The Strange Library

The librarian John Griogair Bell reviews The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami.

Haruki Murakami The Strange Library

I don’t even. This short little book read like a Simple English translation of a Dr Seuss book, without illustration (while the promo says the book is illustrated, it merely has what appear to be collages and found art, that only seem to be original and directly related toward the end), and without rhyme. For obvious reasons, I’ve got a thing for stories about magic and surreal libraries, but where, say, Borges’ The Library of Babel had allegorical depths, this one seemed to be more shallow. Something here is certainly akin to the Japanese story of the Crane Maiden, so I wonder if there are other culturally based allusions I missed. While I probably wouldn’t recommend this story to anyone, I’m still finding myself reflecting on the images and ideas, and they keep showing up in the style of a Tim Burton animation. So, you know, if you’re into that, as I am, then maybe it would be worth checking out anyway. Indeed, strange things happen in this library reading room. [via]