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Lost Boys

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  8,637 ratings  ·  867 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 g

Hardcover, 448 pages
Published July 10th 1994 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1992)
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Liam Prizer I haven't seen anything suggesting there is a book after it.

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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,637 ratings  ·  867 reviews

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Heidi The Reader
Aug 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Lost Boys is by far the slowest paced horror novel I've ever read.

I don't know why everyone said this story was so emotional. The only emotion I experienced was boredom.

I'd recommend Ender's Game over this any day of the week. Lost Boys? Pass.
David Williams
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to David 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.
Chad Lorion
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So let's say you've read the stuff Orson Scott Card is most known for. You've gone through the Ender saga, you've read it's companion storyline the Shadow saga, and maybe you've even read some books from the Homecoming saga, the Worthing series, and the Alvin Maker story. Let's say you're looking for something else to read from Mr. Card.

Give Lost Boys a try. I did. And I fell in love with the story and the lost boys.

But first, a caveat, if I may. Lost Boys is not for everyone. It's slow moving
Rebecca Maines
May 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: f-sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 at lunch while at work, and there I was, in my ...more
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, para-normal
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
Spider the Doof Warrior
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Chris McKenzie
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Fred D
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-author
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
Nov 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, horror
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
Mar 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book made me promise that, if I ever had the chance, I would punch Orson Scott Card in his stupid mouth. I just want the time I wasted reading this book back. It's stupid auto-biographical nonsense with a ghost mystery mixed in when Mr. Scott Card can tear himself away from talking about himself long enough to fill us in. The book has a handful of useless red herrings and then when he's wasted enough of our time, Mr. Scott Card says, "Yup, it was that dude all along." Not that there were an ...more
Jan 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Stan Crowe
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
Ryan Crompton
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Orson Scott Card has rarely delved into horror -- among his work, the only three vaguely horror novels are this one, "Homebody," and "Treasure Box." Of these three, "Lost Boys" was the first, and almost certainly the best.

Other reviewers have often commented that Card's work lacks in specificity. Card has displayed impressive prowess with things like genetics (such as in "Wyrms" and "Treason"), but otherwise he's refrained from engaging in detailed depictions of his science throughout most of hi
Sep 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Oct 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, dnf
Abandoning with 9 hours of audiobook left. I can't take it anymore. Moving on.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Orson Scott Card is a fabulous storyteller. I can't pinpoint what it is, but he has a way of writing that draws you in, tells a story that moves, and doesn't let you go until the end. I absolutely loved this story, especially the way he writes about the lives of this Mormon family. This book is in no way LDS fiction (I'm not a fan), but he writes about Mormonism that presents it in it's reality (in my opinion). Card depicts real life - real people with real struggles, and there's no glossing ove ...more
Mikhail Yukhnovskiy
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, mystic
This is one of the "Mormon" books by Orson Scott Card. That is the reason I picked it up as I wanted to get myself acquainted with this side of his talent.

It is a strange book, with an element of mysticism (which I am not often in favour of), but it certainly works. The closer to the end the more heart-wrenching it becomes.

The details of Mormon family and comminity life are interesting and thought-provoking.

For those interested in what are Card's books like, apart from the Ender series, this is
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aimee Clark
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Deborah Carr
Aug 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not really care for this book at all. The mystery of the lost boys and Stevie's connection with them was not what this book was about - in fact it was barely mentioned at all until the last chapter.

The whole book was pretty much about day to day life of a mormon family - Dad hates his job and is always being either rude or sarcastic to anyone he feels better than, mom is busy doing church work and along the way they run into some weird people who have nothing at all to do with the mystery
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Natasha Szmidt
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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“What I’m telling you is, there’s some people who do things so bad it tears at the fabric of the world, and then there’s some people so sweet and good that they can feel it when the world gets torn.” 2 likes
“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
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