The Book of Lost Things

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 March, 2012, 12:00am


The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly (read by Nick Rawlinson)
Hodder and Stoughton (audiobook)

John Connolly's Charlie Parker mysteries are as good as crime fiction gets right now. But I had not read his 2006 story for younger readers until this newly released audiobook download. The story is set in the second world war, and follows 12-year-old David's adventures in fantasy and reality. David has recently witnessed his mother's long, painful death. If this isn't destabilising enough, his father remarries and relocates his new wife and son to the countryside, where they are quickly joined by a baby boy. David's desire for escape is initially manifested through an obsessive love of books. This becomes oddly realised when David is transported into a vividly coloured alternate universe via a German bomber that crash-lands in his garden. David's quest - to find the king who will enable him to return home - echoes Tolkien, The Wizard of Oz and C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, to name but three. The calm Nick Rawlinson reads the scary fairy tale with just the right tone of wonder and sincerity. It's not perfect, but it is very good.