The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
This was a fun read for Halloween. It is dark, but also lighthearted, evoking a Hans Christian Anderson/Brothers Grim tone. We meet Daniel, a young boy who lost his mother. He and his mother shared a love for books. She taught him at a young age the importance of books and storytelling. After his mother passes, Daniel's books begin speaking to him, luring him into a world of crooked fairy tales and evil creatures.
One of the things I liked best about this book was Connolly's dismissal of a typical "happily ever after" theme. Fairy tales are retold in a twisted and bleak manner, offering a new outlook on Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few. Even the ending rejects the conventional. Ultimately the tone is hopeful, but Connolly doesn't sugar coat anything and instead opts for a darker, cheerless tone, perfect for Halloween.
This is a great book to read when you want a captivating story. It's a true modern fairy tale about transitions and the loss of innocence. I'm tempted to compare it to The Shadow of the Wind, as they are both suspenseful books about books. However if you didn't enjoy The Shadow of the Wind don't write off The Book of Lost Things. I would recommend this book to the true bibliophile, someone who loves to not only read books, but to admire and collect them as well. It's a fun suspense for the book lover, exploring how books shape the world around us and our imagination. It captures the trills, the fears and the triumphs that are held in books.
Publisher: Atria Books, 2006