Name: The Strange Library
Author: Haruki Murakami
Number of Pages: 77
Published: 2nd December by Harvill Secker
‘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? – from Goodreads
What an incredibly strange book.
Strange by name and strange by nature, in a unique and charming way.
This is a book to savour visually as well as for the words and the story, because I’m sure I spent equally as much if not more time poring over the various illustrations throughout the story. It definitely adds a little something extra to the book.
The Strange Library presents a fairly simple story of a young boy who goes to the library and ends up lured into an underground labyrinth beneath the premises and taxed with reading and remembering the entirety of three books. Once the task is accomplished will he win his freedom, or will his brain actually be consumed by a sinister man who led him into the labyrinth in the first place? For, as it is observed, they’re not likely to give you all that knowledge for nothing. What a prospect. Imagine if the price for visiting the library were really so high(!). Luckily, I doubt you’ll find another library quite as nightmarish as this one.
Quite an enjoyable short story and one you will definitely want to spend a while simply looking at.