Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
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Jan 08, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, orphaned-and-quasi-orphaned-kids, reviewed, novel, speculative-fiction, fairy-folktales, gr-a, books-about-books, cancer
Recommended for: everybody, especially those who have used reading to get through challenging times
Read in January, 2008

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.
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Reading Progress

02/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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Sandi This book looks wonderful. It's on my list for my next bookstore run.


Lisa Vegan Sandi, I loved this book. I hope that you enjoy it. It's very unusual, in my opinion.


Lisa Vegan Ginnie, Well, that's the way I looked at it. Perhaps I read myself into the book. But, if you do read it, and it is a kids' book, I'd be curious if you see it as I do.


message 4: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Davy Thank you, Lisa! I wasn't sure about adding this book to my want-to-read shelf, but your review convinces me I want to read it.


message 5: by Lisa (last edited Apr 20, 2015 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Joy wrote: "Thank you, Lisa! I wasn't sure about adding this book to my want-to-read shelf, but your review convinces me I want to read it."

Joy, I hope you'll love it. It does read very much like a fairy tale, but I didn't mind. If you read it/start it and review it I definitely want to read what you think of it.


message 6: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Davy I actually appreciate fairy tales, so that doesn't put me off at all!


Lisa Vegan Joy wrote: "I actually appreciate fairy tales, so that doesn't put me off at all!"

Joy, I'll bet you'll love this book. I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it.


Hannah Wonderful review. This is one of my favorite books of all time.


Lisa Vegan Hannah wrote: "Wonderful review. This is one of my favorite books of all time."

Thanks, Hannah. Off to read what you have to say about it.


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Hannah wrote: "Wonderful review. This is one of my favorite books of all time."

No review though.

What about it did YOU love, Hannah?


Hannah I know I hit a rough patch of reviewing, but I'm trying to get back into the swing of things! :)

I agree completely with what you have written above. Part of the reason why I love this book so much is because of Connolly's ability to use well-known fairy tales and create a whole new world from them.

I felt like part of me could relate to young David as well. His love of books is very relatable. I also enjoy the WWII setting. I think it adds to the theme of loss of innocence. Kids growing up during that era had to grow up a lot faster and in David's case I think that was accelerated by the loss of his mother and his father's remarriage.

The world John Connolly created is amazing!


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Hannah, 100% agree. Please let me know if you ever decide to write a review of this book.

I know what you mean about reviews. Sometimes writing them is more effort than I want to expend. I'd rather go read the next book.


Roger Brunyate I entirely agree with your second paragraph.


message 14: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Roger wrote: "I entirely agree with your second paragraph."

Roger, I'm glad that I'm not the only one.


Roger Brunyate A propos de rien, My daughter, her husband, and kids are all ethical vegans also, which means that we eat meatless with some regularity, but I am afraid I am too addicted to my bad habits to join them (or you!) totally in their purity. R.


message 16: by Lisa (last edited Jun 01, 2016 07:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Don't say never. :-)

I know many people who became vegan after years and even decades of eating along at times with vegans. For me it was hard for a long time (back then it was just harder, with fewer products and less support) but now it's easy and I couldn't live any other way. Thrn again every little bit helps, the animals and the environment, etc. That's cool about your family.


message 17: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul  Perry "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."

But isn't that assuming SF or fantasy AREN'T about these things? I think SF is at it's best when it is commenting on present day society, and fantasy when it is about psychology - although there are many cases that are the reverse.

Excellent review. This - ad several other John Connolly books are on my TBR mountain after reading his first Charlie Parker novel.


message 18: by Lisa (last edited Sep 13, 2016 08:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Paul wrote: ""But isn't that assuming SF or fantasy AREN'T about these things? I think SF is at it's best when it is commenting on present day society, and fantasy when it is about psychology - although there are many cases that are the reverse."

Paul, Of course!!! That is true and I 100% agree.

But re this particular story, I think all the "magic" in the "fairy tale" is internal feelings and thoughts of the boy. I don't think these things happened except in his mind. Most disagree with me but that's how I read it.

I highly recommend this one. It sounds as though I should read more, including that first Charlie Parker novel.


message 19: by Risa (new) - added it

Risa Love your review. Dealing with loss, human emotion, the classic struggle of good vs evil, thinking the grass is always greener. Stories want to be told; everything u need to know is in books. I loved the tale of the 7 dwarfs - socialism, war, redemption, - this book made me cry.


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Thanks, Risa.

I read it nearly 9 years ago. Whoa! I also remember crying or at least feeling like crying.


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