Read Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card Online

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For Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children, the move to tiny Steuben, North Carolina, offers new hope and a new beginning. But from the first, eight-year-old Stevie's life there is an unending parade of misery and disaster.Cruelly ostracized at his school, Stevie retreats further and further into himselfand into a strange computer game and a grFor Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children, the move to tiny Steuben, North Carolina, offers new hope and a new beginning. But from the first, eight-year-old Stevie's life there is an unending parade of misery and disaster.Cruelly ostracized at his school, Stevie retreats further and further into himself — and into a strange computer game and a group of imaginary friends.But there is something eerie about his loyal, invisible new playmates: each shares the name of a child who has recently vanished from the sleepy Southern town. And terror grows for Step and DeAnne as the truth slowly unfolds. For their son has found something savagely evil ... and it's coming for Stevie next....

Title : Lost Boys
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780517125779
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lost Boys Reviews

  • Heidi The Hippie Reader
    2018-11-14 09:12

    Lost Boys is by far the slowest paced horror novel I've ever read.I don't know why everyone said this story was so emotional. The only emotion I experienced was boredom.I'd recommend Ender's Game over this any day of the week. Lost Boys? Pass.

  • David Williams
    2018-11-19 12:01

    This is an odd book...It doesn't really seem to be about anything in particular until you get to the very end, but it's also somehow a very gripping page-turner. For most of the book, it's just about a bunch of random, disconnected stuff that happens to this family, but Card makes the family so real and lovable (partly because a lot of it is very autobiographical), that you just have to keep reading. And then the ending comes along and stomps you right in the gut with steel-toed boots.

  • Rebecca Maines
    2018-11-11 11:51

    I generally like Card's work (despite being uncomfortable with some of the opinions he has espoused outside his fiction), and I loved the short story on which this book was based, but the novel, alas, utterly failed.The short story was told in the first person, with the main character going by Card's name and most of the family members accurate to his family. That story is about a son who grows increasingly distant from his over-busy parents (the first-person father and his wife) while we hear as asides that several neighborhood boys have gone missing. At last it turns out that this boy too is lost--he, like the others, has been abducted and murdered. The story ends with him bringing his dead friends back for Christmas so everyone can say good-bye. It was a tearjerker if ever there was one, and yet handled without an overdose of sentimentality--which is probably what added to the power of the story. Card wrote in an intro to the story after its original appearance that he took a lot of heat from readers who took his use of his own name, etc., to mean that he'd lost a child to murder, and felt ill-used to find otherwise. Card's defense--a valid one, in my view--was that he was drawing on the tradition of ghost stories in which one tells the story as if it happened to you.When he expanded the story to novel length, however, he abandoned that device, changing the characters' names and switching to third person. Although that emotional distance didn't help, what really damaged the story was the padding: what the parents are so busy with is being model Mormons, so that the book reads like a giant, not very well produced, commercial for the religion. The parents are so busy being the poster couple for their religion that they have about as much depth as a sheet of posterboard. Their absence of humanity makes it a lot harder to feel for them in their distance from, and eventual loss of, their child. And padding is what that is. There's also not enough additional story to support a novel. What gets added to fill out the page count just dilutes what was a strong short story. And should have been left at that.

  • Rick
    2018-10-26 12:13

    As far as Mormon authors go, Orson Scott Card is by far the best. That in itself doesn't say a whole lot, since he is the only one I can stand. This one is pretty different from his other books - not much of a sci fi aspect to it, and not a religious book either, though the family the book is about is Mormon. It's a very compelling read though, and be prepared to not be able to put it down. Also be prepared to cry your guts out. I finished this book during the middle of a workday because I just had to finish it (I know, shame on me), and there I was, in my office totally bawling, hoping nobody would come to talk to me. And I am not a crier. Okay, I cry when Eddie in Independence Day flies himself into the alien spaceship to save the world, and when Bruce Willis strands himself on the giant meteor hurtling towards earth so that he can save the human race by blowing himself up with the meteor. But Michelle has probably seen me cry once in our 9 years together, so this is saying something. It'll definitely make you think about how important family is to you, and how dedicated you are to them (at least for men; don't know if has the same effect for women).

