Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from a nightmarish library. (back cover)
Introducing the latest from Haruki Murakami! I can always count on this author to nudge my reading into different directions. He has time and again pulled me into a surreal and fascinating world with his stories both long, 1Q84, and now his just published short novel, The Strange Library. His writing is well paced and clear making the reader's immersion into the worlds of his characters quite effortless. It's delightful, really. He combines fantastical elements in amongst all sorts of "normality" so that I get swept up into the goings-on before I realize things are getting weird. I enjoyed The Strange Library not only for the imagination but also the insights typical of Murakami about people, relationships, and life in general. As so often happens while reading his books, I find myself copying words, lines and sometimes whole paragraphs because they express a truth or sentiment so perfectly.
I sat down on my bed and buried my head in my hands. Why did something like this have to happen to me? All I did was go to the library to borrow some books. (Chap. 10, The Strange Library)
The old man came to check on me that evening. He was delighted to find me lost in my book. Seeing how happy he was made me feel a little happier. No matter what the situation may be, I still take pleasure in witnessing the joy of others. (Ch. 18, The Strange Library)
So you'd best forget those shoes. Shoes you can replace, but you can't replace your brains or your life. (Chap 21, The Strange Library)

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