Fairy tales, whether directly or indirectly, provide an ocean of inspiration for creators. From the twisted originals to the Disney-fied adaptations eternally flooding the public consciousness, these stories inspire new characters and plots, variations on a recurring theme. And today I present to you a novel perfect for anyone who loves the old tales:
John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things harkens back to the grim horrors of the original tales, and by the end goes a few shades darker. The Book of Lost Things is the captivating story of David, a twelve-year-old struggling to cope with the death of his mother and his father’s remarriage (along with the younger brother that comes with it). One night, he steps through a hole in their garden wall and finds himself in fairy tale land, where he is promptly rescued by the Woodsman from otherwise certain doom. David heads out in search of the eponymous Book of Lost Things, which might be the key for him to return home. On the journey he encounters twisted versions of characters recognizable from the common fairy tales, as well as more obscure references you might have to look up. Through it all, the nightmarish Crooked Man looms over everything, sadistic and cunning and possibly one of the more terrifying villains I’ve read.
The Book of Lost Things is one of a sad (for me) selection of books that I thoroughly enjoyed reading but do not own. Especially unfortunate because I would adore the opportunity to re-read it. Don’t make my mistakes, Christmas shoppers. Buy the book. Terrify your loved ones.