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The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,240889,696 (3.47)98
  1. 10
    The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: protagonists wind-up imprisoned in surreal and somewhat absurd circumstances

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English (83)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I'm not sure what I thought of the story - it was complemented but at the same time overwhelmed by the book itself which was a treasure to hold and read - just the right size - not too tall and not too wide, just the right length, not too long and not too short - most conveniently bound with a handy over-flapped book jacket that doubles as the perfect book mark.

just like goldilocks tried the chairs and then the porridge and finally the beds finding the perfect fit for her at each turn, I worked my way forward and back thru the story delighting in the girl's visits, the delightful fairy food and refreshments, relishing yet dreading each revelation from the sheepman, yet upon being awakened from the story I remember most of all the waiting mother, the missing starling and the black dog. ( )
1 vote nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
The Strange Library is a strange book! I'm sure there is something I'm not getting behind this tale as the Murakami books I've read so far have not been whimsical. Hmmm, a strange one indeed. ( )
1 vote Fliss88 | Aug 26, 2018 |
[b: The Strange Library|23128304|The Strange Library|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1419549475s/23128304.jpg|42676389] was indeed a strange book.

This was my first introduction to [a: Haruki Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1350230608p2/3354.jpg], although others had pushed me towards [b: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles], [b: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World|10374|Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1399844477s/10374.jpg|2531870], [b: Norwegian Wood|11297|Norwegian Wood|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924361s/11297.jpg|2956680], and [b: Kafka By the Shore|4929|Kafka on the Shore|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1429638085s/4929.jpg|6191072] as better first novels when approaching the author. I was more drawn to [b: Wind/Pinball|24013720|Wind/Pinball Two Novels|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1439382798s/24013720.jpg|18976038] as a first introduction, but [b: The Strange Library|23128304|The Strange Library|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1419549475s/23128304.jpg|42676389] was far shorter than any of those and it kept looking at me. Those eyes were staring, begging me to open the book and the design of the book itself was rather compelling so I took the dive.

At 96 pages, this is more of a short-story than anything else. Half or more of the pages are illustrations, beautifully rendered, adding a surrealistic slant to book that is already mired in surrealism. Each and every turn of the page draws the eye towards the strange illustrations and gives the mind of brief tap towards what's coming next. The black dog of depression, eye gleaming with a starburst of a pupil and a haunting snarl? A strange pattern that draws the eye downward, pushing the reader further into the basement of the strange library itself? A two page spread with a blue bird shooting across the page, upward, towards freedom and some peace of mind? You never know, which is part of the draw of the book itself. It's not so much a rollercoaster as it is a jarring shove into this different world, violent and jerky. You lose your footing, and never quite regain it, until the sobering last page - absent from all illustration save for the endpaper. Welcome to [a: Haruki Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1350230608p2/3354.jpg], I suppose.

I was reluctant to review this book at first. I read through it in less than an hour, a single sitting, and was left so out of sorts by it that I wasn't quite certain what to make of it - much less what I read. I went so far as to contact a few of my friends to see if they'd read it and wanted to discuss it - but none had. So I let it sit, pondering over it day after day. Now, ten days later, I've a notion of what I read. The strange pieces fell into place and a cohesive narrative formed through the chaos. It's a testimony to the book and Murakami's writing that I could sit on it for this long, that it kept coming up, that in the moments before sleep order evolved out of chaos for a brief moment and I could set to right the dreamlike quality of the narrative I read. I have my own ideas as to what happened, and I'm still quite eager to discuss them.

[a: Haruki Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1350230608p2/3354.jpg], from this book, comes off a bit like [a: Jonathan Carroll|23704|Jonathan Carroll|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1222900262p2/23704.jpg], minus the shameless dream-like prose. Where Jonathan Carroll can turn a phrase that will burn into your mind and stick with you [ "Everything you want in life has teeth" ] Murakami works a more visual sort of magic. You're stuck with the image of the sheep-man's tail bobbing as he runs, the whip cracking across his face, the labyrinthine maze at the basement of the library. One isn't really better than the other, just different, and Murakami's prose may be more a product of translation or English being his second-language rather than any real fault on his part.

[b: The Strange Library|23128304|The Strange Library|Haruki Murakami|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1419549475s/23128304.jpg|42676389] is a book that would be ruined by summary. It's more of an experience, one that begins the moment you unfold the covering and begin reading it on the cover itself. It's an odd book, but a good one, and I think by virtue of its strangeness and the way the plot has stayed sticky within my mind it further recommends the author. I look forward to reading more of his soon. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Beautiful prose with an incomprehensible end. ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
Beautifully illustrated book.
Usual sort of dreamlike story from Murakami, which feels slight, although enhanced by the illustrations. ( )
  CarltonC | Mar 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385354304, Hardcover)

From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:22 -0400)

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

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Average: (3.47)
1 7
1.5 2
2 30
2.5 14
3 146
3.5 39
4 136
4.5 8
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