The Librarian
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The Librarian

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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  255 ratings  ·  54 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

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Paperback, 448 pages
Published 2005 by Scribe Publications (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...more
Judy
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
Libby
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.
Jill
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.
Stephanie
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.
Chris
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."
Sarah Browne
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...more
Erik
Mar 01, 2008 Erik is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Yrinsyde
Mar 08, 2008 Yrinsyde rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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”.

http://www.geocities.com/young_librar...

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...more
R.
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
Audrey Driscoll
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
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
Liz Quinn
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...more
Margot
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
Fletcher
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...more
Alison
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
Mary Catherine
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...more
Sarah
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
Teresa
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
Jennifer
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.
Barb
Smart, convincingly believable tale that ends the best way it could, from a story-telling perspective. I may read American Hero, and other of his books now that I've experienced this literary talent. Given the direction his stories take it is no surprise he's not a household name. I really enjoyed this book!
Peter
Beinhart is a master of the twisted sardonic thriller practed by Elmore Leonard and the like. This one involves setting at the centre of a major conspiracy that most unlikely of heroes, the Librarian. Before Librarians comment, it is of course because of the stereotypes that Librarians are unlikey stars of thrillers.
Bill
Actually it was well written but as a mystery it didn't live up to the writing style originally and I almost quit reading. Kept going and the better it got. I learned a lot about Presidential elections I didn't know and the mystery came together in the end to make it a good read.
Katierogers
A fictional story of the W Bush administration but I think that every word is probably true. Remembering all the misdeeds and imagining the still-unknown horrors was very difficult, but this is an EXCELLENT book. A well told story, but what goes on REALLY makes me angry.
Jonathan Mandell
Jun 09, 2007 Jonathan Mandell rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bush-haters
An unlikely mystery thriller by the author of "Wag the Dog" about a librarian who becomes a hero -- that alone is a reason for the bookish to love it -- fighting against a conspiracy by a presidential administration that bears a deliberate resemblance to the current one.
Linda
A political thriller, set around the 2004 election, with a president running for reelection who seems very familiar and dirty tricks to keep his opponent from being elected. Liberal viewpoint, conservatives may not like it! It paints them as the villains!
Virginia
Great vacation political suspense book, that portrays the dangers in a society drifting toward corporate fascism, with a lot of very humorous scenes.
The ending is very weak, but by the time I got there I just wanted it to end and didn't care.
Michaela
Basically chick-lit for guys wherein the supposedly nebbish librarian pulls off a few super-hero moves and gets the hot girl. More intelligent than most due to its "fake" real political background and political message buried therein.
Jeff
pretty good book. action/adventure about a librarian who acts like indiana jones. plus an evil republican plutocrat thrown in for good measure. this book won't change your life, but its a quick, fun read and better than doing chores
Deborah
One of the best, and most unsettling, book on American politics I've ever read. I'll DEFINITELY read more by this author!
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Larry Beinhart is an Edgar Award-winning author whose American Hero became the movie Wag the Dog."
More about Larry Beinhart...
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