Review: Little Boy Lost

Little Boy Lost
Little Boy Lost by T. M. Wright

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading the description for this book, I was enticed. Reading the reviews, I was reassured. There were many, many 5-star reviews. Reading the book wasn’t quite the experience I was hoping it would be, however. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Oftentimes, we readers bring too many expectations to a story or a book and we’re wrong to do that. However, sometimes we just like what we like and don’t what we don’t.
In the beginning, the quick, disjointed narrative began to chafe my brain a little. It is comprised of very short passages switched between the points-of-view of Miles Gale and his son, CJ, as well as a social services psychologist and a 3rd-person omniscient. Just in the first few pages. Not only that but it switches between time periods (though it indicates when it does so, thank you) and I lost count of how many of CJ’s passages were titled “What Happened the Day Aaron Got Lost.” But I figured it was all part of setting up the premise and that the passages would lengthen and the switching would settle down. They did not. So then I thought, well it does serve the purpose of setting a frantic pace which mirrors some of what is going on in the book.
This was perhaps its most desirable effect.
The quick back-and-forth remained throughout the entire book. Towards the end, when things are coming to a climax and resolution, the narrative becomes very, very surreal. Which I like. However, there were definitely a few moments of “huh?” as I had to work to catch up with Wright’s imagination. The surreality in this book reminded me a little of Graham Joyce’s “The Silent Land,” which I absolutely adore. I think the way that Wright wrote the climax and resolution was brilliant and eloquent. In fact, I think for those who like an unconventional approach to the narrative, this would be right up your alley. T.M. Wright does it beautifully.
For me, though, “Little Boy Lost” is one of those cases where I recognize what the author was doing and why but the execution of the story just wasn’t my kind of thing. However, it won’t keep me from picking up other T.M. Wright books. I already have my eye on “Cold House.”

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