Monday, December 1, 2014

The Strange Library; Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library; Haruki Murakami
2014 - Random House Audio

A thoughtful, disciplined, lonely boy, a beautiful girl, a bird and a sheep man round out the cast of characters in The Strange Library, a short and strange novel with fewer than 100 pages.

The story begins with an unnamed boy returning his library books and looking for more books before returning home to his waiting mother and his pet bird.  At the library he is directed to Room 107, located in the basement of the library, where a gruff old man answers the door and asks him what he wants.  Startle by the man, the boy asks for a title that popped into his head on the way from school - "How Taxes are Collected in the Ottoman Empire", but really just anxious to get away from the old man. Unfortunately, he soon finds out that getting out of the library will not be as easy as it was to get in. Be careful what you ask for in this library, and be expected to read the books you ask for -- or else!

Mazes, locked doors, sheep-skinned man, a big angry dog, and fresh baked, delicious donuts.  What is real, what is imagined? You'll have to read this one for yourself and decide.

This was a super quick listen which I enjoyed. I thought it was written more in the style of some of his earlier books. The audiobook was read by Kirby Heyborne who did a great job, but true Murakami fans may prefer to get their hands on the print edition which I understand has some amazing colorful illustrations dispersed though out the book.

4/5 stars
(audio book)


  1. This really does sound intriguing, Diane. The title first attracts me, and the contents sound strange and enticing.

  2. This might be a good one for me to try since it's so short.

  3. I can hardly imagine listening to a Murakami novel; his writing is so fantastical that I have to ponder almost every word s-l-o-w-l-y. Still, I see some familiar themes here in the sheep man, the lonely boy, beautiful girl and bizarre occurances. That's Haruki for you, such a wonderful writer. I've planned to get down to the bookstore tomorrow when it's officially released in the states since I don't have your contacts. :)

    1. Oh, I do want to see the illustrations, but the audio was a good experience -- enjoy

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book, thanks Diane :)

  5. Strange, indeed! I'm not familiar with this author. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I looked for review copies of this one and didn't see any so I will be purchasing my copy tonight.

  7. I'll be listening to this one soon. I was hoping there would be a pdf file included with the illustrations (a pet peeve of mine when they don't do that!).


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