  • Lindsey
    2018-11-11 09:06

    I bought this book second-hand in hardback, *without* a book jacket. I read it blind, completely ignorant of what it would be about. After seeing the title, I just sort of crossed my fingers and hoped it wasn't about vampires. It wasn't.I must say, I was absolutely captivated by the story of this family. I loved it. Orson Scott Card has a way of - well, saying 'a way of humanizing 10 year old kids' would sound all kinds of wrong - but I what I mean to say is that he has a way of elevating his child characters, in a way that amazes me. I can't help but respect how emotionally & spiritually strong a child protagonist can be in his hands & *believably* so.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2018-11-10 05:01

    For some reason I'm rereading this book. At one point this was my favourite Orson Scott Card book but I'm noticing tons of problems.Orson Scott Card constantly switches from third person to first person and it's extremely annoying. Characters instead of asking other characters what is wrong make assumptions.The worse crime is what is going on with the son is extremely interesting, but OSC chooses to focus on the mundane details of Step's job. You don't even get to find out what is going on until the end of the book. Why wasn't more of the story in the son's perspective?I need more books. I don't want to keep reading this and it makes me cry at the end too.Another problem with this book is the main family is good but everyone is evil. Everyone in the company Step works for is evil. One is even a pedophile! They had nice neighbours, but they moved so all is left is one bad person after the other except for the Mormon nuclear family.It's somewhat dippy.Dang it, OSC books just don't stand up to re-readings. For example, why can't the parents just ASK their child about his "imaginary" friends instead of just assuming the child is acting out because he's angry? If he's so angry about them moving, wouldn't talking to him make more sense instead of just making assumptions? That's the problem with OSC. He always has characters assuming they understand the motives of other characters without just straight out sitting down with the character and going, ok, tell me about this. This is what I would do if my child was playing with imaginary friends. It's not like I'd even make a big deal out of him doing that in the first dang place. Some kids are more introverted and don't have 25 friends. It's better to have one or two good friends anyway. This book is just full of the parent's angsting instead of just solving the problem with a simple question and I hate that sort of thing in books so much. Also just once I'd like to see a book where some child retreats into another world and their parents are actually there to support them and their reality instead of the child feeling like they can't tel their parents about the situation.Why do I keep reading this book? First of all, rabbits aren't even rodents and why does this woman cry all the damn time? It's so irritating. GAH! I think I hate mundane family life. It's not fun.One more thing, there's something weird about putting you and your family in a story and casting yourself and your family as these totally, just about perfect good guys. Especially when they keep comparing their kids to Jesus. It's like, I'm sure they are nice kids, but they are probably not allow themselves to be crucified nice. Geez. Another problem with this book is OSC's character that is him acts as if this psychologist is such a terrible person because she doesn't like religion. But she is willing to take her son to church if it will help him, where as OSC's character whines about having to take his son to see her. (And they could have just ASKED HIM ABOUT THESE ISSUES INSTEAD) He tries to make it seem like she's a bad person for being a psychologist with a mentally ill son, but that's seldom a parent's fault. The cub had schizophrenia or something. That's never anyone's fault. She tried to do her best, no matter what, even if it meant taking him to a church she didn't agree with so he can find people he can fit in with. That was kind of nice of her in a way.Why did I ever, ever, ever think OSC was a good writer?Also let me add that this STUPID BAD MOTHER PISSES ME OFF. I'm sorry, Mrs. Cowper that is pronounced Cooper but you do NOT put your brood in a car and NOT BUCKLE THEM UP! What are you thinking, you stupid heifer?! They could get in a car accident! You do NOT parent all lackadaisically and then use God as an excuse for it! I'm sorry, but you don't just let your kids climb all over everything and create havoc and use as an excuse, well God gave us lives to live. And he apparently GAVE YOU YOUR CHILDREN SO YOU CAN SIT ON YOUR BEHIND AND BE USELESS! Makes me so IRRITATED! Buckle your kids in. GET A DAMN CAR SEAT! I know it's the 80s but the 80s are so STUPID if you going to let them bounce around!

