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Mister God, This is Anna

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  5,101 ratings  ·  475 reviews

Anna was only four years old when Fynn found her on London's fog-shrouded docks. He took her back to his mother's home, and from that first moment, their times together were filled with delight and discovery. Anna had an astonishing ability to ask--and to answer--life's largest
Paperback, 298 pages
Published November 7th 2000 by Ballantine Books (first published 1974)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,101 ratings  ·  475 reviews

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Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars are not enough. So I am going to take my "mirror book" and create an endlessly repeating circle of stars. Anna deserves no less.

This is a spiritual and philosophical book, but it is not tied into religion. Anna is spectacularly, terrifyingly and completely ALIVE!Every fibre of her being hums and sparks with life, feeling and imagination.

What makes me sad about reading this again after almost 30 years is the realisation that I have become so full of holes. This became obvi
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, favorites
As I began reading this I was prepared to dismiss it as a cheap attempt by "anonymous" to challenge the accepted philosophy and practices of Christianity. It begins with a teenage dock worker, Fynn, in pre-WWII London finding an abandoned four-year-old girl one night and taking her home to his mother. Over the next several years the girl, whom they call Anna, fills his life with wonder and his mind with her ideas about "Mister God". How, I wondered, could this young man have the quantity of idle ...more
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book changed my entire world, my entire life.
Its explanation and insight into what God is, is a completely different outlook onto a topic as old as humanity.
It has a refreshing way of describing things, but without the various pretenses that most authors seem to have. Honest writing is a really rare find nowadays but this book, despite convention, remains, even if untrue, honest.

Dan Glover
I read this book quite a while ago. It is engagingly written but it contains some very errant and very wishful thinking theology. The story centers around the relationship between a 4-7 year old girl (story takes place over 3 years) and a 16-19 year old boy who finds her on the street one night and brings her home to his mother. The girl lives with them over the next three years and the "action", in so far as it happens (and not much of it does) is basically just to give context for Fynn and Ann ...more
Faith Spinks
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so very, very beautiful. It is simple and yet profound. It is a book that I have read, re-read and re-read again and again. And I never tire of it. Every time I read it I discover some new gem. My copy of the book makes it an art to read as it is beyond the 'falling apart' stage. The pages are no longer attached and yet for me that is just a sign of how loved the book is. Loved by my parents and then passed on and loved by me.

I never met Anna, but I feel like I have, and
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
True story of a 4-year-old found on the streets of London in the 1930's by a 19-year
old blue collar worker with a passion for math and music and all things mechanical.
The first edition included the tale of how the book's manuscript came into the hands
of the publisher and of a meeting with "Fynn," the book's author; all subsequent
editions have omitted it.
Anna had an intimate relationship with "Mister God," and searched for him in all things.
Everything and everyone in creation
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: Michael McCamish
Shelves: fiction, new-age, religion
The book recounts the friendship formed between the author and narrator Fynn (who is in his late teens or early 20s in the narrative) and a foundling named Anna in London's East End, in the 1930s. Anna, reminiscent of a character from Dickens, is a little girl who lives on the streets until she is taken in by the narrator. She has a unique perspective on life, a mystical spirituality, and a boundless curiosity that she shares with the author and the reader on every page. She occasionally (at lea ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: waste-of-time, 2015
Too religious for my callous soul.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-enjoy-again
I probably read this a dozen times when I was a child, and on until I started my own family. I wanted to be Fynn, and meet a child who would precociously open my eyes to the magic of the world.
Nadine Larter
Mister God, This is Anna is a book a bout a man who finds a little girl wandering the streets, and he takes her home. This always tickles me, because: how insane! Granted it does sort of explain itself out of that hole, and the book is set in the 1930s so it is forgivable, but still, it makes me giggle. Then again, if you pulled that kind of thing today, would anyone notice? I think it's probably less likely than we expect.

