Gregory Maguire is a name that you may not be very familiar with. It's one of those that you've probably heard a few times (like Mitt Romney or Barry Diller) but are not quite sure who they are. Well, I have a word for you. Wicked. Wicked, to be more precise. He's the author who inspired the hit Broadway musical with his version of the Oz tale.
Maguire takes classic children's stories and reworks them in a way that is fairly unique. He usually throws in a dash of intrigue, a romance, and a deeper, more grown-up sense of magic.
Lost was the last of his big-people books that I had not read. (He also writes truly kiddy books, which I'm sure are great.) It seemed to hold the same promise as his other stories, but it fell flat. And quick. It was sort of a pastiche of Ebenezer Scrooge, Jack the Ripper, and a modern-day writer who travels back to her ancestral home in England. Quite simply, there were too many references and not enough cohesion in the storyline. I did make it to the end, but I really didn't care how it turned out. (See also: this season of Project Runway.)
Let me say that I really enjoyed the Wicked series. Ok...the third book (A Lion Among Men) could have been completely left out, but the first two books more than make up for it. I loved Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror, too. You can see his other books here. I definitely recommend reading from his catalog, but don't start with Lost, or you may not get much further.