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Lost (2002)

Lost (2002)

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2.79 of 5 Votes: 3
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0060988649 (ISBN13: 9780060988647)

About book Lost (2002)

I got my hands on Gregory Maguire's Lost and knew that I should read it prior to Wicked, only so that I would be able to put my full attention into the series instead of sidestepping it to read Lost. Besides, I figured that this would be a quick, engaging read, especially after I had read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. I couldn't have been more wrong - I found myself struggling JUST to read the next page. This book was frustrating, annoying and I was far from engaged until the very end. Needless to say, this book was disappointing to me, in more ways than one.I can't remember reading a book that didn't give me a point to consider, a lesson of morality or philosophy perhaps, and I suppose that Lost was the first book for me. I was asked "Why even finish it?" Well, because I started it, and I figured I should give the literature the attention and discipline to finish it. Maybe it would get better at the end? And, it did... at the very end. Consequently, this review will be short.I walked away with more 'to-don'ts' than 'to-dos', some of which I noticed the immediate need to change in my own life:First, I felt as if I was constantly 'missing something'. Typically, I love it when an author goes beyond the typical word choice and challenges the reader; however, I felt that every other word that Gregory Maguire uses is different, and not just to change the monotony of some language, but also different JUST to be different. Perhaps, this is more my error, for being less averse in the words of the English language, but still it made the plot difficult to follow. Besides words, the main character of the book was an author who wrote her own book within a book, but it actually ended up being her own story but supposedly fiction, but as the reader you don't understand that until the very end. In a way, it somewhat forces the reader to 're-read' the book once you've completed it so that you can actually understand what it was about. Yeah, no thanks - I'd rather move on to another book. I suppose I should have read the end first rather than the beginning. In my own sense, I was really "LOST".Second, the book is confusing. It took the first 80 pages just to set the scene, but then it removes you from this scene and places you in a different one. At first it references A Christmas Carol and then all other English child literature, but then it goes back to A Christmas Carol. I struggled with following where Maguire was going. I would say that this book could have been condensed to the last 100 pages, and it would have been so much better. The other 240 pages to me were repetitive and wasteful. Third, some of the language and the intimate content to me was unnecessary. If I had wanted to pick up a trashy novel, I would have picked up a trashy novel. This reminds me that some of the words I choose really do not add flavor, color or class to my conversations, and I should stop using them. Similarly, I think this book would have been much better without the f-bombs and details of the intimate relationship the main character has with her step-cousin.Fourth, the older female tenant's living conditions (clutter, dead cats, etc.) reminds me to take care of my items before they must be taken care of by someone else. Be willing to ask for help. The concept of asking for help had NOTHING to do with the book, but further reiterated the need and past life of the ghost that possessed her. It reiterated the lengths that the ghost (Gervasa) went to meet the simple needs of eating. Fifth, I find Maguire to be so repetitive that at times I wanted to scream 'GET TO THE POINT!!' I do think that additional detail and creative conceptualization can add to the strength and emotional grip of a book; however, when used as a means to fill pages, the redundancy does nothing but weaken the grip.I have to say, the end of the book really did get my attention, and I'm glad that I completed the book if not just to say that I finished. The concept behind it, while somewhat complicated and multifaceted, was good - the execution, in my opinion, was not.“Beware of your childhood reading, Winnie said to herself: There is no Narnia in the wardrobe, there is no monkey’s paw with a third… wish to grant. You live in a world with starving Eritrean refugees and escaping smallpox viruses and third-world trade imbalances, and the escalating of urban violence into an art form. You don’t need the magic world to be really real; that would be a distraction.”~ Lost“Well, the afterlife was all the poor had. Their real lives being nasty, brutish, and short, as Hobbes’s catchphrase goes. Our notion that life can improve for individuals within their own lifetimes is fairly modern one. Avoiding being damned was about all that you could hope for. That, and a potato for supper.”~Irv Hausserman, Lost“Folks are more haunted by themselves than anything else.”~ Irv Hausserman, Lost