Anyway, the book is ok, I suppose. I don't think you need to be a believ
Kathryn Green
More of a 4.5 - this book was very emotional and powerful and really makes you think! I loooved the relationship between fynn and Anna, it was just so lovely to see how this little girl affected him. It definitely makes you think and I recommend this to everyone, even if you're not religious.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I remember when the American paperback edition of this book came out in the 1970s and all of the adults in my parents' immediate circle jumped on it. I must have been about 13 when I got my hands on it and read it and loved it. Unlike Fynn and Anna, I've never understood math, partly thanks to being forced into "the new math" at age 8 and missing three vital years of basic arithmetic, and then transferring to a school that had never taught the new math, realising kids my age needed the old one m ...more
Anna Katmore
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My father read this book to me when I was five.
I read this book to my son when he was five.
And I hope he’ll read it to his kids one day.

Mister God, this is Anna
It’s a title that stayed in my mind over years. And not only the title, but also all the adventures that Anna and Fynn went on in this book.

On a silent night, down by the docks, Fynn finds Anna. Or rather, she finds him. She ran from her alcoholic mother and a terrible father. When Fynn offers her some
BetteRose Ryan
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A book I loved, loved, loved when I first read it in the late 1970's. It is one of those books that stays with you for decades. .

The book allows us to meet Anna, a precocious child of four years. She has run away from home and makes a life with Fynn and his mum. During her short life, Anna develops a refined way of looking at almost everything around her and manages to teach twenty year old Fynn a thing or two about life. From the moment Anna refused to tell anyone where her parents
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As I read this book I kept having this image of Anna as not a little girl of five, but a tiny version of Socrates deeply emerged in a Platonic dialogue or Jesus enlightening both his ignorant enemies and followers in one of his allegorical parables.

Although the prose is relatively simple and somewhat coarse in some parts of the book and Anna's explanations are rough and terse even to the point of being abtruse, it just goes to show you that not all beauty is created by skilled and stylish techn
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Out of the mouths of babes, indeed! The tale of a truly remarkable little girl and the impact of her short life. Were this a work of fiction I would have found young Anna an unbelievable character. Beyond precocious, Anna is deep and preceptive. Her observations and revelations, particularly those involving her view on Mister God, blew me away. Many times I had trouble following her line of thought and had to work my own lil' noggin in order to grasp the meaning she was trying to convey.
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of two books that perfectly encapsulates my view of the world and life. Anna sees everything around her in terms of God, but not the frowning, disappointed God that so many small people use as a means of judging others. Anna's God is so big that he is practically beyond our perception of emotions, in the way that an ant cannot comprehend the vastness of the picnickers on the grass. Anna brings God down out of the subconsciously-assumed clouds of Heaven and places Him solidly in the r ...more
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, spirituality
What an peculiar little book. The publisher writes in the front that the story is true and the author uses the name Fynn so people will read what he has to say and not judge the man. Whether it's true or not I guess doesn't matter. This little girl's pure view of everything was a joy to read. I just got bogged down by how obscure many of the stories were. I wanted them written plainly and easy to follow and comprehend. Shouldn't Mr. God be easy to understand when explained by a little girl? My l ...more
Abigail G
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story that made me both laugh and think deeply. Many deep theological topics were touched upon in the life of Anna yet as she was merely a child they were explained with a simple understanding that made the book all the more delightful. The honesty of the writer to tell the narrative in a direct way by adding little details of thought and expression to make the reader fully understand made the story flow smoothly though there was much dialogue. I finished the book loving the ...more
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read this book as a teenager and continue to re-read it as an adult.

There are certain books that make such an impression on your life that you know that you are somehow changed. What surprised me most is that a book I picked up as an 'easy read' would fall in the same category for me as To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and I Am the Cheese.

Mister God is a book that seems to prove the quote from Mother Theresa that a single stone thrown into the water will effect many with the ripples.

