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Lost

2.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,340 Ratings  ·  875 Reviews
A compelling ghost story from the internationally bestselling author of WICKED

Winifred Rudge, a writer struggling to get beyond the runaway success of her mass-market astrology book, travels to London to start her new novel about the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Upon her arrival, she finds that her step-cousin and old friend John Comestor has disappeared, and a ghostly presen
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Paperback, 396 pages
Published 2010 by Headline Review (first published October 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sara
Jan 19, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this review a couple of years ago over at amazon.com. I was a little snarky back then (ha!), but I still feel the same way:

I couldn't put this book down. Found myself . . . "Lost" in it! There are lots of kinds of people in the world and from the reviews here it appears that they fall into two categories: those who would like the wheel to be reinvented consistently every time, and those who enjoy variety and evolution. If you wanted this book to be Wicked all over again, you're in luck,
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Irishcoda
I truly felt lost while reading Lost by Gregory Maguire. This is the second book I've read by this author so I can say that I really don't care for his style of writing. Unfortunately, I have all his other books to read. Critics call his prose "rich" and maybe it is that but I find it confusing to point of sheer frustration sometimes.

There is a thoroughly unlikeable (to me anyway) "heroine" named Winifred Rudge. She writes children's books but would like to write one for adults with a heroine na
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Cassidy Niemeyer
Aug 10, 2009 Cassidy Niemeyer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-worst-reads
I hated this book. I've all his other books and enjoyed them. They weren't amazing books I couldn't put down until they were done, but they were good. This one however was terrible. It makes you think it's going to be about the Scrooge and Jack the Ripper and then has nothing about it. Boring, long, goes all over the place with no reason as to why or outcome. The end sucks and makes no sense. It's terrible, I'm glad I got it used so it was only 5 bucks but I could have gotten a Subway foot long ...more
Allison
Dec 12, 2007 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Lost" differs from its "Wicked" "Stepsister" cousins in that it does not (as closely) follow a traditional fairytale turned on its head. Echoing back to "Christmas Carol" and "Alice in Wonderland," it is not a straight rendition of either, but its own tale.

Much of the book is spent wondering what really has occurred, as the line between reality and illusion are blurred. The ending, though, is satisfying. Worth the read.
Kee the Ekairidium
Let me start this review by saying that I've read and reviewed Gregory Maguire's most famous and critically-acclaimed work entitled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, which was turned into a Broadway musical hit--and I didn't end up being as impressed about it as I hoped I would be. With that said, I already have extremely low expectations going into this book. It's also noteworthy to point out that I've read some reviews about it in Goodreads, and they seemed to general ...more
Americanogig
Jan 07, 2012 Americanogig rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Gregory Maguire and I must say ---question mark--- because I just don't understand the point. His book Wicked must have been extraordinarily different, i.e. good. The one supposedly about Snow White and this one supposedly having something to do with Scrooge left me feeling cold. I never finished the one about Snow White and I leave this one regretting I did. I had to force my way through the bad turn of phrase and plodding plot only to find he would not even ...more
Stuart
Sep 13, 2011 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOST seems to be the runt in Maguire's litter of post-modern fantasy novels and it seems to be in part because it couldn't live up to the fanfare of WICKED and CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER, its immediate and deservedly lauded predecessors. Here, for the first time, Maguire tries to create a wholly original novel as opposed to one centered around re-interpreting a classic tale by another author. Though Dickens and Jack the Ripper echo in the text, along with some sly references to Stephen So ...more
Faith
Nov 07, 2007 Faith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is another of those books that I find very difficult to describe. I didn't hate it, but I'm not so sure that I liked it, either.

I found the protagonist to be very unlikeable. In fact, there was only one character in the book that I truly and unreservedly liked, and he only came in sort of near the end. Yes, there were reason that the protagonist had the personality she did, and those reasons came out very near the end.

I just don't even know what to say about it. It's sort of about a write
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Lee Tracy
Apr 25, 2012 Lee Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people seem to have read Wicked, tried Lost and been terribly disappointed. I found the book actually MORE satisfying than Wicked. I hope that you will give me a chance to sell you on Lost because I think that you will enjoy it if you give it an honest chance. I read the book in the space of a two day business trip, and purposely begged off of social stuff and went to the airport four hours early so I could sit uninterrupted and read it.

I think one of the benefits of Wicked that made o
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Nan
Jan 23, 2010 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review is specifically for the audiobook.

I have this book as a printed edition; it's even signed by the author. It's a lovely, amazing story, and like so many of Maguire's novels, not anything I would have expected.

