Hay, Sheridan. The Secret of Lost Things.

NY: Doubleday, 2006.

This is the author’s first novel and it got very good reviews, and I wanted to like it, I really, really did. I generally do like stories about bookstores, and the publishing trade, and lost manuscripts and all that.

It starts out with eighteen-year-old Rosemary, an Australian, who has just lost her mother (she apparently has no father) and who has gone off to New York City to find herself and seek her fortune and various other clichés. And even though she’s been sheltered all her life, she still seems awfully naïve. I mean, wandering randomly around the New York streets at night? She also finds a job almost immediately, at the Arcade, the largest used bookstore in the city, which is also a bit hard to accept. But every single employee of the store is strange, even bizarre, from the money-obsessed owner to the albino manager. I know a lost Herman Melville novel will be showing up soon, but after a hundred pages of trying to wade through the excessively slow action and to develop an interest in the story and those uniformly weird characters, I just couldn’t stick it.

Published in: on 20 April 2011 at 3:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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