Friday, February 8, 2008
As an adventure/fantasy/fairy tale, The Book of Lost Things does its job well. John Connolly tells the story of David, who, after the death of his mother, finds himself lost both figuratively and literally. His quest takes him through the darkest of fairy tale worlds, where he battles challenge after challenge (finding help along the way, in typical epic form). What perplexed me about this book was the setting. David's real life is set in England during World War II, which seemed like it ought to have an allegorical purpose. Perhaps I missed it, but without a more distinctive parallel, the setting struck me as a little too arbitrary. Indeed, it had usefulness to the plot, but that plot point could have been handled just as smoothly in another setting. I also found the ending unsatisfying -- without giving anything away, the end was too commonplace for such a fantastical story. If you're willing to overlook the problems in reality, David's travels through the stories and fairy tales are captivating enough to make this a worthwhile read.