Seven-year-old Henry Day is kidnapped and renamed "Aniday" by changelings, ageless beings who inhabit the woods near his home. The changelings also leave behind one of their own, who flawlessly impersonates Henry except for one noteworthy detail: the new Henry is a prodigiously talented pianist. Both Aniday and Henry settle comfortably enough into their new existences, but both are haunted by vague memories of their former lives.
A fresh take on the search for identity that will appeal to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.M. Barrie, The Stolen Child triumphantly announces Donohue as a fresh voice in contemporary fiction.
©2006 Keith Donohue; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"An impressive novel of outsiders whose feelings of alienation are more natural than supernatural." (Publishers Weekly)
I very much enjoyed that this book took energy to listen to. The book spans several decades of the 20thC, and refers to individuals in the mid-19thC. It travels from Europe to California in its scope, and deeply explores the lives of two characters, the two Henry Days.
Having a different narrators for the two characters helped quite a bit in keeping the parallel narratives separate, though I wonder if the accents ascribed to some of the secondary characters were based on 'facts' of the book or were a result of the narrators' creativity.
I agree with another reviewer that Tolkien was a poor comparison. It reminded me most, in style, of Eugenides 'Middlesex' or some works of magical realism. And I liked it because it wasn't heavy fantasy but humanity in a fantastic situation (like the Martian Chronicles) -- the characters were distinctly, deeply human.
I loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I recommend this book to anyone who still has contact with their inner 8 yr old.
Devourer of all books fantasy
I have had this book for a while to read and was excited to finally get to listen to it. I listened to this on audiobook, I pretty much finish every audiobook I get because I am driving anyway while I listen to them. This is one I almost didn't finish as an audiobook. It was boring and pointless.
As mentioned above I listened to this on audiobook. The audiobook was well done; there are two different narrators...one for each character. They both do a decent job of narrating. It wasn’t fantastic but it was decent.
The book is about a boy named Henry Day who is stolen by changelings. He ends up being called Aniday by the other changelings and ekes out a living with them; an endless existence that is a struggle for survival. Meanwhile the changeling that takes his place takes on the name of Henry Day and takes over Henry's life.
The book basically alternates between Aniday's struggle to survive both an eternal existence as a child and everyday life. Meanwhile the new Henry Day is struggling to fit in and also struggling with his guilt over having taken over Henry Day's life.
Mostly the story is just boring; like put me to sleep while driving boring. This is just a story about these two characters living their lives. The characters are not likable or even all that interesting. The most interesting part to the story is the new Henry Day's search for information about his family before he became a changeling.
All of the characters are angsty and discontent throughout, mostly causing trouble and bringing down the characters around them. I just didn't enjoy it.
This is supposed to be based on a Yeats poem about changelings and I wish we had seen more of the mythology around changelings rather than all this day to day life drama. This book reads more like a soap opera in which the two main characters happen to be changelings than anything.
Overall I didn't enjoy the book and don't recommend it. I am not sure what all the hype around this book is about; I personally would skip it.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
What a great idea - - the concept of this book is wonderful - - the execution, not so much. The book plodded along without much happening but keeping just interesting enough for me not to be able to unplug and walk away. I did like the concept of two narrators, but their voices were so similar it was difficult to be able to tell when we had switched characters. A classic example of substance over style.
It's hard to explain the premise of this book - but what a wonderful story! I was completely drawn in within the first few minutes and could not stop listening. This book is wonderfully read, the story moves along nicely and certainly makes you wonder about "life & death". I highly recommend this book even if (like me) you're not a big fantasy/science fiction fan.
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