The Strange Library

Book review: The Strange Library

The Strange LibraryThe Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This slim volume is an illustrated, extended short story. It’s not quite beefy enough to be a novella, but it is worth checking out, largely because it’s an example of Murakami’s weirdness corralled into a smaller space. You won’t find thousands of pages to leaf through here, but the world created is no less striking than that of 1Q84 .

(And there’s even a sheep man! Alongside the enormous talking bird, that is.)

The story tells of a gone-wrong trip to the library. We know that Murakami’s translation of crime fiction has informed his other work – this feels as if the author had inhaled the inherent creepiness of Roald Dahl instead of the gruffness of Raymond Chandler. It could be a kids’ book, except I’m uncertain how many children would be convinced to read by the prospect of imprisonment by a brains-slurping librarian. (more…)