Lost Christmas is a book by David Logan.
It's Christmas Eve, 2010. A young boy named Richard Thornhill, known as "Goose" is so disappointed that his father, Paul, has to go to work that he hides his dad's car keys, hoping to keep him home with the family. Unfortunately though, this doesn't work out as intended, and instead sets off a terrible chain of events that nobody could have foreseen...
One year later, it's Christmas Eve again. Goose's life has completely fallen apart - and he's not the only one. Paul's best friend Frank, who's become estranged from his family and working as a fence to fuel his alcoholism; Goose's Alzheimers-suffering Nan; Helen and Henry Taylor, a couple with a serious case of Survivor Guilt and Lhal, an old Indian woman who's lost her precious bangle.
Nothing seems to connect these people - until a mysterious amnesiac man in a colourful coat apparently drops out of the sky. "My Name is Anthony" reads the badge pinned to his chest "How Can I Help"?
It's been described as A Christmas Carol in modern-day Manchester, but Lost Christmas is really its own beast, an extremely well-written and original work. Be warned though, it's a bit of emotional rollercoaster, with Tear Jerkers aplenty.
Lost Christmas contains examples of:
- Classical Mythology: "Death is the brother of sleep" is a reference to Thanatos and Hypnos.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Henry, Goose's probation officer, is a cynical man who treats the boy as a hopeless criminal. Henry's been like that since his daughter drowned.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Lhal's explanation of Shiva, the Destroyer.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Very nearly with Mutt.
- For Want of a Nail: If Goose hadn't hidden the keys, his dad and Frank could have rescued Milly Taylor, his parents would have taken a different street from the truck that hit them, and Goose's life wouldn't have ended incarcerated and homeless.
- Good Samaritan: The older Goose gives his much warmer coat to a young man (the real Anthony) who's sleeping on the streets for the first time. As a result, Goose freezes to death, but the good deed earns him a chance to go back and not hide the keys.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Frank. He's a drunk and a minor criminal who employs Goose to steal things, but he also cares about the kid enough to look out for him, and used to be a firefighter.
- Future Me Scares Me: Goose thinks Anthony is a nutter - the same Anthony that's a future version of himself!
- Little Known Facts: Anthony. Cars honk in the key of F, Mel Blanc's tombstone reads "That's all folks"...
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Goose, after he ran away trying to find somewhere warmer. So much so that his Nan forgets his real name is Richard when Henry comes calling.
- Pun-Based Title
- Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Goose/Anthony. He's even able to use the memory to great effect later to save the real Anthony's life.
- What the Heck Is an Aglet?: One of Anthony's many little-known facts is that the hard bit on the shoelace is called an aglet.