Stefan Wit
Mr God, this is Anna, probably moved me more than any other book I have read to date. Fynn is a subtle and masterful storyteller with a simple, highly effective prose that settles softly yet indelibly on one's soul. I read this true story over two decades ago, but still I feel the raw emotions that were revealed back then. If you can still get hold of a copy, and would enjoy discovering a beautiful, heart-rending tale about an abandoned child in post-war London, then do it now, but prepare to sh ...more
Viouletsa Barrio
Apr 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I am Anna.
Or I thought I was, when I was 10 years old and reading that book. I also thought I had secret magic powers back then. This book helped my self esteem, I guess. I would give it a two, had I not seen myself in the protagonist. But it is really moving in many ways. And, even now, when I see the title on my bookshelf, it takes me back to an age I believed endless possibilities were lying ahead of me.
Devdoot De Roy
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this has been the most unusal read for me till date as its full of perceptions about normal day to day things we do. a must read for people who are atheists or agnostics, will not make them believe in GOD but still will give them a new perspective. thoroughly enjoyed reading it, one of those books which i am ready to read again again every 2-3 years just to get a new lease of life.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book shortly after it came out, when I was exploring my own teenage understanding of my relationship with the Divine. Anna's expanded understanding of G-d's "viewing places" - a multifaceted/multidimensional entity - has informed my deepest commitment to interfaith dialogue through out my adult life.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We read this book as a family in the late 90s/early aughts.
Ziggy Zezsyazeoviennazabrizkie
I gave 4 stars, but I'm gonna rant a bit. Well, several paragraphs.

I read the 1979 edition, and first and foremost, I was very much entertained by the preface by Vernon Sproxton. V. Sproxton categorized this book as an 'Ah!' book. A book beyond good, that is. Well I personally won't put this book in 'beyond-good' category. Not because it's not well-written--it is--but I have different shelves. I put this book on 'thinking book' category. Easy enough, it's one of those books that got
Heena Garg
May be many people liked this book but for me it was a bit boring. In this book narrator tried to show the thinking capacity of a kid. Yes, it is possible a kid may learn things faster or can think what other learned people can't, because once we set up our mind as per society norms then it is difficult to accept anything new. For example: Anna denied the fact light travels at the highest speed in the entire universe. She brought her own theory of shadows are faster than light.
She always t
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shutterbug_iconium by: A friend
Anna, age five and physically abused runs from home and is on the street. Finn accidentally meets him on the streets and this is the story of their a few year old friendship. Anna is just so intelligent. She's beyond normal reckoning. The philosophy she develops about God, the insight she displays into theological stuff will surely stay with me.

The book reminded me of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Oscar and the Lady in Pink, which chronicles the the letters of a terminally ill boy of ten a
Wonderful book about a beautiful friendship between a teenager and a little girl who found each other in their search for the questions to important answers. Recommendation for everyone who is not afraid to have his core ideas on God, humanity, love and life shaken quite a bit and then transformed into honest, frolicky and tender child-logic. (which often proves to be rationally better logic than that of us heavily conditioned grownups). One simply cannot escape the beautiful usage of words and ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I was in 7th grade, a Scholastic Book club representative set up a booksale in our school library. I perused the offerings, but found nothing to my taste. I was about to leave when the rep invited me to look through a box she had under one of the tables. I dug through the box, still not finding anything of interest, until, at the very bottom there was this little, white, mass-market book with a title that sounded like Beverly Cleary, but I read the back and was intrigued. I bought it.
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Fynn is the pen name of Sydney "Sid" George Hopkins, born in Poplar, London 26th March 1919 - died in Somerset 3rd July 1999.

Sid was a student and later staff member at Finchden Manor, now a defunct reform school,in Tenterden Kent, as described in the book Mr Lyward's Answer.

Sid Hopkins spent the last years of his life living in Taunton, Somerset, England.

ALAN MITCHELL profile, Church House Publishing

“in the dark you have to describe yourself. In the daylight other people describe you.” 47 likes
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