Friday, December 22, 2006

The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connelly is a seriously creepy but ultimately satisfying book, especially for the lover of fairy tales. Once upon a time, in London, near the beginning of World War II, there lived a boy named David. David is a slightly neurotic but likeable boy who loves his mother and books more than anything. His mother dies, and his father marries a woman, Rose, whom David cannot forgive for trying to be a second mother. The arrival of a new half-brother and a move to Rose’s house in the country only make things worse. David starts to hear books talking to themselves. When out in the garden, he sees a crooked man walking through his room and his half-brother’s room. Then, one dark night, he runs from a crashing German bomber through a wall and into a forest where the trees bleed and the flowers have the faces of lost children. A Woodsman finds him as he is being chased by Loups, the half-wolf, half-man offspring of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, with the cunning of humans and the appetite of wolves. Unable to find his way back home, David and the Woodsman set out on a journey to find the King, whose Book of Lost Things might hold the answer to David’s questions. The world David travels through (mostly alone) is a world of twisted familiar stories, where Red Riding Hood chases down the wolf, and Hansel gets eaten the second time around. A little closer to horror than I usually read, this book has memorable characters and setting and a fast-moving plot that makes it very hard to put down.

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