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The Librarian: A Novel by Larry Beinhart

The Librarian: A Novel (original 2004; edition 2004)

by Larry Beinhart

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3741228,918 (3.08)9
Title:The Librarian: A Novel
Authors:Larry Beinhart
Info:Nation Books (2004), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2011-08, fiction, politics, politicians, library, librarian, loc, library of congress, conservative, conspiracy, presidency, election, elections, fraud, campaign, bush, homeland security, rich, super-rich, business, america, american, donations, corruption

Work details

The Librarian by Larry Beinhart (2004)

  1. 10
    Primary Colors by Joe Klein (BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: A different administration, different foibles, but still...

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Synopsis:David Goldberg is a university librarian who, because of falling salaries and the likelihood of having his position cut, begins working for a billionaire who wants to preserve his place in history by developing a library of his personal papers. (think presidential library). While this seems innocuous enough, the job puts David at risk as well as exposing him to some of the most powerful politicos in the US.
Review: Written somewhat in the style of Carl Hiaasen, it has neither the subtly nor humor that is a hallmark of Hiaasen. Based on current political hijinks, the book doesn't even get interesting until chapter 27, then moves at a fairly good pace until the last chapter which is less than lame. ( )
  DrLed | Jul 13, 2014 |
Well it is about a librarian, and there's a few (but just a few) insights into the life and thinking of those folk who live and breath books and archives. But not enough to make this much different from a thousand other political thrillers. It'd make a great movie, but it's no more than a 'good' book. It might be a hit amongst mild-mannered librarians though... Recommended as entertainment, if you like that sort of thing. ( )
  nandadevi | Dec 1, 2013 |
A political thriller with pleasant satirical overtones. A very pleasant surprise. ( )
  dupontmorand | Mar 17, 2012 |
This book was INSANELY over the top. But that's not always a bad thing. The story has a great start, but I felt the plot was rushed by the end. I guess the librarian in me wished for more talk of the collection he was archiving, but I don't see how that would have helped the slow-progressing plot.

Crazy stereotypical secret agents aside, the book did make a valuable point about the detriments of overabundant information sources:
"In the information age there is so much information that sorting and focus and giving the appropriate weight to anything have become incredibly difficult. Then some fact, or event, or factoid mysteriously captures the world's attention and there's a media frenzy [...] And everybody in the world knows everything about it. On the flip side are the Fog Facts, important things that nobody seems able to focus on any more than they can focus on a single droplet in the mist. They are known, but not known." (63)

My verdict: Good intent, not so good execution. ( )
  BeccaStarr | Sep 2, 2011 |
To be a librarian...what an ideal job. Right? You work around books all day, get first dibs on checking out the ones you're interested in, you get to boss people around and tell them to be quiet. It's a low key job. There's stress, of course, but it's not life-shattering, world-building stress. So why is a dark ops division of Homeland Security trying to kill David Goldberg, the librarian of the title?

It all starts with an opportunity David has to do some moonlighting, archiving documents and personal papers for the private library of an aged billionaire land-developer. Alan Stowe, it turns out, is also a savvy long-time behind-the-scenes political mover and shaker, buying the people who buy the people who buy the candidates, and he--and a few other important people--have a lot riding on the re-election of incumbent president Augustus Winthrop Scott (who is running against a woman). David doesn't actually know anything about any of this but--as he finds out at the party built around the mating of a champion mare at Stowe's stables and the final presidential debate ("We'll make an afternoon and evening of it," Stowe says. "First we'll watch Glorious Morning put it to Angela's Star, then we'll watch The Man put it to Anne Lynn Murphy.")--somebody wants to make damn sure he doesn't find out.

And they're off. David's on the run, and if the bad guys catch him they're going to do some really nasty stuff to him. Especially once he's done his research (he is a librarian, after all) and learned just what it is nobody wants him to know...

The Librarian is smart and very funny, an action packed literary thriller that's so real you think it might actually have happened. ( )
1 vote BeckyJG | Jun 1, 2010 |
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To Gillian Farrell
and for the Larry Berk
Keeper of the Flame
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"When men plot to rule the world," the old man said, "they do it in plain sight."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
It begins so innocently when Goldberg starts moonlighting for an eccentric, aging conservative billionaire whose final wish is to leave behind a memorial library about himself. But the most memorable thing about him is a secret that must never be revealed. He is part of a plot to steal the presidential election if it appears that Augustus Winthrop Scott - a character who will remind you of the Republican you love the most or love to hate the most - seems likely to lose the next election. It's one of those moments when knowledge is a dangerous thing and a little knowledge is even more dangerous, and the men with the guns want to kill the fellow indexing the archives. (cover blurb)
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The author of American Hero (later made into the film Wag the Dog) follows university librarian David Goldberg as he begins a side job as a conservative activist, a position that lands him in hot water with a conspiratorial clique of wealthy right-wingers who want him gone. Original.… (more)

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