What an odd book. After reading this novel, I can't help but think that the pinnacle of Maguire's writing was Wicked, and anything else before or since simply hasn't lived up to its standard. This particular novel was at times dull, hard to follow, and seemingly pointless, with a character who seems to lie almost compulsively, and, who really, is quite unlikeable. This we could have overlooked if the story itself had some merit, but it doesn't. What's meant to be a complicated relationship between our protagonist, a struggling writer called Winnie and her step cousin John, comes across as befuddling, not at all interesting, and honestly, childish. Add to this the motif of Jack the Ripper, who has no apparent connection to anything, and a supernatural element which seems to be a ghost who possesses other people, with whom we have no affinity and for whom we feel no compassion, and we get a book that leaves you thinking "why the hell did I read through all of that. What a waste of time." Some redeeming factors, however, include a strange, superstitious, mad cast of secondary characters, who, though just as unlikeable as our protagonist, aid us by taking some of the attention off her. There is also the fact that Maguire illustrates the depth of his knowledge of English literature, including the works of Dickens, Carroll and Barrie, which although they don't make the book seem any better, help illustrate the notion that Winnie has fallen into this strange, dreary world where nothing seems to be what it is, just as Alice found when she fell down the rabbit hole. What is frustrating is that Winnie is trying to reach for the wonder of Neverland, but keeps finding herself pushed down into the bleakness of history, taken there by her own obsessive nature and an imagination she is unwilling, more than unable, to control. What we're then left with is a novel leaving us as lost as the title suggests. After the experience that was this novel, I feel that if I read any other of Maguire's works, it will be tentatively, and not with very high expectations.

Do You like book Lost (2002)?

I wrote this review a couple of years ago over at I was a little snarky back then (ha!), but I still feel the same way:I couldn't put this book down. Found myself . . . "Lost" in it! There are lots of kinds of people in the world and from the reviews here it appears that they fall into two categories: those who would like the wheel to be reinvented consistently every time, and those who enjoy variety and evolution. If you wanted this book to be Wicked all over again, you're in luck, books are reusable. If you go back to the first page you can read it . . . again! I've read Wicked three times!This author is on a journey. He has taken a stab at using is own story line in this book rather than relying on someone else's. I have to say that Wicked was one of the best books I've every read, and no, this is not Wicked, but it was a damned good read. It was very literally apparent that he took a lot of influence and ideas from A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, etc. But there are some more literary influences at work here that he did not spell out. I was reminded of "The Yellow Wall Paper", "The Jilting of Granny Weatherall", "Pedro Paramo" and some other experimental styles of writing.If you cannot tolerate constant stream of thought style literature this is not for you. If you need the structure of small chapters, punctuation, clear dialog, the distinction between voices, etc this book is not for you. Some people like to cozy up and read a good book, others enjoy the intellectual challenge of digesting literature. The thing about Maguire is that he demonstrated his ability to write and combine pulp fiction and literature when he wrote Wicked. All the pulp fiction, Wicked fans that jumped aboard the Maguire band wagon are disappointed because they don't want to have to think too hard, they just want to sit back and enjoy. I'm really not trying to pass judgment here; just figure out what you want out of your reading experience before you buy. The negative reviews you see here are largely from people who couldn't figure out how to re-read Wicked!

I was disappointed. I was expecting similar to Mirror Mirror or Wicked Witch. But this story does not take up the Scrooge story and tell the wonderfully different perspective of another character within the old stories. No, this is a new story only using the Scrooge story as an excuse to begin, to exhist.If I lay aside my expectations, I still am not impressed. Within the story is another story - the main character is a writer therefore she goes into "episodes" where she is not paying attention to anything around her because she is narrating her own book within her head. I found it distracting and did not add to the plot.Summary: I kept waiting to be hooked but instead, found the apprehension of the hook turned into the expectation of the end, all too happily to come.

This is the second book I've read by Gregory Maguire and I must say ---question mark--- because I just don't understand the point. His book Wicked must have been extraordinarily different, i.e. good. The one supposedly about Snow White and this one supposedly having something to do with Scrooge left me feeling cold. I never finished the one about Snow White and I leave this one regretting I did. I had to force my way through the bad turn of phrase and plodding plot only to find he would not even impart a satisfactory ending. It may as well have ended mid-phrase. Stay far, far away from this if you love good literature!

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