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A compelling ghost story from the internationally bestselling author of WICKED Winifred Rudge a writer struggling to get beyond the runaway success of her mass market astrology book travels to London to start her new novel about the ghost of Jack the Ripper Upon her arrival she finds that her step cousin and old friend John Comestor has disappeared and a ghostly presence seems to have taken over his home Is the spirit Winnie's great great grandfather 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 arcane and insidious origin? Winnie begins to investigate and finds herself the unwilling audience for a drama of specters and shades some from her family's peculiar history and some from her own unvanuished pastIn the spirit of A S Byatt's Possession with dark echoing overtones of A Christmas Carol Lost presents a rich fictional world that will enrapture its readers


10 thoughts on “Lost

  1. says:

    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 wayI 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 timesThis 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 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 writingIf 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


  2. says:

    UPDATE this was a very old review 2009 that makes me laugh now However I still feel the same way many years later I’ve updated my wording a bit but not too much Still want it to make me giggle at my younger self trying to be so witty Enjoy and laugh at me too I hated this book I've all his other books and enjoyed them They weren't amazing couldn't put down reads but they were good This one however was terrible It makes you think it's going to be some kind of mash up of Scrooge and Jack the Ripper as is his theme of retelling classic stories this book however didn’t achieve Boring long goes all over the place with no clear reason as to why or connection I stuck with it because at the time I would never DNF a book The end sucks and makes no sense It's terrible I'm glad I got it used so it was only 5 bucks but I could have gotten a Subway foot long instead lol this still in 2020 makes me sing the 5 foot long song It's a frustrating book that goes way out there and never comes backwaste


  3. says:

    I truly felt lost while reading Lost by Gregory Maguire This is the second book I've read by this author so I can say that I really don't care for his style of writing Unfortunately I have all his other books to read Critics call his prose rich and maybe it is that but I find it confusing to point of sheer frustration sometimesThere is a thoroughly unlikeable to me anyway heroine named Winifred Rudge She writes children's books but would like to write one for adults with a heroine named Wendy Pritzke She's become blocked and unable to write She thinks if she goes to the old family homestead in Hampstead Great Britain she'll be able to get a jump start The family originally owned the whole house but it's since been turned into flats and sold off to other people Only Winnie's cousin John still owns the top floor flat and she plans to stay with himThis is good so far I can understand it The first mystery comes right in the beginning of the book when she attends a meeting for parents who want to adopt internationally She says she is writing a book about that topic but later we learn she is lying So why was she there? I like little mysteries like that What I didn't like was the conversations between Winnie and the other characters I felt like I was trying to follow a maze and that feeling continued throughout the book with her interactions with all the other charactersWhen she arrives in England she finds another mystery her cousin has disappeared Where did he go? Was he kidnapped murdered? Is he in hiding? And what is that knocking noise behind the wall? There are repairmen there to do renovations in the flat but they are afraid of the knocking Winnie takes it upon herself to go visiting all the neighbors to see if she can figure out if it's a ghost a trapped cat or just whatAt first Winnie's behavior seems okay if a little odd As she is running around offending the neighbors and trying to find her cousin or the ghost or the cat or whatever she is imagining scenes in her mind from her adult book Some of the uestions begin to be answered about what is really going on As they're answered she's becoming weirder and weirderI was so ready for the book to end I'm not even sure what really happened to Winnie during those last couple of chaptersReviewers say that the book is about loss and being lost Yes it is definitely that If you like Gregory Maguire and you haven't read the book go for it Otherwise it's not on my recommend to friends list


  4. says:

    I very rarely pout but I am pouting right now in a downright grumpy mood I love Mr Maguire’s writing; his use of language and emotion is outstanding But then there is this book devoid of everything I have nothing to grab ontono likeable characters no fast paced adventure not even a solid conclusion The theme of this novel is the haunting toll of grief I get it there is no mistaking it’s glaring face in each chapter But then Mr Maguire introduces a web of mismatched threads of story and characters who do not fit anywhere It feels like he had twenty ideas for fantastic novels and brainstormed them all into this collage And in the end nothing really happens has happened or is likely to happen to the characters here Maybe that is the real “ghost story” to be found here with everyone wandering aimlessly through life in a pseudo purgatory brought on by grief Ugh So don’t go into this book expecting anything about Dickens or A Christmas Carol or Jack the Ripper or even ghosts Go into this expecting to be depressed and you might enjoy it than I did 🤷🏻‍♀️☔️


  5. says:

    Lost differs from its Wicked Stepsister cousins in that it does not as closely follow a traditional fairytale turned on its head Echoing back to Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland it is not a straight rendition of either but its own taleMuch of the book is spent wondering what really has occurred as the line between reality and illusion are blurred The ending though is satisfying Worth the read


  6. says:

    A lot of people seem to have read Wicked tried Lost and been terribly disappointed I found the book actually MORE satisfying than Wicked I hope that you will give me a chance to sell you on Lost because I think that you will enjoy it if you give it an honest chance I read the book in the space of a two day business trip and purposely begged off of social stuff and went to the airport four hours early so I could sit uninterrupted and read it I think one of the benefits of Wicked that made others prefer it is that it takes place in a world we are all familiar with We have a world already in our heads a world that Maguire then manipulates and redraws in novel and jarring ways In Lost however we are presented something much rewarding at least for me a ghost story of sorts in the present day It is the real world but viewed through a uniue and interesting lens Maguire presents us with just as complex and ambivalent a heroine here as in Wicked There are two narrative voices that of Winnie and that of Winnie's character Wendy in the novel that Winnie is trying to write As we all know all characters in all works of fiction are in some way distillations of the author and friends and life Plot points and locations are often taken from real life and manipulated to fit the story and we learn most important information about Winnie's real life and real wounds through her attempt at a novel It is a very simple but very effective techniue especially because Maguire's book is also a meditation on the way we construct narratives from our lives both about ourselves and our place in the world and about ghosts and the nature of haunting in our lives We journey with Winnie from contemplating the usual canned ideas of ghosts that ghosts with unfinished business are haunting the world unable to move on to the next world lost in this one And we move to a much deeper understanding of ghosts and of Winnie In Lost there is unfinished business there is haunting And not just by ghosts


  7. says:

    Let me start this review by saying that I've read and reviewed Gregory Maguire's most famous and critically acclaimed work entitled Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West which was turned into a Broadway musical hit and I didn't end up being as impressed about it as I hoped I would be With that said I already have extremely low expectations going into this book It's also noteworthy to point out that I've read some reviews about it in Goodreads and they seemed to generally criticize the convoluted plot and subplots as well as the lack of any clear pay off in the end Author Maguire himself has been known to write novels about well known fictional characters created by other much like with Wicked whose central figure if the supposed villain of the original Wizard of Oz books Lost is the very first time I believe that he wrote about an original character There is a lot about this novel that was entertaining I honestly enjoyed itThe uestion however is if it remained as engaging as it was in its first 200 pages or so and the short answer is that IT DIDN'T I think I'm going to have to agree on the majority of the review in GR then by saying so but I would also still like to commend its merits for anyone who is interested in picking this up Lost is a confounding piece of fiction to start off The narrative itself is a fractured examination of the lead character's psyche who is a novelist working on her own tale Winifred Rudge is a storyteller even when she's not sitting down with a pen and paper or typing in a computer She creates conversations in her head where fictional people would exchange dialogue as they pursue a plot that they want to unravel The novel is filled with passages of Winifred writing this story of hers in her head all the while having a crisis and struggle of her own outside of her imaginationI find Winnie's 'drafts' of her novel inserted between the passages of the actual real time story to be amusing She was essentially writing a story about a woman named Wendy who is fixated on finding out who the real Jack the Ripper is It's an investigative mystery novel then which is or less inspired by the weird series of events Winifred herself got caught up in The premise of Lost is simple enough an aspiring novelist writes a historical crime fiction while also undergoing a stressful amount of unusual incidents in her life outside her writing Winifred struck me as the kind of woman so detached with her own person that she's been using her ability to tell stories to cope from daily grievances Until she was confronted by seemingly supernatural forces that or less haunt the apartment complex she shared with a distant cousin Winnie was possibly content with dwelling on her her inner life than forming any other kind of meaningful relationships outside her cousin John because what really is the job of the dead? It's not to hang around but to disappear to clear the air for the living Once the living had discharged their duties to their dead relatives and companions they could go back to living a full life The goal of a ghost is to dismiss it and leave the living to have a full life without guilt or undue grief It's truly the Maguire's execution of the novel that set it apart from most linearly structured narratives There is so much meta material in this novel that could baffle and excite readers from the get go I was really enthralled with Winnie's voice both as a character and as a writer writing another fictional character's thoughts Maguire applies enough humorous tones in a lot of the earlier scenes of this book that kept me chuckling I was engrossed with the escalation of events which started off funny then creepy and then disarmingly disturbing To describe Lost as a horror story with supernatural elements would not be sufficient since I don't think the novel's purpose was to incite fear and suspense If it was then Maguire certainly should have done better because any sense of danger and urgency was not sustained throughout the rest of the bookIn fact the plot started meandering The things that amused me and got me curious about it suddenly became the very things that annoyed me by it It almost felt as if the I learned about the mysteries surrounding the place of haunting the less I became determined to solve the riddles which cluttered the exposition Winifred also started getting under my nerves I found her clever and funny in a lot of ways at first but after a while when she still insisted on being so closed off and reticent even to readers her actions and private thoughts stopped being an immediate concern of mine I started to feel just as detached as she was about her own life She just started making less sense as the book went onThe concept that one of Winifred's ancestors was actually Charles Dickens' inspiration for the character of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol was intriguing The idea that Winifred created an obvious self insert in her character Wendy who is searching for Jack the Ripper is just as compelling However Maguire was simply unable to weave these two concepts together in a way that's cohesive and interesting After two hundred pages or so my attention for the story started to dwindle until I could barely keep up with whatever stunning revelations were unfolding and I don't even think there were Lost was just one of those books that seem to be a worthwhile reading at first until it proved to be a disappointment It's always sad when you find a book you could hardly put down when you began reading it a hundred pages in and then as you progress your first impression about it changes for the worst until you'd find yourself wanting to put it down instead That's how I would summarize my experience for this book I could still recommend it but it's probably the least Gregory Maguire book that one could immerse oneself inRECOMMENDED 710DO READ MY REVIEWS AT


