The Strange Library

The Strange Library

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.
Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.

Baker & Taylor
From the internationally acclaimed author of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage comes a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

& Taylor

In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.

Topical Term: Prisoners
Mute persons
Books and reading
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9780385354301
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) ; color illustrations ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Goossen, Ted


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Sep 28, 2019

This is a strange little book about a young boy trying to escape from the basement of a nightmarish library. Like most of Murakami's work, the real meaning of the book is hidden below the text, buried within symbols and allegory. I always enjoy puzzling out the real meaning behind Murakami's crazy stories!

Aug 31, 2019

A lonely boy is help captive underneath a library by an old man and figures out how to escape with the help of a sheep man, a mysterious girl, and a starling.

3/5 : This story was very surreal and strange on surface level, but it was simple. It was a short and simple story that didn't try to be something bigger than it was, and I appreciate that. It was a simple read.

Murakami wrote this after his mother died, and described in his author's note the feeling of loneliness he had. It helped me make sense of the work afterword, but it was still hard to find a distinguished theme.

What I Take Away: It was hard for me to find a proper theme in the story, mainly because it's so imaginative and surreal. But this was my first Murakami read, and this glimpse into his imagination has made me curious what his other work is like.

Jul 17, 2019

This was my first experience with Murakami, and while it may be an odd choice it was perfect for me. Brief and strange, The Strange Library introduced me to Murakami's surreal vision of the world. A great read for those who enjoy tales that are just too absurd to be believable, yet want them to be.

DPLSaraQT Aug 13, 2018

Strange indeed. A surreal, absurdist little fable taking cues from Kafka and Calvino, with little precursors of del Toro thrown in, too. I'm so glad I read the paper book and not the ebook. The images added here and there were at just the right places in the story to lend it a quasi-graphic novel feel.

Would I recommend it? Well... let's just say it takes a certain kind of person reading in a certain kind of mood on a certain kind of day.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 11, 2018

A quick glimpse into the bleak mind of best selling author Haruki Murakami.

SPPL_Violet Mar 18, 2018

I'm a fan of strange, normally, but I just didn't get this one.

Sep 20, 2017

A very strange book indeed. It was a pretty interesting read, a short and concise story. I love Murakami's imagination for all of this. The book felt really dream-like and very surreal. I enjoyed it and hope to be able to finish reading more of his books!

SPL_Liz Aug 23, 2017

A dark and surreal tale of a boy's adventures in a strange library. The format and full-page colour illustrations make it even more dreamlike. Murakami paints two pictures for us: the boy's regular life with his mother and pet starling, and his strange trip into the basement labyrinth of the city library. Much is left to the reader's imagination, particularly how these two narratives intersect. A short and enjoyable read, especially for those interested in the strange and peculiar.

Jul 05, 2017

The Strange Library really is an appropriate title for this book, because the book really is strange. I read it in two days, but I could have read it in two hours if I had read it straight through. (The volume has no page numbers, but it consists of twenty-six chapters, each of which is about two or three pages, some less.)

After I finished The Strange Library, I started reading the author's What I Talk About When I talk About Running, and itcouldn't be more different than his The Strange Library. In 1982, Murakami sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing and in the process began running to keep fit. A year later, he completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and – even more importantly – on his writing. This is more to my liking, maybe because I'm a runner. What I Talk About When I talk About Running is longer than The Strange Library at 179 pages, so it's taking a bit longer to read than The Strange Library. Who's counting pages, though, when you're enjoying the read.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Jun 09, 2017

A very strange little book. It seems very stream of conscience, with very dark but sort of magical underpinnings. In a way it reminded me of Daniel Handler's Lemony Snicket books, although much stranger and somehow more whimsical. This is the first book of Murakami's that I've read, and it has my interest piqued regarding the rest of his work. The Strange Library is very strange indeed, and I was able to read it in one short sitting, but it was well worth it. Oddly enough, after I read the book I took a nap (I was outside in my hammock at the time), and my dreams were all in the voice of the character from this book. That was, in a very strange way, revelatory for me, as I realized suddenly why this book was so peculiar and wonderful: somehow Mr. Murakami had managed to write in the style of dreams without it feeling forced. This is a very great book, and I highly recommend it.

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Apr 11, 2015

"She drew near me and placed her hand on mine. It was a small soft hand. I thought my heart might break in two." (12)

RDPL_AdultFiction Mar 26, 2015

"But, hey, this kind of thing's going on in libraries everywhere, you know. More or less, that is."


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