“The Strange Library” By Haruki Murakami 

The Strange Library23128415
By: Haruki Murakami, Ted Goossen (translator)
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 1 hr and 1 min
Release date: 12-02-14
Publisher: Random House Audio

Where to start? This book was amazing in that its twists and turns were as much as the labyrinth under the strange library. It’s dark at times and clearly a young adult piece of fiction on others. Each chapter brings a new surprise.

The narrator, Kirby Heyborne, kept me interested throughout the book. There were times where I didn’t know (or even care) where the story was going and would have given up listening, but the delivery of Heyborne kept me in it. I’m glad I stuck with it because by the end of the book I felt a great sense of accomplishment and enjoyed the story as a whole, once I could look back from the end and absorb it all in. It is only 1 hour after all, so worth the stay.

A boy goes to the public library to look up some information on Ottoman taxes, after all, his mother always said, “If you don’t know something, go to the library to look it up”. He is no stranger to the library and pretty much knows every shelf, but on this occasion, he’s sent to a reading room, via an enormous underground labyrinth, escorted by a sinister old man. He is required to memorize 3 books on the taxes subject he came in for, if he doesn’t then the mystery librarian will feast on the boy’s brains. On the way to Room 107 (where the memorizing is done) it’s not just the corridors that twist and turn, the boy tries to overcome his fears by rationalizing the improbability of a public body being able to afford so much secret space. Without spoiling anything, I will say the sheep man was very interesting.

At times it seems like a Roald Dahl story, sometimes a Stephen King story. No matter what it just feels good to get through the whole story.

From what I’ve found the physical book itself is as interesting as the story. The back cover folds over the top and bottom of the book, creating a slip-case like box out of the book itself, and each page corresponds to a full-color image that reflects the current actions of the story. These illustrations create a multi-media experience that drives the book along and returns the reader to their childhood of being just as drawn in by the pictures as the story.

Publisher’s Summary

From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami – a fantastical 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.

©2014 Haruki Murakami (P)2014 Random House

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