Lost is the story of Winnifred Rudge, a children's novelist working a novel for adult readers. Something is clearly wrong with her; the novel opens with her attending an information meeting about international adoption--and she gets kicked out when the staff recognize her name and
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Emily Ann Meyer
Feb 26, 2008 Emily Ann Meyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tales, 2008
I can't remember where, but somewhere along the line, I got the impression this was a retelling of Rip Van Winkle. It's not.

This was, unlike Maguire's other novels, not really a retelling of anything. It had elements of A Christmas Carol and liberal references to Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and (interestingly) Jack the Ripper.

The story itself was really sort of a grown-up coming of age story -- only throw in ghostly possession, a bizarre intra-familial love triangle, and a secondary Roman
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Shrina
Mar 15, 2008 Shrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not one of Maguire's best. I had high expectations after reading his other books, and was absolutely let down. First of all, the story has too much of everything: a tormented writer, romance gone wrong, paranoia, ghosts, Jack the Ripper, 14th century history, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Scrooge, so on and so on. The story wanders all over the place and doesn't quite deliver much of anything after all the wandering. Second of all, I wanted to punch out the protagonist. She is a sim ...more
Davida "Davi"
Mar 01, 2008 Davida "Davi" rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ghost story fans, if you enjoy reading about writers, people I hate
I was really excited to read this book - I enjoyed Gregory Maguire's WICKED. And this promised to be some kind of supernatural historical thriller.

The historical stuff barely panned out, and when I realized halfway through the book that one of three plots was a lie, and that the characters involved were stupider than I thought, I lost 95% of my interest. I did push through and discover why the characters would lie to each other like that, but at that point I really didn't care.

When the plot fi
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Diane
Apr 29, 2010 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lost Is Right!
I understand Maguire's rise to fame having read Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. I loved both and was excited to read Lost, even if it seemed like it wouldn't be sticking to our original assumptions of Maguire's twisting of stories we grew up with. Well, I was sorely disappointed throughout. I love the stories of the past, but often hated the writing. I could never really get in touch with the characters presented to me. Lost does that and so much worse.

The book itself
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Colleen
Jun 21, 2007 Colleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jack the Ripper enthusiasts, those thinking about becoming psychotic writers
I was attracted to this book because I absolutely loved the conceit of Wicked-- take a well-known, despised, yet intriguing character and explain her point of view. Kind of like "The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs," which was told by the wolf, and is one of my favorite picture books.

The jacket left me feeling woozy with the thought that I could again feel the thrill of gaining new insight into a previously underappretiated character: Scrooge. Dickens being like complicated, intricate candy
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Becky
Jul 02, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed. I was expecting similar to Mirror Mirror or Wicked Witch. But this story does not take up the Scrooge story and tell the wonderfully different perspective of another character within the old stories. No, this is a new story only using the Scrooge story as an excuse to begin, to exhist.

If I lay aside my expectations, I still am not impressed. Within the story is another story - the main character is a writer therefore she goes into "episodes" where she is not paying attention
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Amy
May 16, 2007 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-author, mom
This is my least favorite of all of Maguire's books. It seems that Maguire's talent is breathing new life into someone else's tale, and when he decided to wander a little more into his own space, he wasn't quite sure how to do it.

I was frustrated with how he kept slapping the reader in the face with this mysterious story/character background, but not giving much of anything to go on. The ghost aspect of it all just got ridiculous too, I really couldn't suspend me belief long enough to really get
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Mom gayheart
Apr 10, 2010 Mom gayheart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember when I quit reading a book when I was halfway through, but I quit this one! I just didn't like it. I couldn't understand where the author was taking me - unless he was trying to portray one of the most pitiful characters in all of fiction - that of Winifred Rudge.
Sezín Koehler
This is Gregory Maguire's first book that isn't a retelling of a fairy tale, and it's really wonderful. While it is definitely and openly inspired by tales such as Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Dante's Inferno, and historical events like Jack the Ripper's murders, the novel goes in a wholly different direction than I ever would have imagined. In the end, it's a rather melancholy tale of trauma and the things we sometimes do to avoid dealing. It's always such a treat to read one of Magu ...more
Kim
Dec 07, 2008 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book
Winnie Rudge starts off with nothing more than the intention to write her novel, only to be propelled into a story that takes on a life of its own. Is Winnie Rudge on to something real and mysterious or is it just a story in her head waiting to be written?

Winnie is a tough protagonist to like... and maybe it's not the reader's task to like her. I stayed by Winnie's side, rather reluctantly, throughout the story trying to figure out what was happening. Even after finishing the book, I am still no
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Ron
Jan 12, 2009 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the first 50-100 pages to be full of pluck, promise, and possibility. I thought that McGuire was winding up and about to deliver a knock out punch of pleasurable reading.