  • C. Lorion
    2018-10-28 05:10

    So let's say you've read the stuff Orson Scott Card is most known for. You've gone through the Ender saga, you've read it's companion storyline the Shadow saga, and maybe you've even read some books from the Homecoming saga, the Worthing series, and the Alvin Maker story. Let's say you're looking for something else to read from Mr. Card. Give Lost Boys a try. I did. And I fell in love with the story and the lost boys. But first, a caveat, if I may. Lost Boys is not for everyone. It's slow moving. It's set in the early 80s. It's dated. It centers mainly on the terrors of everyday family life (you know the kind--is our marriage OK? Is my son/daughter doing well in school? Will I get that new promotion at work?). If you can handle all that, and be patient through the 528 paperback pages to get to the end of this story, then you'll experience the payoff. And, man, that payoff. I know of only one other person who's read Lost Boys, one of my brothers-in-law, and I don't think he'd mind it if I said right here, right now, in front of all to see, that both of us were reduced to tears by the payoff. I will always and forever remember where I was when I finished the story. In my living room, sitting in one of our old comfy chairs, the side table with the white cloth covering it next to the chair, a lamp on the table (thought it wasn't turned on because it was in the afternoon. As I approached the end of the story, and it dawned on me exactly what had happened, and what was going to happen, I read the last ten to fifteen pages continually wiping my eyes. I'll never forget those moments. They are some of the most rewarding reading moments in my life. Lest I make it sound as though this is just a family drama suspense kind of story, let me rectify that. Although it is a family drama suspense story, it's so much more than that. There is evil in this story. Human evil. But, how many of us know that human evil can look very...um...unevil? Sometimes, evil arrives in the most unexpected places, in the most unexpected human form. And sometimes, even that unexpected human evil derives its source from someplace else...someplace else beyond what we consider reality. And sometimes, that's also the place from which our redemption and hope comes. Now, I know I run the risk of building up this story so much that it can't possibly live up to the expectations I'm setting. But see, I'm willing to risk that, because I really want people to read this book. I want you to read this book. For two reasons. First, I think you'll enjoy it, if you can get past the aforementioned caveat. Second, I'm dying to talk about this book with anyone else who's read it and enjoyed it. So please, please, do me (I mean, yourself) a favor and read this book. In my next review, I'll chat about a book that I waited decades to read. I would see the hardcover edition in the library where I used to work while I was in high school back in the mid 80s, think, 'Man, that's a cool cover. I have got to read that one,' but then never get around to it. A couple years ago I finally did get around to it when I purchased a paperback edition (different cover, not as cool, but oh well). This is one of my favorite authors, he took years off from writing a little while ago, but now he's back at it with a vengeance, and I can barely wait for his scifi/horror novel to be released this coming spring. Stay tuned.....

  • Fred D
    2018-11-06 07:54

    I have strong mixed emotions about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed Card's writing style, his character development, and the twists in the plot. I also enjoyed seeing regular, everyday Mormons and their day-to-day lifestyle being portrayed favorably in a mainstream novel. On the other hand, the very subject of the book, child abduction and murder, plus the gut-wrenching, parents'-worst-nightmare ending, gave me nightmares. I also thought the end was cheesy in addition to being tragic. The novel addresses some very important issues, it definitely makes you think. It definitely left a lasting impression on me.

  • Sabrina
    2018-10-29 04:12

    For my wonderful LDS friends out there: Orson Scott Card may be a member of the LDS church, and I understand that he has written some very compelling apologetics for the same; however, this does not, in any way, mean his fiction is something that you would enjoy. Let me begin by saying that I felt the book was very well-written, and that Card is able to create some very realistic characters throughout the story. In the end, though, it was just too creepy, and if you have children or have any strong affection for children, this book will truly disturb you. I actually became extremely upset that someone had given and recommended this book to me, knowing that I had two small children. Keep your sanity intact and skip this one.

  • Chris McKenzie
    2018-11-01 04:08

    "Lost Boys" has just enough surrealism in it to make it slightly creepy, but at the same time it is completely believable. The depiction of family life is warm and real and sometimes quite funny, as in the first chapter when the two-year-old throws up all over the car. This is definitely something every parent can relate to. The story's believability serves to make the end even more shocking, and terribly poignant. I learned a lot about the Mormon faith from reading it as well. Peopled with various odd characters, this book entertains and keeps the reader guessing until the last few pages. I'm not sure why this has never been made into a movie, unless Card is afraid of what Hollywood might do to it.

  • Rachel
    2018-10-30 12:03

    At the writing workshop I attended, Orson Scott Card said that Lost Boys was his most autobiographical novel. He also mentioned that he deeply regretted putting a prologue in this book, and recommended skipping it. I skipped it and then read it afterwards and I agree. His regret and description made me curious enough to buy the book and then read it.It's been a long time since I read a book that I really wanted to get back to a finish reading quickly. The relationship between the husband and wife is so well written. They have their disagreements, but usually work something out, even if one of them gets a little mad for a few minutes. There's also lots of sarcastic banter, which I can relate to. The conflicts were framed in such a way that I felt compassionate for both sides, which is really Card's strength in writing. I did get a bit tired of the phrase "It was true" through. Writing a believable relationship is something the LDS novel Olivia I read a while back utterly failed at. The fantastic/magical realist aspects of the book were kind of cool, and the constant fake-outs kept me extremely anxious (it seems like every 50 pages a child is disappearing, and then it turns out they're just fine). I kind of wish Card had done more with this or just left it out. The mystery is about a serial killer, but the book isn't really a mystery... it's more like a novel about a couple and their family with a twist. Also, Duran Duran's "wild boys" kept getting stuck in my head while reading this book.

