Review: Lost Boys

Lost BoysLost Boys
By Orson Scott Card
(HarperTorch, Mass Market Paperback, 9780061091315, February 2005, 544pp.)
(Originally published in 1992)

The Short of It:

A touching, moving, all-around great read. A perfect package.

The Rest of It:

Set in the early 80’s, Step Fletcher and his wife DeAnne move to Steuben, North Carolina to begin his new job as a technical writer. With them, are their three kids, Stevie (7), Robbie (4) and their toddler sister Elizabeth. DeAnne and Step are expecting baby number four and life looks promising.  Except, that the job isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and Step’s real passion is designing video games. Having previously been self-employed, Step finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. You see, he’s been hired as a tech writer, yet his real job is to audit code behind his boss’ back which is really, an impossible situation to be in.

On the home front, DeAnne is trying to find her place in this new neighborhood, and since they are of the Mormon faith, they are immediately accepted into their new ward. However, that’s not as perfect as it sounds, as this particular ward has some colorful characters who set out to make things difficult for the Fletcher family. Stevie has an increasingly hard time in school and cannot seem to find his place. The house they live in is plagued by insects (no one knows why) and there is the quite a bit of debt hanging over them all, which forces Step to work in a place that he truly hates.

This novel is classified as a horror story, and I must say, it took quite a bit of time for the horror to sink in but when it did, it took my breath away. It’s not the type of horror that is obvious. It’s the slow realization that something is desperately wrong. While the Fletchers try to settle into their new life, little boys begin to disappear one by one and then it becomes obvious to both DeAnne and Step that Stevie is not quite right.

I loved this novel so much that I turned right around and listened to it on audio. The audio version is read by Stefan Rudnicki who is absolutely fabulous. I’ve never read anything by Orson Scott Card so I had no expectations while reading this book but I don’t think it could have been more perfect.

You must read or listen to this book and then tell me what you think of it. Since it was originally published in ’92, the references to computers and video games is quite dated, but since I work in technology, where everything becomes outdated in just three months’ time, I found this to be quite entertaining. Also, don’t let the religious undertones scare you away. The Mormon faith plays a big role in this novel, but it’s not preachy in any way.

Since I enjoyed Lost Boys so much, I’ve added all of Card’s other books to my “to-read” list. I can’t believe I’ve missed out on his work prior to this. I must have been living under a large rock. Oh, and Stefen Rudnicki on audio…I can’t say enough about him. I’m adding everything he’s done to my list too.

Source: Borrowed from the library.

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12 thoughts on “Review: Lost Boys”

      1. It is a big series, but it works as a stand alone too. You can read the rest of the books down the road (I’ve read all of them at this point), but it’s definitely not one that has to be read as a series.

  1. I loved Ender’s Game and that’s one book that I use to hook boys into reading 😀
    This one sounds intense and good…will have to get my hands on a copy!

  2. This sounds wildly different from all the other Card books I’ve read (Ender’s Game … some of the Prentice Alvin books). You have me intrigued.

  3. Like others, I find “Ender’s Game” to be an excellent book for “reluctant” readers. I have used it several times for middle school book discussions. Your post has added “The Lost Boys” to me reread list!

  4. I’m adding this one to my TBR also…and I probably wouldn’t have picked it up…GREAT review! I also added The London Train…will be interested in what you think of the Gin and Chowder Club 🙂

  5. I read this one a few years ago and it still makes me think! I don’t always love OSC, but this one definitely left an impression on me.

    As for Ender’s Game, I could never get into it. I’m still not sure why everyone raves about it so much …

  6. Another second for Endor’s game – while science fiction it is a really good book about being different, fitting in, roles in life etc. My boys loved it and they since have read the whole series (I only read 1-2 others) but Endor is on my re-read every once in a while list.

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