In dream-logic, The Book of Lost Things makes sense in a profound way. The woodsman, the wolves, the bridge, the king, the curse, the crooked man. Everything is as simple and iconic as a shadow. And it all works.
David is 12 years old in WWII England — a dreaming age in life, a dreaming time in history. His mother is dead; the books start whispering. The birds are more than birds, and soon enough David is through the doorway.
Beyond the doorway, every fairy tale is twisted into its dark and bloody twin. John Connolly twists each one exquisitely, uprooting the buried theme and burying new themes. Red Riding Hood, for example, has always been about sex, so Connolly brings bestiality into the foreground and buries halfbreed outcasts into the depths.
Likewise, David isn’t some kind of innocent kid. He’s been in and out of the psychiatrist’s office, and he’s thoroughly rocked by grief and loneliness and the confusion of growing up.
Out of the confused warble of platitudes sanitized by the Brothers Grimm, Connolly pieces together a sad, wonderful story that just feels right.