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The Librarian

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  361 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
How on earth did nebbish university librarian David Goldberg end up on Virginia's Ten Most Wanted Criminals list for bestiality? And how did he get ensnared in a vast right-wing conspiracy to steal the presidency? It all begins so innocently when Goldberg starts moonlighting for eccentric, conservative billionaire Alan Carston Stowe as an archivist. But Goldberg's appointm ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 26th 2004 by Nation Books (first published August 25th 2004)
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Destinee Sutton
Boy did this book have a lot going on that was right up my alley:

1. The hero is a librarian, so there's a lot of poetic musing over the beauty of libraries, democracy, freedom, etc.

2. The villains are Republicans who are hell bent on controlling the world by any means necessary. Some of them bear strong resemblances to real politicians, e.g. Dick Cheney and George W.

3. It was a page-turner AND well-written AND had some good laughs. That, friends, is a rare combination. There's even some good p
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it
Alan Stowe, an elderly man of great wealth and power, hires David Goldberg, a university librarian, to act as his personal librarian, sorting and recording the papers he's collected during his life. Stowe is a conservative backer of the president (a thinly disguised George Bush) in his bid for reelection. Soon people are trying to kill Goldberg because they believe his perusal of the papers has caused him to discover the plot they've prepared to steal the election.
If you put politics aside (whic
Jul 06, 2011 Judy rated it it was ok
Ahhhh... Conspiracy theories. I'm kind of sick of them which is probably why I didn't rate this book too highly. It's not a fair review. It really isn't. I couldn't get into the book no matter how hard I tried. It wasn't terribly written. It's about a librarian that gets caught up in an election rigging scandal. It's an absurd idea. All of a sudden politicians and professional killers are hell bent on making sure the librarian doesn't find out that their fixing an election. I think it's supposed ...more
Roger Scherping
Aug 03, 2014 Roger Scherping rated it liked it
A very interesting idea, that a bookish, not very worldly librarian accidentally falls into a monumental plot to steal the presidency. But the story goes off concept when the librarian proves to be not true to the character he was introduced as. Also the book does not have good pacing for an adventure book; there is no rising to a climax, just a lot of continual struggling to resolve the crisis that never really peaks. It DOES, however, have an excellent quote describing the mission of libraries ...more
Aug 18, 2011 Libby rated it did not like it
I finally finished this book...what a chore! I have a weird habit that requires me to finish a book once I start it, and I have frequently been rewarded by doing so. Not this time, though... Supposedly a political mystery/thriller by the author of Wag the Dog, much of it is tedious and slow going, and the juicy sex and gory parts don't really deliver.
Jun 02, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Librarians kick some ass here but the ending disappointed me somewhat. This was both funny and thrilling and I am surprised the Coen Brothers haven't made this into a movie like "Burn After Reading."
Nov 02, 2009 Jill rated it it was amazing
Ooo...this was a good one! Think National Treasure or Da Vinci Code, but with a librarian as the lead who accidentally gets himself entangled in a plot to steal the presidency of the United States. A little scary actually, because it all seemed sort of plausable.
Nov 18, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
God, is this well done. If I weren't obsessing on a number of projects, I would have completed it long ago. It's funny, political, astute. Lends credence to many of my suspicions about the Bush Administration. No wonder the Nation published it.

This is hysterically funny while serious about the dismal, corrupt state of politics in the US today. Beinhart is merciless in skewering the GOP. If you are a rabid Republican, don't read--your BP will shoot sky-high. If you're not shocked by what goes on in Washington, read on! You will love the book as much as I.
But the main reason I love this book is because the hero is a librarian--as are the heroines.

David Goldberg is the 30 (or 40?)-ish university librarian around whom the ac
Wyckliffe Howland
Jun 07, 2017 Wyckliffe Howland rated it liked it
This book was a fun, quick read. It is a thriller, and filled with political intrigue. Cynical conspiracies, misuse of power and abuse of position abound. To me it felt very real in the context of these dark Trump days. The writer has developed some credible characters but the main character, the librarian, seemed light to me. Good building of suspense will keep your interest up to the end.
Oct 24, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok
Larry Beinhart’s “The Librarian” would make the perfect passive aggressive Christmas gift for conservative family. It’s a political thriller, made with a heaping cup of Bush satire and GOP-bashing.

