London, Quercus, 2011, 278p
Christmas is almost upon us now. At work, with the help of my marvelous volunteer, we have created a Winter display, full of books, both fact and fiction, about this cold time of year. We have covered the tree with silver decorations and hung silver tinsel along the desks. I have even received my first Christmas cards, addressed to Miss Librarian and Miss Library Lady, as my name has proved too complicated for them to tackle.
And so, Christmas stories must be read, and must be blogged. My book of choice is Lost Christmas, which I first encountered last year on television, with a brilliant cast, including Sheffield legend and my sister's favourite, Eddie Izzard. As a Librarian, I tend to insist on reading the book before watching the film - but in this case, the television version came first, so I don't feel guilty.
You may notice that this blog post has a lot of tags (see the bottom of the post). That is because it falls into a lot of genres. Lost Christmas is the tale of Goose and Anthony. who meet on Christmas Eve, both having lost something - Goose's dog has run away, and Anthony has forgotten where he came from. In order to find what they are looking for, they must reunite others with their lost belongings, starting with a bangle Goose stole from an elderly widow.
The story is rather a tragic one, full of loss and heartbreak. The characters long to be reunited with loved ones and missing items; they long for what they once had. Predominantly set during the course of one, action-packed day, Anthony and Goose run all over Manchester in order to solve the mysteries they uncover.
My favourite thing about this novel is the random facts Anthony comes out with every now and again. He is portrayed as slightly unstable, claiming to not know how he got to Manchester on this Christmas Eve. He struggles to say what he wants to - the reader is taken through his slow mental process of articulation. But occasionally, the sadness of this novel is softened by Anthony informing us that Coca Cola would be green if they didn't add food colourings. And Thomas Edison invented the light bulb because he was scared of the dark. In isolation, his facts have little meaning or purpose, other than comic relief; but as you read, you realise they add something special to the events of the novel.
Perhaps a little bit of a sad story with which to start Christmas, but Logan's novel and screenplay (alongside John Hay) are beautiful and optimistic - showing the best in people, in spite of their drama and tragedy.