The Morgan Library in New York recently acquired letters written by Thomas Pynchon to his agent, but the head librarian decreed that this correspondence will not be available to scholars during the author's lifetime; in other words, Pynchon has to croak before we can read them. A few miles south, in Princeton, New Jersey, there's another potenti...more
The story is of a young couple who marries in 1945. She's a poet. He's a librarian (the archivist of the title). He's a Christian, she a Jew. He can't accept what she's going through as everybody learns wha...more
Let me explain. There are three main characters in the book – Matthias, the archivist of the title (who is custodian of a cache of T.S. Eliot’s letters, sealed for the next 60 years, and a potential treasure trove for scholars), his wife Judith, and Roberta...more
I could not have beenn more wrong. It is instead, a very introspective, harsh self examination by a man who happens to work at an archivist at "a prominent university," in a place that is unn...more
This all surprises me because I went in really expecting to like it. After all the plot sounded remarkably similar to Possession, which I lo...more
Marsha Colley's first novel is an ambitious story centred around T.S. Eliot and the important women in his life, and around archivist Matthias Lane and the important women in his life. The documents in the university library archive where Matthias works include a large number of letters from Eliot to his close friend Edith Hale, covering the period from Vivienne Eliot's descent into mental illness to her death (as portrayed in the film Tom and Vi...more
Thoughts about the book: This book reminds me in many ways of one of my all-time favorite reads, Possession. The novel has several storylines: Matt and Judith, Roberta and her boyfriend, Roberta's parents, Judith's parents, and Eliot and his wife and Emily Hale.
As a librarian, I was intrigued with the idea of saving or not saving writt...more
I read with no preconceptions about the book or its author but almost immediately it swept me up, took me in, began to resonate and haunt. The main character, who narrates much of the novel, is Matthias, named by his mother "after the disciple who replaced Judas Iscariot". He works as an academic archivist, and one of the plots revolves around Matt's relationship with Roberta, a poet and student who wants to see the librar...more
While there are discussions of the Holocaust, suicide, war and tragedy, somehow this book did not feel heavy or weighed down with depression. The author gives wonderful descriptions of spoken and unspoken interactions among her charac...more
Haha anytime I hate the way a book is written, I compare it the DVC, I know, I know. But it's just the most well-known example of that kind of writing where it's like, I know I'm reading a work of fiction that some shitty writer spent a lot of time trying to make sound good. I don't like that. I li...more
This was a bit too angst ridden for me, when it came right down to it. I typically like angst, but it felt empty here somehow. It's one of those books that tries to make you love unlikeable characters, but failed to do so.
It's just not my style. To each her own. Sadly, most novels about librarians that...more