The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

The Book of Lost Things turned out to be a different kind of book than I'd expected, as it's not really very childish. An older child could read it, certainly, but they wouldn't really understand half of it - it being the whole subject of growing up and leaving your childhood behind.

It is a well written book and in my eyes brilliantly thought out how classic fairy tales are twisted and turned into something new-ish that intertwines in the land David finds himself in. I've previously read the collected works of Grimm's fairy tales (the non-politically correct version too gruesome for children to hear) and I always like seeing how they can be adapted to suit new stories.

After 348 pages the actual actual story of the book ends - the rest contain notes on the fairy tales used. I was initially incredibly confused as the story started wrapping itself up and coming to a close just over halfway through the book(!) and as it turned out the last 31% of the book are just notes by the author (and to be honest I skimmed them through and declared them pointless - to me at least).

At first I was a bit disappointed by this cheat - however, the story is exactly as long as it's supposed to be. It's not drawn out and it's not too short either. It's all wrapped up nicely and still leaves you thinking about this vivid journey of lost innocence and childhood into adulthood and beyond. It's a dark story that reminds us to keep fighting and endure and live our own story.

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly
ISBN13: 9780340899489
502 pages / published in 2006

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


  1. Åh, bogen snød mig på akkurat samme måde! Nøj - hvor var jeg altså bare frustreret! Følte mig SÅ snydt! :D Men det er sådan en god bog, mærkeligt dyster og virkelig fascinerende :)

    1. ja det er lidt fesent så meget der "bare" er noter - med god bog det er det nu alligevel :)


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