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The Night Bookmobile
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The Night Bookmobile

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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  3,615 ratings  ·  894 reviews
Audrey Niffenegger's two novels, The Time Traveler's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, have made her one of the most popular writers in the world. She is also the author of two extraordinary novels-in-pictures, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. Now, with The Night Bookmobile, she has written her first graphic novel.

First serialised in the Guardian, The Night B...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 7th 2010 by Jonathan Cape (first published December 26th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Joanna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Autumn
I definitely expected something better here. I have no idea what the author wants me to come away with here. It's like the protagonist loved rediscovering all the books, magazines, periodicals, etc. she had ever read, but then later felt she had wasted all of her time reading, and thought of everything she had "given up" for reading. I, however, didn't see that at all, since she got a career and joy out of her passion for books, and found joy in her ever-expanding library. Weird and confusing en...more
Nanette Bulebosh
What if there were a place that housed all the books you've ever read, from the picture books of your preschool years to the pile on your nightstand right now? What if that place were a mysterious bookmobile with rock music blaring loudly from its speakers and an enigmatic driver who knows more about you than you know yourself? What if that bookmobile only came around at night, and only every few years when you least expect it?

The narrator of this intriguing graphic novel, Alexandra, becomes ob...more
BeguileThySorrow...
I picked this one up because it's about a library and I saw the nice blurb by Neil Gaiman on back. Unfortunately I didn't find it at all to be a story "perfectly told". The Night Bookmobile is the first of a larger work being titled The Library, as explained by the author in the "after words". Because of this I feel it's possible that my understanding of the story is in fact out of context until I read the completed book. But since it is published here as a single book, I also find it fair to re...more
Jean
"What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?"

The Night Bookmobile is the first graphic novel of Audrey Niffenegger, who also wrote the bestseller, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003) and Her Fearful Symmetry (2009). The description "graphic novel" is possibly rather grand, as this is much more of a short story length. In fact it actually started life as a short story, which presumably allowed more opportunity...more
Lacey Louwagie
Our library director urged everyone to read this book, so I read it during a slow time at the library. Although it's technically a graphic novel, the way the story is laid out is more like a picture book, with large chunks of expository text that are not integrated into the artwork. At first this was kind of a turn-off to me, and I didn't think the layout with it looked that great a lot of the time. But the story, about a woman who gets obsessed with finding a mysterious night bookmobile that co...more
Spoonbridge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eva
This graphic novel is AWESOME! Of course, I both work in a library and am an avid reader, so I may be biased. [return]Niffenegger's main character, Alexandra runs across the title bookmobile during a late night/early morning walk. When she enters the bookmobile, its shelves are crammed with books she has read. The librarian, Mr. Openshaw, then tells her that it is "her" bookmobile, and it carries only what she has read. Very cool![return]She is ushered out of the bookmobile as dawn approaches. S...more
Dawn
Dec 05, 2010 Dawn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every book lover
Recommended to Dawn by: Jeffrey Cooper
WOW. Imaginative and moving and wonderful and creepy. I always imagined that our individual bibliographies were unique identifiers, like our fingerprints. Audrey Niffenegger depicts them as personal bookmobiles. I hope mine looks like the Partridge Family bus, and that orange drink is served instead of tea.

One of the most emotional moments in short narrative is when Alexandra contemplates all that she "had given up for reading." This line reminds avid readers that there are important differences...more
Kasey Jueds
I'm in the middle of listening to Her Fearful Symmetry, and am loving it, and also just found The Night Bookmobile on the graphic novel shelf at the library. There's so much here in this little book... which, like one reviewer said, is more of a graphic short story than a graphic novel. But... like all amazing short stories... it is packed full, rich, deep, and somehow enormous. Of course it appeals to me as a book lover--that whole idea of a library containing every book you've ever read, your...more
Melanti
The premise reminded me, very vaguely, of something that Charles de Lint might have written. There's a definite charm to the idea - a roving bookmobile that shows up only when you're not expecting it and contains everything you've ever read - right down to the backs of cereal boxes! What avid reader wouldn't want to browse around a collection like that? I know I smile when I encounter an old favorite in a place I don't expect it to be.

But the premise was about all I truly enjoyed. The drawings w...more
Robert
I found this book interesting, and yet somehow not really satisfying.

Interesting because of the idea of the Night Bookmobile (which, beyond being the title, is hard to describe without spoilers, so I won't go further). I think it would be appealing to anybody who's an avid and devoted reader. We love books, we love reading, and we even love reading about books.

I think my lack of satisfaction had to do with 2 things:

1. The author only mentions in the "After Words" that this is "the first installm...more
Renée
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa
I liked the idea behind this book -- I'd love to have a library of every single thing I've ever read -- but it completely lost me three-fourths of the way through. I didn't care for the ending at all, nor was I sure what to make of it.
Merrill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris
Very quick read. Surreal is best word to describe; found it enjoyable & haunting because of the subject matter--life of reading--and becoming consumed by it, which we can. In Niffenegger's "After Words" section, she wrote, "When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions o...more
Wordwizard
I really, really loved the premise of this short graphic novel: on a walk at 4:00 in the morning, a young woman finds a mysterious trailer full of all the books she has ever read. It is driven by a mysterious man who claims to be a librarian of the "Night Bookmobile," open from dusk to dawn. Finding this bookmobile alters her life--she sees a portrait of herself as a reader, and it drives her to read more and more, and eventually becomes a librarian (of a more mundane sort) herself.

