Gregory Maguire can be addictive; I recently reread Wicked and found
myself more impressed by his expansive imagination than I was the first
time around. Maguire's voice and visions are unique; always surprising and
never contrived, his characters are quirky, textured creations, his invented
worlds wholly convincing. In Lost, Maguire's setting is, oddly for
him, the modern world: Boston and London, airplanes and adoption agencies.
But a darker strain runs through the novel; it can be genuinely chilling,
and his clear-eyed, almost pragmatic prose heightens the suspense. Though
the characters in Lost are not overtly set in a fairy tale, allusions
to A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and Jack the Ripper
ripple through the novel as Maguire explores the borders between fiction
and reality. A ghost story, a thematic examination of loss, a tangle of
the mythic and the real in Lost, Maguire deftly journeys further
into his own unusual territory. Jill, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
At the flat in Weatherall Walk there was no milk in the fridge, no ice in the tiny freezer unit.... The better furniture was hung over with drop cloths, the leather-bound books evacuated from their shelves.... Unconnected wiring threaded from walls, and a smell of lazy drains, something rotting, unfurled from the sewer all the way up to this flat. Winnie wrenched open a window. But no sign of John?
Winifred Rudge, a bemused writer struggling to get beyond the runaway success of her mass-market astrology book, travels to London to jump-start her new novel about a woman who is being haunted by the ghost of Jack the Ripper. Upon her arrival, she finds that her stepcousin and old friend John Comestor has disappeared, and a ghostly presence seems to have taken over his apartment in the nineteenth-century rowhouse once owned by Winnie's great-great-grandfather. Is it the spirit of this ancestor, who, family legend claims, was Charles Dickens's childhood inspiration for Ebenezer Scrooge? Could it be the ghostly remains of Jack the Ripper? Or a phantasm derived from a more arcane and insidious origin?
Winnie begins to investigate, but John's erstwhile girlfriend, Allegra, is aggressively unhelpful, and his downstairs neighbor, the cat-obsessed Mrs. Maddingly, is growing stranger by the day. Gripped by inspiration and desperation alike, Winnie finds herself the unwilling audience for a drama of specters and shades, some from her family's peculiar history and some from her own unvanquished past.
In the spirit of A. S. Byatt's Possession, with dark overtones echoing from A Christmas Carol, Lostpresents a rich fictional world that will enrapture Gregory Maguire's eager audience.
"[A] deftly written, compulsively readable modern-day ghost story that easily elicits suspension of disbelief....Maguire's prose is both jaunty and scary; he knows how to mix spooky ingredients with contemporary situations....[R]eaders will be hooked." Publishers Weekly
"Gregory Maguire is a delightful storyteller with an absolutely unique imagination. Lost seems to me to be his best novel yet, which is saying something. A reader who hasn't discovered his work is in for a treat and a revelation. I wish I thought like Gregory Maguire." Peter S. Beagle, author of Tamsin and A Dance for Emilia
“A brilliant, perceptive, and deeply moving fable.”
—Boston Sunday Globe
Publishers Weekly calls Gregory Maguires Lost “a deftly written, compulsively readable modern-day ghost story.” Brilliantly weaving together the literary threads of J.M. Barries Peter Pan, Charles Dickenss A Christmas Carol, and the Jack the Ripper stories, the bestselling author of The Wicked Years canon creates a captivating fairy tale for the modern world. With Lost, Maguire—who re-imagined a darker, more dangerous Oz, and inspired the creation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway blockbuster Wicked—delivers a haunting tale of shadows and phantoms and things going bump in the night, confirming his reputation as “one of contemporary fictions most assured myth-makers” (Kirkus Reviews).
About the Author
Gregory Maguire's first two adult books, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, were national bestsellers that earned him rave reviews and a dedicated literary following. Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children takes him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and codirector of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.