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Friday, April 30, 2010

Inspiration- The Book of Lost Things

  I am a voracious reader of fairy tales, young adult fiction, fantasy and anything related to teaching. I have always felt my love for children's literature stems from my childhood struggle learning to read. I was born with tiny ear canals and fused bones in my inner, which causes lots of ear infections and required five ear surgeries to "fix". As a result, I hated to read anything as it was often laborious. Eventually, I discovered the great escape of literature, but by then I only had time to read what was required of me during school. It wasn't until college that I really got to read what I wanted to read. I had a lot of catching up to do.

 Traveling back to childhood is certainly a theme in my life (as you could probably tell by my profession). Much of the art and literature that inspires me harks back to my childhood, ideal or otherwise. Recently, I discovered The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. It follows the classic fairy tale plot line of boy-to-man, but it takes a twisted turn into a fantastically nightmarish world. You'll meet all the classic "helpers" and "villians", but it will be unlike anything you have ever imagined.

  I love twisted fairy tales like those by Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood, because I often feel like I had a classic childhood turned on its head. I'm also a bit mischievous. This is also why art like that of The Little FoxHidden Eloise, Inside the Black Apple and Mark Ryden really appeal to me. There's something just a bit off about those smiling girls of "unspecified age".

Do you know of any other modern versions of classic fairy tales? How about fairy tales with a twist (original Brother's Grimm don't count)?

1 comment:

  1. One of my favourites is The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. It takes the traditional Brothers Grimm story and fleshes it out, and though it's nowhere near as long as The Book of Lost Things, the author does continue the story in other books like Enna Burning.

    In addition, there's Into the Woods, by Lyn Gardner. It combines elements of Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, but is also somewhat similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events in that it follows three (essentially) orphaned children trying to escape a malevolent man.

    Finally, while it may not be based on any easily recognisable fairytale (as least as far as I can tell), The Book of Lies by James Moloney also shares the theme of the power of names set out in The Book of Lost Things.