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This is a brief discussion of John Connolly and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Connolly.
This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Connolly: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)
I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Connolly tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Connolly worthy; in sum, to help you rank John Connolly (and the works by Connolly listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.
A Few Words About John Connolly
The brief article below is what some sites call a “stub”—an admittedly incomplete and possibly inadequate discussion set forth as a sort of placeholder, on the theory that something is better than nothing at all, till such time as I am able to set forth a more fully rounded analysis.
Connolly’s only adult speculative-fiction novel (he also did a collection of “supernatural” short stories and a couple of YA series) is the one listed below, so this is essentially a review of that book.
All in all, the book explores a theme that is fairly familiar in fantasy fiction: the young adult who crosses from our world to another, perhaps in reality or perhaps only in his or her imagination (the reader is typically left to ponder which) to escape a bad life situation, and who is then matured by experience in that real or imagined world--an almost perfect example of the Campbellian heroic round. Connolly writes well, and can present sterotyped material without it seeming sterotyped, but—while he offers some interesting twists—in the end it is not a major re-telling of the tale. It is well worth reading, and is pleasing and insightful enough to stand re-reading at some point, but it is not a major work.
Connolly is known chiefly as an author of crime fiction. He has his own web site, John Connolly, which includes a blog. There are quite a few web pages that reference Connolly, but seemingly few or none that provide much information or analytical insight into his works; about the most utile is a “study guide” on the Bookrags site [archived copy]. There is also a review of The Book of Lost Things by Carmela Ciuraru at the Los Angeles Times.
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This page was last modified on Wednesday, 29 November 2023, at 11:05 pm Pacific Time.