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'Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother ...' As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters, his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340899489
ISBN-10: 0340899484
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 33mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Hodder Paperback
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 5-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » A child's nightmare odyssey through an alternate world inspired by the darkest aspects of fairy tales.The Irish thriller-writer (The Black Angel, 2005, etc.) breaks new ground with this extravagant fantasy. Twelve-year-old David is a Londoner who has inherited his mother's love of myths and fairy tales; when she dies of an unnamed disease, he takes her loss hard. And it gets worse. His father falls for Rose, the administrator of his mother's hospice; she bears him a son, Georgie. David dislikes them both. When war breaks out (it's 1939), they move to Rose's house outside London. David's bedroom is haunted by a notorious trickster, the Crooked Man, known for stealing children. When he hears his mother's voice calling for help, he wriggles through a hole in the brickwork and finds himself in a forest. Right away, he spots two corpses. One belongs to a German aviator, the other to an animal wearing clothes. Luckily, the first living human he meets is the well-disposed Woodsman. He tells David the animal was a Loup, half-wolf, half-human; the mother of the first Loup, Leroi, was Little Red Riding Hood. (Be prepared for other perverse fairy-tale variants.) Leroi is plotting to displace the feeble old king; his chief adversary is the Crooked Man. The only good news is that the king's greatest resource, the Book of Lost Things, may show David the way home. So man and boy begin their journey to the castle. Dangers abound. Wolves and Loups are on their trail. Evil trolls guard a bridge across a canyon, while fanged harpies cruise below. The Woodsman is chased off by wolves, and David must use all his smarts to avoid various grisly ends. There's a nod to his coming-of-age, but graphic violence is the come-on, enough to sate the most bloodthirsty appetite. Connolly doesn't know when to stop-by the end, the punch-drunk reader is past caring about the ultimate winner or David's fate.A robust storyteller loses his way. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - John Connolly

John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2. In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.

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