The book’s protagonist is a Jewish librarian named David Goldberg, who works at a college library in D.C. After his colleague, a stereotypical shrinking-violet librarian asks him to take over a job archiving papers for an elderly billionaire, his life takes an abrupt turn for the chaotic. The old man i
Πάνος Τουρλής
Δεν έχω λόγια. Κόλλησα στην πρώτη (επαναλαμβάνω, πρώτη) σελίδα του βιβλίου τουλάχιστον τρεις φορές. Το ξεπέρασα. Μπα λέω ιδέα μου θα είναι, άστο να κυλήσει. Δεν μπορεί να είναι ΤΟΣΟ κακογραμμένο! Μετά την τρίτη σελίδα άρχισα να αναρωτιέμαι αν είναι κακογραμμένο ή κακομεταφρασμένο. Ε μετά το "σύγκρουση ενδιαφερόντων" (conflict of interest = σύγκρουση συμφερόντων) βεβαιώθηκα. Το βιβλίο δεν ξέρω αν αξίζει ή όχι, αν σε κρατάει σαν πλοκή, το παράτησα. Εξαιτίας της μετάφρασης. Η χειρότερη μετάφραση πο ...more
Dec 27, 2009 Romain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
Un simple bibliothécaire d'université, David Goldberg, se retrouve par hasard au service d'un riche vieillard. Ce dernier souhaite utiliser les compétences de bibliothécaire de David pour effectuer du classement dans ses nombreux dossiers. Le vieillard en question se trouve être l'un des éléphants d'or du parti Républicain des États-Unis (on appelle éléphants d'or les plus gros bailleurs de fond du parti républicain des États-Unis dont le symbole est un éléphant). L'histoire qui, comme vous l'au ...more
Nov 07, 2016 CartoonistAndre rated it liked it
Shelves: farcical
So here it is; November 7th, one day away from the wildest, the most downright embarrassing, election drama ever recorded. One that could possibly welcome the first woman president of the United States, leader of the free world. Another great milestone in American history. Brings to mind the Billie Jean King vs Bobby Riggs matchup, but this time the elation is flat.

OK, back to The Librarian.

So here I am, reading a book about the 2017 election (*the date is wrong in the book! Was he too lazy to
Mar 01, 2008 Erik is currently reading it
This one is on what seems to be an absurdly long-term loan... In the back of my mind, the fact that I've borrowed it from an actual librarian inspires the same kind of shame I'd feel if it came from a city library.

This is a kind of follow-up to the book that inspired the film "Wag the Dog," which was darkly funny, seemed absurd at the time, and then grew progressively more frightening and depressing. I'm having a similar experience working my way through this newer story; I can't do more than a
Mar 08, 2008 Yrinsyde rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Librarians who want a laugh
Shelves: own
I found out about this book when I was writing an article titled “The Librarian as Hero”.

I found references to this book which had just been released in the US, but was only available here last month. So I eagerly bought it and have just finished it. It is a strong political thriller with thinly veiled references to a certain GWB being the evil party. There were some problems with this book however, though minor. I picked up some spelling errors; whether t
Mar 18, 2008 Margot rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, political
Yippee!!! Yet another librarian saves the free world from corruption, manipulation and utter destruction! I told everyone I talked to about this book for at least two weeks, and that's a long memory for me. The combination of political intrigue that's actually intelligent and not offensively simple, coupled with a librarian character who is a fugitive from justice and still manages to outwit the vast right-wing conspiracy was a delight to read. The narrative choice of alternating first-person an ...more
Lake Oz Fic Chick
David Goldberg is a moonlighting university librarian cataloging the private library of a ruthless billionaire politician, Augustus Winthrop Scott. Unfortunately, David stumbles upon his boss’s secrets and becomes a hunted man. He joins forces with two librarian colleagues to save himself and also thwart Scott's plan to steal the presidential election and achieve world domination. Similar in tone to books by Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard, author Beinhart embraces the absurd but never goes over ...more
Oct 17, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Picked this up in the library after reading the first few pages. Never heard of the author previously although I was dimly aware of Wag the Dog.

Now these days, after reading fiction of all sorts for over 30 years, I am pretty jaded and tend to read factual books such as The Emperor of All Maladies and so on. However, I was totally sucked into this book and read it in 3 days on the commute to work which is totally unheard of for me.

It's very well written, just credible enough to stop you getting
Mary Catherine
Aug 12, 2007 Mary Catherine rated it really liked it
This is a political satire by the author who wrote "Wag the Dog." A university librarian finds himself the only person who can stop a Republican conspiracy to steal the presidential election.

It would have been a lot more amusing if it weren't for the fact that I could easily see this actually happening. (Heck, it already has happened!) The President and administration in the book are so similar to George W. and his people (horrible policy mistakes, arrogance and all) that it almost reads like a
Marc Massoglia
Feb 05, 2017 Marc Massoglia rated it it was ok
Ponderously political. Okay. I get it. The bad guys are Republicans hell bent on stealing the election. Does the author have to remind us every other chapter with long diatribes about how anti Semitic the GOP is and how neutral the New York Times is and how wronged Hillary Clinton is? This is a fun thriller about a librarian in dire circumstances not a political treatise. Worse, the pontification is so ham handed it slows the action. Other than that it's good but I got 3/4 through and stopped gi ...more
Jun 25, 2009 Alison rated it liked it
It's strange how much seems passe now that Obama won the presidency, including this particular brand of liberal paranoia about neo-con plots and so forth. This book would have been better with a little more library humor, and a lot less of the romantic sub-plot. I hate to sound sexist, but if you've never actually met the woman of your dreams, don't try to create her as a fictional character, because clearly, she'll be difficult for anyone to believe in. In fact, none of the female characters re ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Roberta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, thriller
I read this book ten years ago. I just came across it again and realized that I had never rated it on Goodreads. Now I am giving it my own rating it but stealing Destinee Sutton's 1-2-3.