  • Matt
    2018-11-15 05:09

    Orson Scott Card is quite a prolific author, and despite his position as a fixture in science fiction world, many of his novels transcend that genre. Lost Boys is an unusual little book well outside of the Sci-Fi genre. As it was put in another review I read, nothing really happens in Lost Boys until the end, but despite that, it's a thoroughly gripping read right from the very beginning. It's difficult to discuss the plot of this book without giving away too much, but the story follows a young family through a tumultuous year: moving to a new area, working a new job, dealing with unique and colorful people that surround them, etc. All of this seeming "normal" interaction is only a long preface to a few painful and touching events which tie everything together at the end. While the story of Lost Boys is gripping, it is the writing style that really brings this book to life. Card has always been a writer who relies on his characters and his story to move his books along, rather than hyper-ornate prose whose only purpose is to serve as an indicator of the author's intelligence and wittiness. This novel is no different. The writing is plain, the vocabulary straightforward, but nevertheless Card manages to paint vivid pictures and fully three-dimensional characters while still telling a solid story.Perhaps more than any of his other works, Lost Boys is an honest novel. In the audiobook version, Card himself states that this is the only "autobiographical" novel he's ever written or will ever write. The direct ties to a real life give this book a much more solid foundation of believability than any of his other works. I have never seen a more honest and accurate depiction of Mormon life in literature. The groundedness of the writing and story make for some of the most realistically engaging characters in Card's entire catalog.This is a great book. It's not science fiction. It's not historical fiction. It an unusual cross between autobiography, fantasy, spirital tome, and suspense/thriller. I've never quite read anything like it, but days after finishing the novel, it's been stuck in my head.

  • Brooke
    2018-11-15 11:14

    When I found Lost Boys on the shelf at the library, the synopsis on the back of the book was intriguing enough that I decided I was willing to try one of Card's non-Ender novels. The book's plot summary gives a creepy description of a child's imaginary friends and vague promises of terror and evil; I haven't done a good horror novel in a while, so I was looking forward to reading it.Except it's not really a horror novel. For about 500 pages, it's really just about a family. I read about their move to North Carolina, the father's new job that he hates, the mother's pregnancy, their involvement with their church, and their three, and later four, kids. Nothing really happened - there are some crazy-ish people who provide small diversions, but it's really just 500 pages of a year in the life of the Fletcher family. It was interesting enough, and went by quickly, but it wasn't what the back of the book advertised at all.Until the last 26 pages or so, which provided the punch-in-the-gut ending reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode. Which was great. But just like the one season of TZ that had 1-hour episodes, there was just far too much filler on the road to the ending. Apparently this was originally a short story, which makes the TZ comparison especially apt; when Rod Serling stuck to 30-minutes per story, the pacing was just perfect. I imagine that the short story Lost Boys is based on felt a lot more perfect, too. Even if he wanted to expand it to novel-length and build up the reader's emotional connection to the Fletchers, he did not need to take 500 pages to do it.

  • Stan Crowe
    2018-10-24 12:07

    This book is the first of only two horror novels I've ever read (I don't count the audiobook presentation of Stephen King's "The Mist" I heard in jr. high), and it is definitely the best (that's not a knock at the other one at all, though.)Card throws a very unique and interesting twist into the mix by creating a Mormon (a.k.a "LDS") family for use as main characters. He manages to treat Mormon doctrine pretty fairly without getting the slightest bit preachy, but "Lost Boys" is hardly a novel about the Mormon Church.Rather, it's a novel about how good people deal with evils they not only cannot control, but may not even know exist. The killer is revealed almost at the very end, after a very unexpected plot development; meanwhile, the family has gone on almost unaware of the danger that lurks frighteningly close to them. In fact, to read "Lost Boys," you'd almost think it was more of a "drama at work" story than anything about a killer on the loose.That's part of what makes the book as chilling as it is--the simple fact that it highlights our own vulnerabilities suddenly and clearly by using people that we can relate to (e.g. they have real life jobs, kids, drama, marital issues/triumphs, etc.).It's about as much of a "hometown thriller" as you could make it (complete with the small, sleepy Southern town).Card excels at plausibility (as always), has incredible dialogue, a rock-solid plot, and engaging characters. The book is so well-written that he can even get away with starting every chapter in the same manner.I truly enjoyed "Lost Boys," even if it qualifies as "horror."

