Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen

Thomas Locke can find anything. You know the hurricane that hit a while back? Word is he found the butterfly that started it. So, when a desperate Veronica Drysdale hires Locke to find her missing husband, it makes perfect sense.

Except the world of Thomas Locke doesn't make sense. It puts monsters under the bed, makes stars fall from the sky and leads little children to worship the marvels of road-works.

This world also hides from Veronica a past far darker and stranger than she could ever have imagined. To learn the truth, Veronica is going to have to lose everything.

And that's where Locke’s shadowy business partner Lafarge comes in…

I think I can count on one hand the times I've been unable to finish reading a book. It happens incredibly rarely, since I'm generally stubborn enough to push through and find out what happens at the end. Unfortunately, The Office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen is one of those rare books.

I couldn't complete this not because of the premise (which was kooky and interesting) and not because of the writing (which tended towards being pretty good). The reason I couldn't finish The Office of Lost and Found is because I read up to 30% completed on my Kindle - a fair proportion of the book - and did not have a single clue what was happening. Not one clue. I notice other reviewers have said that it is a confusing read and you need to stick with it, but I simply couldn't keep details straight in my head.

I think part of the problem with this is the structure of the novel - it jumps back and forth, it seems to contain little short stories within the overall arc of the novel, it plays around with time. Fine, if you can keep up. But I was bemused and, ultimately, frustrated by my efforts.

Try The Eloquent Page for a different take on The Office of Lost and Found - they loved it. It just wasn't for me.

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