1. The hero is a librarian.

2. The villains are Republicans who are hell bent on controlling the world by any means necessary.

I am, btw, a Republican and this is, to my way of thinking, a back-handed compliment. If they can't be the good guys, at least these conspirators are worthy opponents for our totally fabu
Jun 13, 2007 Fletcher rated it it was ok
A political satire starring everyone's (Okay, maybe just my) favorite stock character: the ubiquitous librarian, guardian of all knowledge in the universe. The scene should be familiar to anyone who had been reading the news over the past couple of years. It is election time, with all of the political intrigue that a paranoid mind can envision.

Of course, if reading humorous tales about life inside the Beltway appeals to you, go right ahead and pick up this novel. But I would have to suggest that
Anne Moore
Oct 24, 2016 Anne Moore rated it liked it
Beinhart published this book in 2004 so I was amazed how relevant it is to the current election. The plot takes us through a Presidential election in the U.S. where the male candidate is greedy and will do anything to stay in power while his female opponent is the first woman to run for election! The character known as "the librarian" is hired to go through an aging billionaire's private papers to put them in order for posterity. He finds a connection to the presidential candidate and evidence o ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
David is a university librarian roped into cataloging the papers of a senile magnate who wants to leave a legacy a bit more noble than all the elections he's bought. This brings David into contact with some paranoid politicians, and suddenly he's on the run from Homeland Security, trying to figure out how to keep the presidency from being stolen. It's vulgar, violent, and preposterous, full of psychopathic Republicans and saintly Democrats, spy movie stunts and convoluted conspiracy theories. Th ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it
I liked this book, the way I like 90's action movies. I couldn't really pull myself away from it, but I wasn't sure why. Though all in all, it has a great plot, surprising elements, action that can and can't be believed. It's a smart story, one that could easily be made into a movie (like American Hero-- Wag the Dog). Beinhart certainly made a lot of political commentary here, some brilliant, some over the top. I thought that the ending of this book was a little bit too wrapped up, I would have ...more
Audrey Driscoll
Jun 12, 2014 Audrey Driscoll rated it really liked it
I read this book because I am a librarian and it was recommended on a professional discussion list. I don't normally read political fiction, but this was fun. Beinhart has a distinctive writing style that combines serious with funny. A sex scene near the end is a perfect example of this. Those whose political views are not in synch with those expressed here may not enjoy the book (but you never know!) I can see why it stirred up some strong feelings when it was published in 2004. Ten years later ...more
Oct 28, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
I got this as an e-book from the library. What can I say, I was sucked in by the title. It's a political thriller, which is not a genre I normally read. And while I got a bit bored by the genre bits, I love Beinhart for creating a totally awesome butt-kicking librarian who manages to pull off some nice action while still being, emphatically, a librarian who loves knowledge, freedom of information and truth.
Jan 08, 2015 Catyj rated it liked it
I first read this maybe 10 years ago when it fell off the shelves at Tamworth Library and into my hands. I remember enjoying it then, so it will be nice to revisit.

It seems no matter how long between reads, this remains a pertinent and pointed political thriller with enduring implications on the modern world and modern political arena.
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Larry Beinhart is an Edgar Award-winning author whose American Hero became the movie Wag the Dog."
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“The really strange thing about this is that it was one of the Fog Facts.

That is, it was not a secret. It was known. But it was not known. That is, if you asked a knowledgeable journalist, or political analyst, or a historian, they knew about it. If you yourself went and checked the record, you could find it out. But if you asked the man in the street if President Scott, who loved to have his picture taken among the troops and driving armored vehicles and aboard naval vessels, if you asked if Scott had found a way to evade service in Vietnam, they wouldn't have a clue, and, unless they were anti-Scott already, they wouldn't believe it.

In the information age there is so much information that sorting and focus and giving the appropriate weight to anything have become incredibly difficult. Then some fact, or event, or factoid mysteriously captures the world's attention and there's a media frenzy. Like Clinton and Lewinsky. Like O. J. Simpson. And everybody in the world knows everything about it. On the flip side are the Fog Facts, important things that nobody seems able to focus on any more than the can focus on a single droplet in the mist. They are known, but not known.”
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