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The Strange Library

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,7781197,735 (3.44)107
In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.
Recently added byEllemir, musicalbookdragon, Estragon1958, Sanjive, framji, private library
  1. 10
    The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: protagonists wind-up imprisoned in surreal and somewhat absurd circumstances
  2. 00
    The Silence Room: Short Stories by Sean O'Brien (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Eerie short stories centred on, although not taking place in, a room in a library basement.

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» See also 107 mentions

English (113)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
I'm not sure if this was the aim of this story, but while wonderfully creepy and strange, it captures perfectly what a bad or odd dream really feels like, which is not something a lot of authors manage. ( )
  Sue_Z | Mar 22, 2022 |
It's straightforwardly surreal but the thing i found most absurd in the book that had since been bothering me till the last page is this

"To tell the truth, i wasn't all that eager to learn about Ottoman tax collection - the topic had just popped into my head on my way home from school. As in, I wonder, how did the Ottomans collect taxes? Like that."

lmao like he couldn't possibly be any more random. I mentally chuckled through the whole book thinking about that line, honestly.

3 stars because i've given his another better pieces 4, but it's still good. ( )
  qonita | Mar 21, 2022 |
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I borrowed a copy of this as an audiobook from my library.

Audibook Quality (4/5): The audiobook was well read and I would recommend it.

Thoughts: I didn’t realize until after listening to it on audiobook that the original book is illustrated, so I am guessing I lost a bit of the ambiance listening to the audiobook. Still it was a short listen and I enjoyed the oddness of the story.

The premise is deceptively simple. A boy goes to a library after wondering about taxation in the Ottoman empire and is captured by an evil man there who wants him to read and memorize books to improve his brain. Then after the boy has finished learning, the man wants to snack on his delicious, enhanced brain. The main driver is whether or not the boy will escape.

This is a weird read and I liked it, never read a story quite like this before. I liked the oddly chipper sheep man and the mysterious girl. I am sure you can analyze this story to death and that there are allegories for each character and for the things that happen. However, I would rather just take it at face value and enjoy the weirdness and the strangeness of this one. It does make you think about knowledge and seeking it and the value of all of that.

My Summary (4/5): Overall I enjoyed this, it was weird and captivating. It is a story I won’t forget any time soon. I enjoyed the craziness of it, the atmosphere, the oddity of the characters, and the way they reacted in the situations they were in. If you are looking for something very odd and out of the box I would recommend this. It’s very short but has a big impact for its length. At some point I would like to go back and read it in paper format with the illustrations but the audiobook is still worth a listen. ( )
  krau0098 | Jan 20, 2022 |
Surreal. Think David Lynch: Quasi-Comic Book Edition. ( )
  djlinick | Jan 15, 2022 |
Started off good. Sorta. Then just went flat. Don't bother. ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Haruki Murakami’s “The Strange Library” is a short story, not a novel. So why, one might wonder, has it been published as a single volume?
added by dcozy | editThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Dec 27, 2014)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goossen, TedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, ChipDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menschik, KatIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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The library was even more hushed than usual.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
La notte di luna nuova si avvicinava silenziosamente, come un delfino cieco.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.

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Average: (3.44)
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1.5 2
2 60
2.5 13
3 203
3.5 45
4 191
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