Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Book of Lost Things

Wow, I managed to finish another book! I'm SUCH a slow reader these days, I can't concentrate on anything... To all of you reading this who believe in positive energy/thinking, I need some of both desperately this week. It's a waiting week for me and I am SO not good at waiting.

Anyway, the book - John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things. It was a huge hit in the blogosphere last year, I think, and it's been on my shelf for ages. It's the story of David, who is very lonely and angry and lost after his Mom dies and his Dad starts a new family with Rose. David loves stories (he learned that from his Mom) and ends up in a world where some of these stories exist. The twists and turns aren't all happy though, the tales have taken on darker aspects and the story world isn't as cheery as it should be.

The Book of Lost Things is a fairy tale for adults. I'm sure children read it too, but I don't think they can get all the messages and I also think that they'd be really scared in some parts! I wasn't too crazy about the book until David actually found the book of lost things. It all came together for me then, I understood the story more I guess and I really enjoyed reading it until the very end. I even read the extras, including the authors comments on the fairy tales included in the book.

I marked two quotes somewhere at the beginning of the book, both about stories:
Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
The stories in books hate the stories contained in newspapers, David's mother would say.
I enjoyed the book in the end - and now want to read more about the origins/meanings of fairy tales. Any recommendations?

Challenges: Once Upon a Time III, Dewey's Books


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I took a folklore class several years ago and we talked a bit about the origins of fairytales (a lot of the ones we know are German?). Nymeth could definitely give you a better history. Anderson and the brothers Grimm are the foundation to a lot of the stories we are familiar with.

I'll be reading this one soon for the Once Upon a Time Challenge (just realized I only have a month left--I've been dragging my feet and not paying attention to dates!). I'm glad you liked it. And sending well wishes your way. Hope the "wait" goes well.

serendipity_viv said...

This sounds really good. I do like fairytales for adults and I am doing the Once Upon A Time challenge, so this will be a good choice for it.

Ana S. said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Joanna! I really did as well. Three excellent books on fairy tales are From the Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner, The Brothers Grimm by Jack Zipes, and The Hard Facts of the Grimm's Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar (which I read recently and will review soon). Zipes and Tatar are very big names in fairy tale scholarship. Their stuff is in-depth, but also fun to read and very accessible!

I really hope whatever you're waiting for is resolved positively!

Kailana said...

I have started this book a couple times and still haven't got very far into it. It just doesn't call to me or something!

Jo said...

I enjoyed this when I read it. I did think the change from the ordinary world to the fairy tale world was a bit suddden though.

joanna said...

Trish - I hope you like it, looking forward to your thoughts!

Scrap Girl - it would definitely be a good choice! :-)

Nymeth - thanks for the recommendations, I will look into them!

Kailana - try to persevere through the first half, it got better for me and I had the same reaction as you at the beginning!

Jo - you're right, it was sudden. Maybe that's why I wasn't convinced...