The Book of Lost Things
is a novel written by John Connolly
After the death of his mother, twelve-year old David struggles to deal with his father remarrying and the birth of a new child. Feeling alone, he goes to his books for company. Soon he is propelled into a world that is both imaginary and real, a strange reflection of his own world composed of myths and stories, populated by wolves and worse-than-wolves, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a legendary book . . . The Book of Lost Things.
The novel contains examples of:
- Age Without Youth - Jonathan Tulvey.
- And I Must Scream - The fate of many of the Crooked Man's victims.
- Be Careful What You Wish For - A greedy and gluttonous man requests that the Crooked Man pay him in gold the weight of everything that he has eaten at a buffet. The Crooked Man complies...by pouring molten gold down his throat.
- Body Horror - Many examples abound but the Huntress' "creations" and the Crooked Man's body falling apart come to mind.
- Bury Your Gays - The knight Roland, who is trying to find out what happened to his lost lover, Raphael. He is, of course, dead. Roland ends up dying as well, once he finds out what happened.
- Disney Death - The Huntsman, who returns safe and sound at the end after apparently being killed by the Loups early on.
- Deal with the Devil - Any deal with the Crooked Man.
- Down the Rabbit Hole
- Driven to Madness - A common result of the Crooked Man's tortures, usually after being Forced to Watch.
- Eldritch Abomination - The Beast.
- Evil Versus Evil - The Crooked Man and the Loups both want David for their own reasons.
- Forced to Watch - The Crooked Man's favorite method of torture.
- Fractured Fairy Tale - Much of the book fits under this.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game - The Huntress surgically combines children with animals to heighten the thrill of the hunt.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate - Jonathan Tulvey, who wants to die but can only grow progressively older.
- I Should Write a Book About This - At the end, it states that the book you're reading is the one David wrote. It then gets confusing because things happen in the end that don't happen until after he wrote it and published. So you're reading things in his book that the character says he wrote but couldn't have despite actually happening.
- Jackass Genie - The Crooked Man functions as this; see Be Careful What You Wish For.
- Little Red Riding Hood - In this version, Red Riding Hood seduces The Big Bad Wolf and later gives birth to the first Loup. She later has other woman couple with wolves, some willingly and some by force.
- Karmic Death: The Huntress gets killed by the children she combined with animals.
- The Lost Woods
- Needle in a Stack of Needles - David and the Woodsman mark the tree though which David arrives with a string. The Crooked Man, rather than simply remove the string, ties strings to all of the trees in the area.
- Rumpelstiltskin - The Crooked Man is implied to be him.
- Soul Jar - A literal example. The Crooked Man's life is sustained via the soul of a child that he keeps in a jar.
- Sssssnaketalk - The witch posing as Rose speaks like this after undergoing Glamour Failure.
- Stay on the Path - David is warned to stay off the road; when he strays to pick an apple, he is captured by a hunter.
- Our Werewolves Are Different - The Loups, wolf/man hybrids that come from the coupling of wolves and women.
- Villainous Breakdown - The Crooked Man essentially tears himself in half after being thwarted by David.
- Who Wants to Live Forever? - The fate of Jonathan Tulvey.
- The Worm That Walks - Sort of. When the Crooked Man tears himself apart, bugs and worms fall out.
- Would Hurt a Child - There are very few who wouldn't.
- Your Mind Makes It Real - Much of the world is derived from David's and Jonathan's fears. The Loups were created from the latter, so when Leroi finally kills Jonathan, he (as well as the rest of the Loups), falls apart and ceases to exist.