say when I got to the last page.
It was a really really great story. 10 year old boy who loves to read, loses his mother, hates his new stepmother and stepbrother.... gets pulled into this fairy tale world where things are familiar yet somewhat strange. Evil lurks ar
Aug 01, 2016 Carlos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-btr
Oh wow , what can I say? This book destroyed me, this book surpassed my expectations for it , I picked this up thinking it was going to be just a vapid book but boy this it's so much more that it's blurb would let you to believe. Think Grimm brothers, Disney , folk and fairy tales , ya modern literature (I'll compare it to a monster calls) and you will get a glimpse at the work that went behind this book. Then ending would make you feel all the feelings ..... I will not soon forget this book!!!
pink (not just another shade of red)
According to Alice Hoffman, every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Everyone had teeth and claws.
This one got fangs. And razor-sharp claws.

It will lure you in with promises of magical books and mysterious flowers. Then, when it has you firmly in it's grasp, it will suck you in deeper into the dark. And won't let you go until it has its way with you.

In Book of Lost Things, John Conolly collected fragments of my beloved bed time stories,twisted them so crookedly,and made them ornaments to a dark,bea
Apr 22, 2008 Kim rated it it was ok
This is why I don't read the front jacket of books. I get sucked in thinking 'wow--this makes a good story'. Hmphf.

Okay, it's not a bad story. It had its moments. But, it lost me when it started twisting fairy tales to be all sorts of clever. Snow White as a hefty, insult laden uber wench? yeah. whatever.

The story outside of these sidebars is actually quite interesting, a boy's journey in a strange land, grieving over his dead mom, etc... but I still found myself wondering what those dudes that
Crystal Craig
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I've owned a paper copy of The Book of Lost Things for a very long time. I obtained a copy - probably at a yard sale or some used bookstore - long before I first joined Goodreads back in 2008. I don't understand why I never got to reading this book; I'm punching myself in the face because I waited so long to discover such a fantastic book. The writer, John Connolly quickly pulls the reader into the make believe place he created. I felt an immediate connection to the main character, 12-year-old,
I loved and highly recommend this book. To give you an idea of its content and style, it reminded me of the film Pan’s Labyrinth. It’s a vividly imagined coming-of-age fairy tale with a dark overlay. The fairy tales as used in this book are more akin to the traditional Brothers Grimm than the modern Hollywood version. I mention the darker aspects of the book simply to alert the potential reader that this is not a modern day Cinderella story that many expect when they hear “fairytale.” This book ...more
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
So I finished the story part of this last night (though I'm still browsing through the additional material stuff), and I ended up really liking it.

Actually, I found the ending very poignant and bitter sweet... touching and sad and beautiful, and it elevated an otherwise 3.5 star book to a full 4 stars.

I will say that I enjoyed the story pretty much throughout. I really like fairy tale re-tellings, and I like the way they were often put on their head in this story, but also used to both teach Dav
Abigail Hillinger
Hmmmm. What to say about this book...

Okay, in many ways, brilliant. It started off reading like a children's story and I was immediately thinking that I'd lend it to my 8-year-old niece. But as the book progressed, it moved further and further into a clear adult-fantasy. And like many adult-fantasy authors these days, Connelly has taken old fables/fairy tales and put his own twist on them. Rather than revelling them into an entire story, like Gregory Maguire does, Connelly just keeps them as lit
(Repensei, afinal são 5 estrelas.)

Este foi provavelmente o livro mais estranho que já li. Confesso que, embora não soubesse bem ao que ia, não tinha grandes expectativas em relação a esta obra. Tinha uma ideia pré-concebida, mas errada, acerca do que me esperava. A primeira surpresa foi perceber que este não é um livro juvenil, nem entendo como é que faz parte do PNL para o 3º ciclo, é demasiado profundo e contém cenas demasiado violentas para serem lidas por crianças de 12/14 anos. A segunda su
Dear Bolt,
This is going to be something of a "Dear John" letter. I'm sorry in advance, and I'm going to say right off the bat that while I don't think this was all you, or all me, I think we both had faults that led to this situation. I hope we can still be friends after, because I don't hate you. I'm just... disappointed.

We've had a little flirtation thing going on for years. Since 2008, you've called my name and whispered promises of sweet, sweet booklove to me whenever I would walk by my bo
Jan 08, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok
I picked this up blindly and bought it from the description on the book jacket alone. I wish I'd liked it more; rather, I wish it'd been better-executed.

My main trouble was with the telling-not-showing style of writing. In the words of Twain, "Don’t say 'the old lady screamed.' Bring her on and let her scream." The turbulence of David's inner life ends up muffled by the flat and dispassionate narrative ("He experienced a wave of pity for the dead man...", "He was still angry at God for what had
John Connolly released only his 2nd book not related to his franchise character, Charlie Parker, with “The Book Of Lost Things”. Connolly’s story begins during World War II, where the main character, David, has moved to the childhood home of his new stepmother to escape the possibility of a German occupation in London. David’s mother had passed away a few years earlier due to a terminal disease and he had never really found a way to cope with it, shouldering most of the blame and rejecting his f ...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
Nov 30, 2014 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-love-this-book
Awesome, dark beautiful book. I still insist on viewing Roland as a gay man and nothing will convince me otherwise. Besides, how cool is it to have a brave, non stereotypical gay character? It doesn't happen often.
This book is very dark, so it's probably not good for younger audiences. It has strong messages about what it means to go from man to boy, about facing your grief and I can't believe that bellyfull of gold thing actually historically happened.


This book is still good. Also,
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I read this back when it came out, but I need to re-read it soon!! It was my favorite book that year. Outstanding!!

Re-read 3/2015
Fantastic. Loved it. I might even go out and buy this. Excellent book. :)
Jul 22, 2016 Κώστας rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Τον Κόνολυ αποκαλούν "ο Δουβλινέζος που γράφει σαν Αμερικανός" επειδή τοποθετεί την δράση των μυθιστορημάτων του στις ΗΠΑ με απίστευτη άνεση και αυθεντικότητα. Θα μου πείτε "ε και τι σημασία έχει αυτό και γιατί το αναφέρεις;". Η Αγγλική φιλολογία έχει τεράστιο μάρκετιγκ να την προωθεί διαρκώς παντού και να την υποβάλλει με τον γνωστό υπερφίαλο τρόπο και το πομπώδες στυλ που διαφημίζονται τα προϊόντα της μέκας του νεοφιλελευθερισμού. Το λοιπόν τις περισσότερες φορές μας καλλιεργούνται προσδοκίες ...more
Jul 07, 2008 April rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry Brooks
May 16, 2013 Terry Brooks rated it it was amazing
I am recommending a book by John Connelly, one of my favorite thriller writers. But this book is not of that series or even that ilk. It is a fantasy for young adults, except it is really for everyone in the way all good fairytale books are. The title is THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. It is about a boy whose own life resembles a fairytale story and whose adventures involve retelling and re-imagining a whole raft of familiar fairytales. Because Connelly is such a good writer, the story draws you right ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Leonie rated it really liked it
Childhood. Ruined.
The Book of Lost Things is a fairy tale about childhood that is written for adults. While the subject matter deals with the issues of a young boy whose mother has died and whose father has remarried, Connolly addresses the larger issues of life. It is a true life fairy tale.
In some ways, the plot is very obvious for Connolly does stick rather close to some of his inspiration. I also got a little frustration with the afterword. Not when Connolly is discussing his source material, but when he is t
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John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper ...more
More about John Connolly...

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“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.” 600 likes
“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don't read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways...It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.” 348 likes
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