  • Ashley
    2018-11-08 08:48

    I wasn't a big fan of Lost Boys, even though I seem to love everything OSC writes.The family unit in this story is strong. After I while, I just wanted to scream at the book "I get it! This is a strong family! Can we move on with the story, please?" I understood the family dynamic after the introductory car ride, but I had to sit through DOZENS of small and sometimes large arguments or conflicts, with the same result... a strong, reasonable family decision. It got to the point where I couldn't understand why I had to sit through yet another "you're putting words in my mouth" argument, as they never seemed to move the story forward.The story would have been better told through the eyes of Stevie, not through the eyes of his parents. The most interesting parts of the story were the parts he was involved in. Sure, the mystery would be different, and the payoff would have to be different, but I came to loathe the long explanations of the wife/husband dynamic, wanting rather to focus on the poor, lonely kid.But still... I really wanted to solve the mystery despite the annoying over-explanation of family and Mormon dynamic. Even though I thought that my imagined ending (who Boy was and where the Lost Boys were) was more exciting, I was still thumbing through the book after, trying to find the clues that would have gotten me the correct solution. Good mysteries do that, make it so that you COULD have seen, if only you knew what to look for.

  • Haley
    2018-11-03 11:03

    What a horribly written book! The back cover says, "As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers' concern turns to terror...And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it's suddenly clear: Stevie's next on the list." However, for 400 pages NOTHING HAPPENS. Oh sure, we get Card belabouring the reader with the point that Mormons are average Joes just trying to have a job and raise their kids and be a part of the community. None of the characters are likeable. The wife is controlling and manipulative who can't trust her husband to do anything without her. Every person in the community they come across seems to only want to hurt the Fletchers or their children. And yet, for 400 pages, NOTHING HAPPENS. We get long, boring details of the wife's days at home and the husband's work and all the enemies they make because everybody else is so evil and they're just nice Mormons. I've got to stop trying to read Orscon Scott Card books. He doesn't use language as a fine, sharp blade to carve out stories. He uses language like a sledgehammer repeatedly bashing in your head. The point here is Mormons are nice and everybody is out to get them.

  • Ward
    2018-11-08 12:00

    I was wondering when the story was going to get to the "scary part". I was wondering when the story would actually change from a Mormon commentary. I was wondering what the twist would be. Now I'm just wondering why I read that book. I loved the other stuff I've read by Card. He is an amazing author, but honestly, this book was one thing, and that one thing was depressing. This book made me want to cry... not a good cry, just a "i want to clean my brain out from ever reading this". Honestly, a book should leave me with a good feeling, or an intrigued feeling. This honestly just left me hurting inside and wanting to scream at it, "WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS AND END IT THAT WAY?!" Sorry Orson, I think you're awesome, but this book as enormously depressing. Maybe my faith is so small that i couldn't understand it completely. The only part i liked is when DeAnne told off that self-righteous witch. That was great.

  • Mark
    2018-10-28 09:17

    I had some friends who raved about Card's science fiction, which I've never yet picked up, but instead, I read this book. I have never had a book hit me with such completely contradictory feelings. On the one hand, I found the main character's description of everyday life in the Mormon church, how it worked, and the movement of the plot, all to be interesting, much more so than I would have imagined. On the other hand, the delving into child molesting and murder was so upsetting that I had to force myself to get through it, and I'm afraid that fact alone in a "Blink" kind of way has kept me from engaging anew with Card.

