The Strange Library

The Strange Library

Book - 2014
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In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780385683142
9780385354301
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,color illustrations ;,22 cm.

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r
rtendean
Sep 20, 2017

A very strange book indeed. It was a pretty interesting read, a short and concise story. I love Murakami's imagination for all of this. The book felt really dream-like and very surreal. I enjoyed it and hope to be able to finish reading more of his books!

SPL_Elizabeth Aug 23, 2017

A dark and surreal tale of a boy's adventures in a strange library. The format and full-page colour illustrations make it even more dreamlike. Murakami paints two pictures for us: the boy's regular life with his mother and pet starling, and his strange trip into the basement labyrinth of the city library. Much is left to the reader's imagination, particularly how these two narratives intersect. A short and enjoyable read, especially for those interested in the strange and peculiar.

g
gogo12127
Jul 05, 2017

The Strange Library really is an appropriate title for this book, because the book really is strange. I read it in two days, but I could have read it in two hours if I had read it straight through. (The volume has no page numbers, but it consists of twenty-six chapters, each of which is about two or three pages, some less.)

After I finished The Strange Library, I started reading the author's What I Talk About When I talk About Running, and itcouldn't be more different than his The Strange Library. In 1982, Murakami sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing and in the process began running to keep fit. A year later, he completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and – even more importantly – on his writing. This is more to my liking, maybe because I'm a runner. What I Talk About When I talk About Running is longer than The Strange Library at 179 pages, so it's taking a bit longer to read than The Strange Library. Who's counting pages, though, when you're enjoying the read.

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Jun 09, 2017

A very strange little book. It seems very stream of conscience, with very dark but sort of magical underpinnings. In a way it reminded me of Daniel Handler's Lemony Snicket books, although much stranger and somehow more whimsical. This is the first book of Murakami's that I've read, and it has my interest piqued regarding the rest of his work. The Strange Library is very strange indeed, and I was able to read it in one short sitting, but it was well worth it. Oddly enough, after I read the book I took a nap (I was outside in my hammock at the time), and my dreams were all in the voice of the character from this book. That was, in a very strange way, revelatory for me, as I realized suddenly why this book was so peculiar and wonderful: somehow Mr. Murakami had managed to write in the style of dreams without it feeling forced. This is a very great book, and I highly recommend it.

s
Starpoem
Dec 03, 2016

* If you like the Griffin and Sabine series, you will probably like this magical realism book.

* This is one of the weirdest books I've ever read. Even though I don't understand parts of it, and even though parts of it are quite dark, I still love it.

* The book has a quirky format, with a cover that opens in an unusual way. It's different from any other book I've ever read.

* There are lots of vibrant illustrations to enjoy.

* It takes place in a library! We all love libraries here at bibliocommons, right? :)

j
JordanPedersen
Sep 28, 2016

A fantastically strange short read. I consider it to be part kafkaesque, part conceptual art, due to the interesting relationships between the text and images. I enjoyed it, and found it quick to get through- in all it only required about an hour of my time, though I definitely pushed through to get rid of the building anxiety that came from being immersed in this book!

d
Dexter_Morgan
Apr 14, 2016

What a strange little book.

j
JLMason
Jan 09, 2016

I finished this book two days ago and I'm still puzzling over its meaning. Perhaps it's simple: a young boy with a love of reading regularly goes to the library to lose himself in books as a way to escape from the reality of his mother's illness. The story is all in his imagination or perhaps in his "subterranean" subconscious as represented by the library's basement labyrinth. He immerses himself in arcane books and eats delicious fresh donuts, yet he can't maintain a fantasy that is absent of his concern for his mother (the impending doom of having his brains eaten) and of course he must try to escape the prison he has created for himself. To do so he must confront his fears as represented by the return of the dog that once attacked him. This simple summary does a disservice to the journey that Murakami takes the reader on and I encourage other readers to draw their own conclusions!

r
Revacard
Nov 30, 2015

Must read this in physical form. Love the art in it.

m
mclarjh
Sep 20, 2015

Cute fantastic illustrated fairy tale for adults.

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sky123
Apr 11, 2015

"She drew near me and placed her hand on mine. It was a small soft hand. I thought my heart might break in two." (12)

RDPL_AdultFiction Mar 26, 2015

"But, hey, this kind of thing's going on in libraries everywhere, you know. More or less, that is."

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