Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans.
"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?
A boy's routine day at the public library becomes a trip down the rabbit hole in Murakami's (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage) short novel. The boy meets a demanding old man, who forces him to read the books he's requested in a hidden reading room in the basement. After following the labyrinthine corridors, the boy is led by the old man into a cell, where he must memorize the history of tax collection in the Ottoman Empire. In the bowels of the library, the boy meets a beautiful, mute girl who brings him meals, as well as a subservient sheepman (whom we also meet in Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase) who fixes the boy crispy doughnuts and clues him in to the old man's sadistic plans. Full-page designs from Chip Kidd divide the sections, bolstering the book's otherworldliness with images from the text alongside mazelike designs and dizzying close-ups of painted faces. This dryly funny, concise fable features all the hallmarks of Murakami's deadpan magic, along with splashes of Lewis Carroll and the brothers Grimm. 32 illus. First printing: 75,000 copies.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Is this for real? I could not believe that iBook is selling this very-very short story as a book and for $10.
I like many Murakami's books, but this is not serious.
It is a fantasy story about nothing that you could read in about an hour. On my iPad it is 46 pages of actual text vs. total of 105 pages. If you want to waste $10 and 1 hour of your time, buy this book.