  • Ryan Crompton
    2018-10-27 06:18

    Orson Scott Card has rarely delved into horror -- among his work, the only three vaguely horror novels are this one, "Homebody," and "Treasure Box." Of these three, "Lost Boys" was the first, and almost certainly the best.Other reviewers have often commented that Card's work lacks in specificity. Card has displayed impressive prowess with things like genetics (such as in "Wyrms" and "Treason"), but otherwise he's refrained from engaging in detailed depictions of his science throughout most of his work. "Lost Boys" takes a break from that, offering the reader a great degree of verisimilitude as Card wends his way through details that in other, less capable hands, might come off as tedious.The story offers Step Fletcher, a young father recently moved from Utah to North Carolina, as its protagonist. Step Fletcher's life in many ways parallels that of Card's. Set in the early 80's in the wake of the first video game market crash, Fletcher is a once-famous software programmer fallen on hard times, taking a job writing instruction manuals for a shady software company. After the move, he deals with a litany of issues -- a teacher that verbally abuses and shames his son in the classroom, a brilliant programmer that makes innuendos about Fletcher's children, a terrible boss that likes the idea of a famous name on the letterhead without having to listen to his opinion, the bugs that constantly find their way into his rental home, and so on -- as the story marches forward.It's to Scott's credit that he's able to make the mundane seem so interesting, and he's able to do so largely because a lot of the material is autobiographical. Like his character Step, Scott had a son born with cerebral palsy, and found himself adrift in the tech crash of the early 80's (little known fact: Card wrote the dialog for the video game "Curse of Monkey Island" among other SCUM-engine based games), ultimately ending up himself in North Carolina. Card accurately captures the despair of a man doing something he hates in order to provide for his family -- a man selling his own soul and aspirations a little piece at a time so he can know that his family is provided for. Card gets the technical details right -- the minutiae of IBM's takeover of personal computing in the mid-80's, the death-march slog of working on crummy software because somebody without a technical bone in his body says to, the church meetings the Fletchers go to on Sundays. Like many of his other works, this has a Mormon influence as well; as a former adherent of that faith, it's nice to see the warts-and-all presentation of it here. Across several chapters, Fletcher starts staying up later and later, wanting to wring every last minute of wakefulness of the day, knowing that in the morning he'll have to go to the office and listen to his brain scream at him in exasperation of the futility of it all.The heart of this book is all the little conflicts. Fletcher gets tired of his manual-writing job and considers taking work with a competitor, but it will mean a gap in his health insurance while his wife is pregnant. Thus, do the right thing for the family (and stay with his shitty employer) or save his soul and move on to something better? When a teacher mocks his child, Fletcher inadvertently gets her fired, though the teacher is a sympathetic character as well. There are, strangely enough, comparisons to be drawn between this book and Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" (also recently reviewed). Both are, at their heart, stories about fathers and sons, and the things men do to provide for their families and shield them from the vicissitudes of reality. It's about the men slowly being worn down, and doing questionable things that nonetheless make sense in the context of their principles. Both are, ultimately, about the death of children, which is a terrible topic in any context.The book resonates strongly with me in some ways. As somebody that spent a long time steeped in the two cultures described (shady software and legacy technology, Mormonism), there are at times descriptions of the challenges Step's facing that align precisely with ones I've seen. It makes Fletcher seem mostly sympathetic; he's not helpless and he's not trying to hurt people, but that's the outcome in many cases.For those who enjoyed "Ender's Game," this will be a significant departure. Whether or not you'll like this book will depend largely on the narrowing of scope -- from the safety of the entire galaxy to one small family in North Carolina -- and the sharp change in subject matter.I'd recommend this book for most, though it will certainly impact some more than others.

  • Flannery
    2018-11-19 03:49

    I love most of what Orson Scott Card writes, despite my repulsion towards several of his personal beliefs and quotations. However, this one really tested my waters more than his sci-fi works. It was interesting to learn more about how Mormons live day-to-day, but extremely frustrating how every part of the book was laced with religion and every choice every person made was motivated by religion. Also, I became annoyed pretty quickly at the fights between the husband and wife. Maybe this is because I was listening to a male narrator portray both characters and, understandably, the fighting was a little bit whiny. Either way, I wanted more substance to the fights--it isn't realistic to me that every fight goes nowhere and that people forgive within five minutes and call back to apologize and tell you they love you...brb...okay, I'm back from answering a phone call where someone told me I am always right and they love me.I'm sure I am not the only one to say this, but (view spoiler)[HELLO, Bappy is a creep show from the get-go. And in a "not so huge" town, 7 boys disappearing is HUGE news. OSC is trying to tell me that every person in town was not having at least one conversation about the missing kids EACH DAY? I think not. They should've made the connection to Stevie's friends' names about four months earlier. And the Bappy thing--well, don't get me started.(hide spoiler)]I liked listening to the book, as usual for OSC's work, but this one just didn't do it for me. 2.5 stars.

  • Lori
    2018-11-09 05:04

    Orson Scott Card is a fabulous storyteller. I can't pinpoint what it is, but he has a way of writing that draws you in, tells a story that moves, and doesn't let you go until the end. I absolutely loved this story, especially the way he writes about the lives of this Mormon family. This book is in no way LDS fiction (I'm not a fan), but he writes about Mormonism that presents it in it's reality (in my opinion). Card depicts real life - real people with real struggles, and there's no glossing over the ugliness that life sometimes presents. We're not perfect, life gets real, parents argue, kids aren't always perfect little angels, people (yes, even Mormons) are sometimes cruel, and all of this is depicted with truthfulness and grace. Life if imperfect and I think most of are doing the best we can. I especially loved the depiction of a mother struggling with being pregnant, carrying for her three children, worrying about her oldest child's behavior, wondering if her life is fulfilling because she chose to stay at home and raise children, her work in her church callings, etc. I'd love to discuss this book with someone who knows and understands Mormon life and culture. I'd actually love to discuss this book with the author.