  8. says:

    This is another of those books that I find very difficult to describe I didn't hate it but I'm not so sure that I liked it either I found the protagonist to be very unlikeable In fact there was only one character in the book that I truly and unreservedly liked and he only came in sort of near the end Yes there were reason that the protagonist had the personality she did and those reasons came out very near the end I just don't even know what to say about it It's sort of about a writer who's traveled back to visit her cousin in England planning to stay with him in his flat on the top level of the family house When she arrives he's mysteriously vanished and all her attempts to find out from his office his friends and his girlfriend are met with stone walls There are two workmen there who seem to believe the place is haunted She is very abrasive brusue definitely not someone I'd want to hang out withThe book she's supposed to be writing isn't going all that well either And what's the deal with that anyway? The protagonist in her book has traveled to London and there's some bosh about her and the ghost of Jack the Ripper and then they're in Romania it's a little hard to followHer ancestor was allegedly Charles Dickens' model for Ebenezer Scrooge I never did figure out how that was supposed to work into the whole framework of the story despite a letter that the cousin reads to her at the end of the bookWhat Maguire was trying to do here I cannot fathom It's not his best book


  9. says:

    Definitely not one of Maguire's best I had high expectations after reading his other books and was absolutely let down First of all the story has too much of everything a tormented writer romance gone wrong paranoia ghosts Jack the Ripper 14th century history Peter Pan Alice in Wonderland Scrooge so on and so on The story wanders all over the place and doesn't uite deliver much of anything after all the wandering Second of all I wanted to punch out the protagonist She is a simpering AND caustic whiny little ninny She apparently tried to adopt a child and the child died before she could get there And that is the big tragedy that torments and nearly destroys her I have two children and yes it is a horrible tragedy when any child dies but I don't get the connection here The death of the child doesn't seem to me an appropriate reason for the emotional torture she puts herself through it nearly kills her She seems to be tormented because she likes being miserableAnyway I would recommend that people skip this book and read his other fabulous stories Wicked Son of a Witch Mirror Mirror The Ugly Stepsister If you must read Lost please read it after you read the other books Lost is not a good representation of what Maguire can deliver to a reader


  10. says:

    LOST seems to be the runt in Maguire's litter of post modern fantasy novels and it seems to be in part because it couldn't live up to the fanfare of WICKED and CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER its immediate and deservedly lauded predecessors Here for the first time Maguire tries to create a wholly original novel as opposed to one centered around re interpreting a classic tale by another author Though Dickens and Jack the Ripper echo in the text along with some sly references to Stephen Sondhiem the book is mostly about an aging single woman who desperately wants a child coming to terms with the fact that the man she loves doesn't love her back and that mother hood may be something she will only ever experience vicariously When her tortured soul connects with a medieval ghost the book takes interesting twists and turns presenting us with some wonderful characters and creepy moments Wendy the main character is interesting enough to follow despite being a wet blanket and there is an unexpectedly subtle ending that leaves you feeling satisfied despite its vague ambiguity as to if Wendy will ever achieve her happy ending Truly an under praised novel worth reading by fans of Maguire and lovers of ghost stories in general