The Secret of Lost Things

The Secret of Lost Things

A Novel

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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"In this novel about the eccentricities and passions of booksellers and collectors, a captivating young Australian woman takes a job at a vast, chaotic emporium of used and rare books in New York City and finds herself caught up in the search for a lost Melville manuscript." "Eighteen years old and completely alone, Rosemary arrives in New York from Tasmania with little more than her love of books and an eagerness to explore the city she's read so much about. She begins her memorable search for independence with appealing enthusiasm, and the moment she steps into the Arcade bookstore, she knows she has found a home. The gruff owner, Mr. Pike, gives her a job sorting through huge piles of books and helping the rest of the staff - a group as odd and idiosyncratic as the characters in a Dickens novel. There's Pearl, the loving, motherly transsexual who runs the cash register; Oscar, who organizes the nonfiction section and shares his extensive, eclectic knowledge with Rosemary, but furiously rejects her attempts at a more personal relationship; and Arthur Pick, who supervises the art section and demonstrates a particular interest in photography books featuring naked men." "The store manager, Walter Geist, is an albino, a lonely figure even within the world of the Arcade. When Walter's eyesight begins to fail, Rosemary becomes his assistant. And so it is Rosemary who first reads the letter from someone seeking to "place" a lost manuscript by Herman Melville. Mentioned in Melville's personal correspondence but never published, the work is of inestimable value, and proof of its existence brings the simmering ambitions and rivalries of the Arcade staff to a boiling point." "Including actual correspondence by Melville, The Secret of Lost Things is at once a literary adventure that captures the excitement of discovering a long-lost manuscript by a towering American writer and a portrait of life in a surprisingly colorful bookstore."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2006.
ISBN: 9780385518482
038551848X
Characteristics: 354 p. ;,22 cm.

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burchlam
Mar 14, 2017

Probably one of the worst novels I have ever read. Trite and common. The characters read like caricatures with no real, believable depth or dynamic traits. The main character is difficult to accept as a believable persona. The plot is actually quite predictable with gratuitous sexual innuendo. Really felt I wasted my time when I read this.

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KarenW
Dec 12, 2007

Tasmanian Rosemary, who is herself a lost thing, moves to New York city after her mother''s death. She finds a job in a huge bookshop called the Arcade that is also full of lost books and staff. Here they spend their days in different sections trying to keep things from being misplaced. With their boss watching from a platform where he barks orders as he prices the books, the staff play a game called "who knows" in order to locate the books. Rosemary''s supervisor and admirer is Walter Geist, an albino. And these are just two of the odd characters that inhabit the shop! Soon Rosemary finds herself caught up in the intrigue over a missing and unpublished Herman Melville novel. How it all unravels is one of the best parts of the book in this clever story of lust and lost things.

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