  • Mikhail Yukhnovskiy
    2018-11-08 05:15

    This is one of the "Mormon" books by Orson Scott Card. That is the reason I picked it up as I wanted to get myself acquainted with this side of his talent.It is a strange book, with an element of mysticism (which I am not often in favour of), but it certainly works. The closer to the end the more heart-wrenching it becomes.The details of Mormon family and comminity life are interesting and thought-provoking.For those interested in what are Card's books like, apart from the Ender series, this is quite recommended.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-13 07:07

    I listened to the audio version of this book. Read by Stefan Rudnicki, who reads a lot of Orson Scott Card audio books. (I also recently finished listening to The Lost Gate.) Rudnicki does a good job with the characters and emotions.Quick overview: Step Fletcher moves his family to Stuben, North Carolina in early 1983 to join "Eight-Bit" as a manual writer for their computer programs, even though he is a successful software developer himself, having written a popular game "HackerSnack." His pregnant wife DeAnne, their seven-going-on-eight year old son Stevie, four year old son Robbie, and two year old daughter Elizabeth are part of the crew. Stevie never adjusts to North Carolina. He can't understand the other children's strong accents and his teacher is downright cruel to him. He becomes incredibly withdrawn and starts playing with a growing group of imaginary friends. Meanwhile Step suffers at work with an incorrigible boss, a two-faced CEO, and a creepy child molesting programmer co-worker. DeeAnn tries to make the best of home life as Step works longer and longer hours. She becomes quick friends with another young mother from their Ward who lives just around the corner, but that family moves out only a few months after the Fletchers move in. DeeAnn has to deal with a woman in the Ward who believes she has a direct line to God and makes it her business to make everything go her way; obnoxious insects who invade the house periodically; and the landlord's father who keeps managing to startle her when he comes over to mow the lawn, string Christmas lights, or fumigate the house for bugs. To add to her stress, when the new baby is born he has his own set of difficulties. As Stevie's withdrawal from normal activities worsens, Step and DeAnne finally agree to take him to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is clearly opposed to organized religion, yet she has allowed her 19 year old mentally ill son to join the Mormon Church. Lee is convinced he is God, and is hoping the Mormon church will provide him with his path to fulfilling his calling as a God. It doesn't help matters that Lee's initial indoctrination to the church was through the woman who has a direct line to God. Step is assigned to be Lee's Home Visit partner, so he gets to learn more about this crazy guy than he'd like. This book was *very* slow. Of course, the first chapter starts out with a great hook, so you have to keep reading (or listening) to try to figure out who "Boy" is. The only thing that is clear from the beginning, is that "Boy" must be the one responsible for the disappearance of boys from Stuben. The book goes into excruciating details about software development, Mormon rituals, and every-day household routines (I mean details like angles at which plastic bags are held to best collect June Bugs from windows). I suppose if I had read the book instead of listened to it I may have skipped multiple paragraphs while Card digressed into details that didn't seem remotely relevant to the plot. I guess part of the reason for all the details is to keep us constantly on our toes as to who might be responsible for the disappearance of these boys. Unfortunately, it seems that nearly everyone in Step and DeAnne's life is off-balance and a possible suspect.This book isn't science fiction or fantasy, it's more like paranormal fiction. It's a fairly decent suspense story, but the setting is so mundane and every-day that one kind of wishes for a real-world resolution, not a paranormal one. If you want to listen to Mormon propaganda while participating in a suspense story, then this book might be for you. Otherwise I'm sure there are many better choices.

  • Ti
    2018-11-21 04:55

    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.Visit my book blog: Book Chatter

  • Tim Lunghino
    2018-10-27 06:12

    This is my first review on Goodreads! It's also my first book review ever. Actually, (for full disclosure) I may have completed a book review assignment in second grade, but I'm almost certain that it has no bearing on my current review efforts. First off, I'm a huge fan of Orson Scott Card's books. I have read Ender's Shadow ~40 times, and would give both of my pinky fingers to be able to write like him. I like my thumbs, though. I wouldn't give my thumbs; they're so useful.Having said that, something prevented me from giving this four stars. Step and DeAnne's relationship is such a beautiful and painful reminder of the human condition, of the daily struggles of work and parenting, and of the faith, commitment and resolve necessary to have a healthy marriage and a moral life. He captures these moments with force and clarity, and this book reminded me of exactly why he is one of my favorite authors.In fact, if this book were just a snapshot of their lives, I would certainly give it four stars. Lost Boys is not that. The Fletcher's life is nested in some sort of grotesque suspense thriller that revels in the depravity of a tiny, perverse section of human nature. The book's message is blurred by Card's inability to pull himself out of his fear of the dark side that exists in us all (and I think in him especially). It left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I could believe that Card wanted to point out the wonderful hope and light that exists in our relationships and communities, and just so happened to have the urge to write a suspense novel at the same moment, but I don't. The message I feel is one of fear and xenophobia. Jenny, DeAnne's friend, espouses that we cannot contain and manage god's will, and must let our children climb, explore, and make their own mistakes. I think Card understands the logic behind that, but does not believe it. Lost Boys outlines a dangerous, hostile world filled with perverts, rapists, and serial killers, and colors in those sketches with an extra dose of neuroticism. Sadly, the beauty of the Fletchers' life is meant to underscore Card's fear and remind us that if we do not cling tight to our tiny, familiar community, the spiritless and naturally evil world will pull us into darkness.So, anyways, I gave it three stars.

