Good grief! Twice in one year.
You may remember that a few months back I had to put down a novel because it was so . . . bad. That was “The Darwin Conspiracy” by John Darnton.
Recently, I tried reading “Lost” by Gregory Maguire. Maguire has authored several popular and well-reviewed books, such as “Wicked,” “Son of a Witch,” and “A Lion Among Men.” “Wicked” was even called a “beloved classic.” So when I saw “Lost” at a charity book sale for a buck, I figured it was a sure thing.
Purported to be a ghost-story, it starts out with a main character whose name is as dull as the plot. Winifred Rudge. What image does that call up in your mind? Don’t worry about being accurate because Maguire gives no description of her to go on until almost midway through. Makes sense to me.
After trying to infiltrate some kind of adoption agency for a book she’s researching, she flies off to England to stay with her cousin and work on said book. I think. It’s not really clear. And Winnie isn’t really sure about what she’s doing, either.
So, she gets to England only to discover that her cousin is missing and his apartment is being renovated by two very strange Englishmen. Then there are strange sounds coming from behind some of the walls and the neighbors aren’t very helpful. Or likable. The book goes on for some 330 pages or so. I bailed at about 200 pages. Why did I go that far? Ah, THERE’S the mystery! Especially with such great writing as this: ” the sun came out like a sissy on the playground once the bully’s gone home for lunch.”
In one of the publicity blurbs, Peter S. Beagle raves that “‘Lost’ seems to me to be his (Maguire’s) best novel yet.” What am I missing here? Has anyone out there read any of Maguire’s other works? “Wicked” or “Son of a Witch” maybe? Please help me if you can.