By the middle of the book, however, I felt that instead of the main character, the author was going through a form of possession himself. He seemed to have become a writer without a plan.

Now having completed reading the book(finally), I am left with feelings of disappointment, disillusionment, and disfavor. I have neve
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Mersini
What an odd book. After reading this novel, I can't help but think that the pinnacle of Maguire's writing was Wicked, and anything else before or since simply hasn't lived up to its standard.

This particular novel was at times dull, hard to follow, and seemingly pointless, with a character who seems to lie almost compulsively, and, who really, is quite unlikeable. This we could have overlooked if the story itself had some merit, but it doesn't. What's meant to be a complicated relationship betwe
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Ferin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith White
I got my hands on Gregory Maguire's Lost and knew that I should read it prior to Wicked, only so that I would be able to put my full attention into the series instead of sidestepping it to read Lost. Besides, I figured that this would be a quick, engaging read, especially after I had read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. I couldn't have been more wrong - I found myself struggling JUST to read the next page. This book was frustrating, annoying and I was far from engaged until the very end. Need ...more
Xanthi
Dec 19, 2014 Xanthi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book, in theory, should have been a good one. Ghosts, Dickens, Jack the Ripper - what a combo! But sadly, it did not turn out to be a good read.
Before I started it, I read a few reviews on this site and was quite startled to find that it got such bad feedback from readers. Still, I was not put off and started reading.
At first, I liked the book but as the story progressed, I began to really dislike the protagonist and I started to wonder where the plot was going.
By the time I got to the las
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Karen Patterson
After reading and loving Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, this was a huge let down. The description sounds intriguing: a writer goes to London to stay in a family flat filled with a rich, dark history in hopes of regaining her writing ability only to find her cousin missing, strange unexplained noises, and weird neighbors. Sounds good, doesn't it? However, in reality the book plodded along with characters that never really got developed, murky boring back stories, and by the time yo ...more
Nicole
Jan 25, 2010 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Maguire's work; I really enjoy the way he takes traditional tales and makes them into something more complicated and different from their normal role. This was not my favorite story, because I was expecting something different. I thought there would be more incorporation of Scrooge or Jack the Ripper, but they were more like figureheads who were present in name but not in character. I thought that the story was interesting and enjoyed the book for what it was, but I feel that t ...more
Manda
Jan 26, 2015 Manda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-regret-that
First let me say that I am not one who usually dislikes a book I read. However, this was the exception. After reading the last page, I found my self confused by this book; almost conned into reading something else. I was almost angry when I put it down. The narrative led me to believe I would be reading the tale of Mr. Scrooge, but instead I got a story about a confused relative who may or may not have been related to him, and was more caught up in their own journey, than the telling of Scrooge. ...more
Mary Rothgeb
This one took its theme from Christmas Carol, but not in the way Wicked did Wizard of Oz. This was a disappointment, as I love the idea of inhabiting and re-imagining that story the way Maguire has previously. In order for this to be the ghost story of its billing, there needed to be more ghost. I wanted the ghost to be one of the main characters, if not the main. Instead, the contemporary human characters and their interactions are grating. Scathing and dismissive 90% of the time, then suddenly ...more
Megan Tucker
After reading Wicked and Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister, I had high expectations for Lost. Looking at the cover and the synopsis, I thought it would be more about the Jack the Ripper story, but instead it takes place in modern day, with lots of hints at spooky things happening, and lots of references to historic times. I admit that it was spooky enough to freak me out some while I was reading it at home alone, but considering how easily I can freak myself out, that's not saying much.
The sto
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Goodreads Librari...: Correct page number is "Lost" 3 34 Jan 14, 2012 12:42PM  
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Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children' ...more
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“But now? Now? Children in the twentieth and this early twenty-first century hated the Alice books, couldn't read them, and why should they? Their world had strayed into madness long ago. Look at the planet. Rain is acid, poisonous. Sun causes cancer. Sex=death. Children murder other children. Parents lie, leaders lie, the churches have less moral credibility than Benetton ads.
And the faces of missing children staring out from milk cartons-imagine all those poor Lost Boys, and Lost Girls, not in Neverland but lost here, lost now. No wonder Wonderland isn't funny anymore: We live there full-time. We need a break from it.”
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“How easily Neverland is corrupted into the deserted island of Lord of the Flies. How quickly Tinkerbell regresses to being one of the flies pestering the gouged eye sockets of the pig that the lost boys butcher.” 8 likes
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