December 24 2020
The strange library, by Haruki Murakami
There are a few sure-fire ways to get me to buy and/or read your book. One of them is to make it set in, or about, a weird library. I cannot resist.
Murakami’s The Strange Library certainly fits that bill, with lovely and creepy library ephemera scattered throughout the pages. This illustrated tale tells the story of a boy who wants to return his books and borrow a volume about tax collection in the Ottoman Empire, but instead finds himself in a cell reading restricted collection volumes to fatten up his brain for his eventual demise at the hands of a creepy librarian who wants to feast on him. A sheep man, a girl who can’t speak and might not actually be a girl at all, and a maze of corridors … will he escape? What does it all mean?
This book has Twin Peaks, Gaiman, Burton, and Orwellian undertones. It’s my first Murakami and it won’t be my last! And with that, I’m at 100 books for the year, after readjusting my goal from 52 when it became obvious I was going to smash through that in July. It’s been a good reading year. I’m not relishing putting together my “best books” list for 2020, but that’s a Future Tamara problem.