  • Aimee Clark
    2018-11-18 05:13

    Wow. This book was amazing, and nothing like I expected. It made mecry and disturbed me, but I also found it beautiful and touching.The book is about a young Mormon family that moves from Indiana to atown in North Carolina. Step, the father, is a software developer. Hiswife, DeAnne, is a stay-at-home mom. They have three children, Stevie(age 7), Robbie (age 4), and Elizabeth (age 2), with another baby onthe way. Stevie has trouble adjusting, and has a teacher that is quitecruel to him. Soon, he begins talking to imaginary friends, which hisparents attribute to his stress of moving and difficulties with histeacher. All the while, the town has had young boys disappearing,beginning before the family arrived in town, causing a panic with areaparents.The family background is very autobiographical on the part of theauthor, who is himself a Mormon. One of the interesting aspects of thebook is the insight given into the rituals and beliefs of Mormons.Another bit of fun is the nostalgia aspect, as Step is a softwareengineer in 1983, just as the PC is being introduced. Commodore 64 isthe reigning King in this world, with doubts that the PC will evertake off.This was a wonderful book. It has a very original storyline, and wasprobably influential in several other books and movies that have sincebeen released since this book was published in 1992. I highlyrecommend this book, but be sure to have a box of tissues handy as youreach the end.

  • Courtney
    2018-11-09 12:00

    Orson Scott Card. You little fink.I always have a hard time with Card because I want to like his stories. But he has a way of writing that makes the uncomfortable turn yucky and the odd turn... yucky. I don't know why. It's not like he writes filth. He just takes honesty one step too far into... weird. I don't know how else to say it. You know, that awkward friend everyone has that ruins the joke by taking it one step too far?This book was odd. I am a Mormon, so I understand his Mormon references, but I think that if you weren't, you would not really get when he's joking and when he's serious. So you might have a skewed view of Mormonism if this is your text.And what is it with Card and 8 year olds that are so much smarter/more spiritual than adults?However, there was the underlying good story, with an ending that only Glen Beck could love (Christmas Sweater).

  • Natasha Szmidt
    2018-11-18 08:18

    Throughout this whole book, I knew OSC was playing with me. And yet the brilliance of it is that I was completely enthralled about it.This book starts out very creepy, and you already know what's coming. And then for almost the whole rest of the book, I was completely on edge. Even though I had read the other reviews that said the plot happens at the end. The whole time, OSC is spinning this magnificent web of suspense, filled with his beautiful characterizations (okay, I have to gush here: the characters in this book are so real, I was convinced a number of people and events had to be plucked directly from his life) that are just enjoyable to read for themselves, because he so perfectly captures everyone from children to insane perverts.And the end... I was crying through the whole last chapter. Oh god. Just thinking about it now.

  • Deborah Carr
    2018-10-29 09:16

    I did not really care for this book at all. The mystery of the lost boys and Stevie's connection with them was not what this book was about - in fact it was barely mentioned at all until the last chapter. The whole book was pretty much about day to day life of a mormon family - Dad hates his job and is always being either rude or sarcastic to anyone he feels better than, mom is busy doing church work and along the way they run into some weird people who have nothing at all to do with the mystery of the lost boys.The whole book I kept waiting for the mystery to begin. I kept waiting for mom to dad to ask Stevie about his imaginary friends but they never did until the last couple chapters and then when they did it was a letdown. The concept of the book is great. The execution of that concept - not so much.

  • Kevin
    2018-11-03 05:09

    WAY too much mormonism in this one. The story was ok and I still like his writing, but the preachy elements started to overwhelm any enjoyment of the book. Near the beginning, it was mildly entertaining to see how their version of the church works, but that got old FAST. I totally agreed with the analyst's interpretation of religion and its effect on the kid so much so that I was laughing as she delivered this to Step. I knew where he was going with this, but still found it hilarious. Barely a 2 star.