Friday, 27 March 2015

Book Review: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami.

Book: The Strange Library

Author: Haruki Murakami

Pages: 77

Read On: Hardback copy.

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 hours (with many breaks)

Plot Summary: 'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'.

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake.

Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?

General Thoughts: I wanted this book since it first came out last year. An illustrated Murakami is the stuff of dreams. I am glad I finally got my grubby hands on it and I read it on a day I was very ill and it provided me with much needed comfort and joy.  

Things I Liked: 

1. The art was just splendid. There is art on almost every single page and it was just lovely. 

2. This is a beautifully made and designed book. A real beauty and such a delight. 

3. This is definetly a book I will re-read over the years. A quick easy and wonderful read to flip over. 

4. There were some typical Murkami elements in this book- magical realism, bizarreness, wierdness, descriptions of food and of course good writing. 

5. I read this book when I was really sick and it immensely cheered me up. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. This is clearly not Murakami at his best, obviously. It doesn't come close to Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore or Wind-up Bird Chronicle. So don't go in expecting to be blown away. This book is short, sweet and strange. But not his best work. 

2. The ending was a little too abrupt and sudden. 

Rating: 4/5 


krypton02 said...

Can't wait to pick up this one! (For the illustrations, more than anything else.) A friend bought the last copy from Kitab Khana a little more than a week ago, so waiting for when they have it re-stocked... :-)

Pooja T said...

Get it get it! See if you get it online, you might find it for a little bit cheaper. This book really is beautiful and a work of art.