Thursday, November 16, 2006

To Read: The Book of Lost Things

I'm a sucker for stories about kids who get transported into magical realms. Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are all great examples. MirrorMask, too.

The plot device loses something when it's a grown-up who gets moved over, like in those fantasy books where a bunch of D&D players get sucked into their game world or whatever. Not only are they better equipped at physically dealing with the new world than little kids, but you have to go through long chapters -- if not the entire book -- of the characters' mental denial of what's happened to them. The children always seem to take their situations in stride while retaining a marvelous sense of wonder about the new world.

So, John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things about a 12-year-old boy who "is thrust into a realm where eternal stories and fairy tales assume an often gruesome reality" sounds right up my alley. The World War II setting, the inclusion of a wicked step-mother, and the re-interpretation of classic stories like "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Hansel & Gretel" all seal the deal.

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