Friday, January 23, 2009

The Book of Lost Things

I finished up The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly this week. Mundane Jane thought I might like it. And I did. If you like a fantasy, a little fairy tale, a quest story and don't mind that it has a Brothers Grimm feeling to it, you would probably like it too. Ever wonder how Snow White turned out? Probably not like you thought. Or maybe you need to learn how to question a troll to get the truth? It's in there. And the best part is that it's written so very well with the focus on the story instead of verbal gymnastics so that you can enjoy the journey, getting lost in the scenes instead of trying to find your way through a sentence.

But really, if you love books and stories, then you need to meet David. He's a 12-year-old boy who's just lost his mother, the mother who shared his love of books. And then his own story really begins. His story is about becoming an adult, about what happens when the safety and illusions of childhood start to fall away, when your parents are gone and you realize you have no one but the people you may meet along the way and your own ability to rely on. There are good people and bad people, scary places and funny places, and you'll make mistakes but you're going to be able to do the right thing too, even when it's difficult.

Spoiler alert: If you're planning to read this, you might stop now because I'm putting in quotes from the end of the book. But then, about half way through the book, I read the end to be sure David was going to be OK.

Quote #1-
About David, who wrote his adventures and had many children visit to see him and his house
Instead, he would talk to them of stories and books, and explain to them how stories wanted to be told and books wanted to be read, and how everything that they ever needed to know about life and the land of which he wrote, or about any land or realm that they could imagine, was contained in books. And some of the children understood, and some did not.

Quote #2
A man was standing before David. He carried an ax in one hand and in the other a garland of flowers, gathered by him as he walked through the forest and bound together with lengths of long grass.
"I came back," said David, and the Woodsman smiled.
"Most people do, in the end," he replied, and David wondered at how like his father the Woodsman was, and how he had failed to notice it before.
"Come along," said the Woodsman. "We've been waiting for you."
And David saw himself reflected in the Woodsman's eyes, and there he was no longer old but a young man, for a man is always his father's child no matter how old he is or how long they have been apart.

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