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Friday Flashback Review: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. Basically, I have hundreds of reviews on GoodReads and I want to post them over here as well. Every Friday I will post one of those old reviews. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!  Be sure to check out her fantastic blog!

The Book of Lost Things 4 Stars
“Um, and what about ‘happily ever after’?” asked David, a little uncertainly. “What does that mean?”

“Eaten quickly,” said Brother Number One.

That should give you an idea what you’re up against with this novel. Twelve-year-old David finds himself in a fairytale kingdom one night, but this kingdom isn’t exactly the way he expected it would be after reading his favorite stories.

I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings, so I was biased in favor of this from the beginning. But this novel worked in several different ways. On the surface, it could just be read as a big adventure story/mash-up of a lot of the classic fairy tales. But David learns a lot about confronting his fears, jealousies, and all the worst parts of himself. I have to say that the tone was fairly dark throughout, so I really had no idea how everything was going to turn out in the end.

There were funny moments, and Snow White’s part absolutely cracked me up. It was worth reading this for that scene alone!

Apparently, some editions have some sort of appendix at the back with all the original fairy tales and how they were worked into the story. My copy, the blue one, for what it’s worth, doesn’t have any of that. I think it would definitely be worth it to look for the editions with the extra information. The red ones? I’m sure I got the obvious references, but there may have been some that I completely missed.

I highly recommend this, especially if you like a well-written remake of fairy tales.

Author John Connolly on his website, Facebook, and his blog.

The Book of Lost Things website, including a trailer and some of the stories behind the book.

Find it on IndieBound or Better World Books.


  1. Hi there!
    I bought this book recently (The cover of the book is BRIGHT red!) and you're right about the fairy tale information at the back of the book. I'm so excited to know that it is really good :D Cannot wait to read it!

  2. thanks for this! i saw this book a while ago and loved the cover art but had no money) now i know it's a good read too :)

  3. My best friend is a huge Connolly fan.I have the first 7 books in the Charlie Parker series and I know they must be awesome,but I haven't picked them up yet.Stuck on UF and YA :)

  4. This one sounds good! I checked out Gargoyles but when you said 'not for the squeamish' I'm not quite sure right now. This one though, it sounds good!

  5. Shy, Daria, and Melanie, I think you'll like it! It truly was a great book.

    AtenRa, this one is fantasy! Maybe you should start with it and not one of his mysteries.

  6. I have the red one, and the fairy tale stuff in the back is pretty awesome.

  7. This is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone in a reading rut. I didn't have the version with the appendix either and was bummed out when I found out about it. But I gobbled that story up all the same. And you are right - the 7 dwarfs were absolutely hysterical.


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