Monday, October 22, 2007
Fairytales and Lost Things
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly: I love fairytales partly because they tell us universal truths about life and partly because they are fun. And I loved this book for both reasons. It's the story of a 12-year-old boy, David, whose mother dies, and who consequently immerses himself in books. He can hear the books in his room whispering to him, telling their stories in low voices. When his father remarries and has another child, the story takes a turn that is reminescent of the movie, The Labyrinth. David is thrust into another realm where the fairytales and adventure stories are real, only they don't turn out the way either David or the book's reader expects them to. The character of the Crooked Man, who has been shadowing David since before his mother died, is genuinely creepy; it took me awhile to actually identify him with his associated fairytale -- he's much scarier here. David's journey through this new realm, to find the king and the book of lost things, is a typical quest tale and reminded me of one of my favorite Stephen King novels, The Talisman. David, like Jack Sawyer, has to find the strength within himself to survive in this new land, to protect his family, and to return home. One of the really nice things about this copy of The Book of Lost Things is that the fairytales are included in the back of the book as well as notes from the author, so if you don't remember the story, you can read it again.