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
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385354301
0385354304
Branch Call Number: FICTION Murakami 2014
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Goossen, Ted - Translator
Alternative Title: Fushigi na toshokan

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RyanR_KCMO Sep 16, 2020

This book was very fun to read. The medium is interesting. There is a great deal of illustration punctuated for great effect. The very short length of this added to the Murakami-ness of the story; strange, awkward, and endearing. If you like Murakami you will enjoy this short read.

IndyPL_KatieW Jul 14, 2020

One of the IndyPL 2020 Adult Summer Reading activities—read a book by an international author—reminded me to experience the surreal worlds of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. This novella with an intriguing premise (and book design) seemed like a fine place to start and, perhaps, gain some momentum. And how! It was as perfectly thrilling as reading Italo Calvino and Kurt Vonnegut for the first time. The story of a compulsively meek young reader trapped in a nightmarish public library unfolds kind of like a claustrophobic sequence in a David Lynch film and echoes elements of Franz Kafka, Lewis Carroll, and the Brothers Grimm. Just my cup of tea (or plate of fresh doughnuts, as the case may be). (Also available as an ebook.)

k
kwsmith
Sep 28, 2019

This is a strange little book about a young boy trying to escape from the basement of a nightmarish library. Like most of Murakami's work, the real meaning of the book is hidden below the text, buried within symbols and allegory. I always enjoy puzzling out the real meaning behind Murakami's crazy stories!

o
onepandella
Aug 31, 2019

A lonely boy is help captive underneath a library by an old man and figures out how to escape with the help of a sheep man, a mysterious girl, and a starling.

3/5 : This story was very surreal and strange on surface level, but it was simple. It was a short and simple story that didn't try to be something bigger than it was, and I appreciate that. It was a simple read.

Murakami wrote this after his mother died, and described in his author's note the feeling of loneliness he had. It helped me make sense of the work afterword, but it was still hard to find a distinguished theme.

What I Take Away: It was hard for me to find a proper theme in the story, mainly because it's so imaginative and surreal. But this was my first Murakami read, and this glimpse into his imagination has made me curious what his other work is like.

g
gjfricano
Jul 17, 2019

This was my first experience with Murakami, and while it may be an odd choice it was perfect for me. Brief and strange, The Strange Library introduced me to Murakami's surreal vision of the world. A great read for those who enjoy tales that are just too absurd to be believable, yet want them to be.

DPLSaraQT Aug 13, 2018

Strange indeed. A surreal, absurdist little fable taking cues from Kafka and Calvino, with little precursors of del Toro thrown in, too. I'm so glad I read the paper book and not the ebook. The images added here and there were at just the right places in the story to lend it a quasi-graphic novel feel.

Would I recommend it? Well... let's just say it takes a certain kind of person reading in a certain kind of mood on a certain kind of day.

ArapahoeStaff26 Jun 11, 2018

A quick glimpse into the bleak mind of best selling author Haruki Murakami.

SPPL_Violet Mar 18, 2018

I'm a fan of strange, normally, but I just didn't get this one.

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_Liz 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.

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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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