There's a gor...more
Carrie
So just because Audrey Niffenegger wrote it, I'm supposed to like it? Sorry. I haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife yet, and now I'm certainly not going to. This book presents itself as a children's book, which it is absolutely not. Also, the illustrations are horrible. They are just not good. They are very, very bad. The story itself is superficial. Whatever point Niffenegger is trying to make here is inconsequential when one has to contemplate how such bad drawings actually made their way int...more
jess
I just wasn't crazy about this book. I was interested in the larger world of Niffenegger's The Library, but this particular bit didn't really do it for me. The art didn't touch me. The story was ... fine. I guess.

Also: My wife asked me why I was reading something with a lady breastfeeding a book on the cover.

I wasn't very crazy about the afterword, when Niffenegger writes, "It became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a...more
Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)
This little treasure of a book was recommended to me by my librarian at my school. Guys, she's a genius. This book is AMAZING!! I absolutely loved it. I thought I was going to be a little sweet story but it was so much more then that. Beautiful <3
Mycala
This beautifully illustrated book may only be 1/4 inch thick, but its few pages pack a wallop. This is one of the most intriguing, touching, grab-you-by-the-throat-and-shake-you books I have ever read.

Anyone who considers themselves a reader, who considers certain writers they've never met -- or even certain books themselves -- to be dear friends will adore this book.

This book was chosen for me from someone dear to my heart who likes to bring me gems from the library from time to time as a surpr...more
Aaron
This was a really interesting reading about a woman who seemed to find true magic in a book mobile. It all started one night after a fight with her boyfriend. She found herself strolling the city streets trying to sort through her thoughts. That was when she first comes across an RV that was a bookmobile with a very special library collection. Inside were all the books that the woman had ever read. When she tries to return back to the bookmobile, she finds she cannot find it.

As she progresses t...more
Jennie Fiddes
Although it has an interesting premise, the actual execution is simultaneously dull, flat and irritating with a complete lack of any emotional involvement despite multiple highly emotional decisions made by the protagonist. I'm actually annoyed by how much I disliked it because I am wasting brain time thinking about it.

Joshua
The artwork is completely unmoving and the story makes no sense. (view spoiler)...more
Seana
I wanted to give this at least an "It was OK" rating, but I can't. As an avid reader and librarian, there are many elements of the story that I find appealing and intriguing, but ultimately it fails for me on two counts. First, I don't particularly like Niffenegger's artistic style. For me, that really makes or breaks a graphic novel. It's a personal preference and totally subjective, but none-the-less factors into my enjoyment of the book. Second (and I won't give away enough to be considered a...more
Amanda
The actual graphic novel probably only merits a three or four star rating, however, the story itself is worth 10. I first heard it a year or so ago while listening to public radio on Selected Shorts. The story really resonated with me because I was in a very lonely point in my life and all I felt like doing was holing up in my apartment and reading. The story reminded me that I was not alone in this feeling, but that there were definite consequences to hiding from life. Highly recommended for al...more
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
I’ve come to accept that Audrey Niffenegger is just a little bit “odd” in her writing. The Night Bookmobile – a cross between a regular novel and a graphic novel, maybe? – was an interesting read and perfect for book lovers, in a way.

The story follows a young woman who finds this bookmobile while out one afternoon. Inside, all the books she had ever read are loaded on the shelves. It then becomes her life mission to find the bookmobile because she wants to relive all the books she’s read. While...more
Courtney
Maybe someday you will get really lucky and come across the Night Bookmobile. You can't go looking for it; you'll have to wait for it to find you. When you do see it, it will be blasting music that you know and love. When you board it, you will slowly begin to realize that you've read everything on the shelves. Every. Single. Thing. When you finally have to tear yourself away from the wonders of the Night Bookmobile, you'll find that morning has arrived. You also won't be able to take anything f...more
Craig
I have mixed feelings about this book. It's such an intriguing concept, as blurbed on the dust jacket and sites like this. But that synopsis is the "spoilers on" version of it all. Reading the book undoes some of the magic of that, from both a creative and business perspective.

As the "After Words" reveal, this was originally a short story. In adapting the work to "graphic novel format" (and the editors have used that phrase VERY liberally), the words have retained the predominance so that the vi...more
Blair Mirth
Thoughts:

I miss the good old days of reading picture books and after recently throwing away the old censor that told me I am too old to read them, I decided that I was going to enjoy a book for being a book and forget about these thoughts or challenges that ask me to read one over 100 pages or it doesn’t count as reading a book. When I popped into the library yesterday with my partner I came upon a treasure of a picture book. Now called graphic novels or stories that are written for adults, The...more
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Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpre...more
More about Audrey Niffenegger...
The Time Traveler's Wife Her Fearful Symmetry Raven Girl The Three Incestuous Sisters The Adventuress

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“When I began writing The Night Bookmobile, it was a story about a woman's secret life as a reader. As I worked it also became a story about the claims that books place on their readers, the imbalance between our inner and outer lives, a cautionary tale of the seductions of the written word. It became a vision of the afterlife as a library, of heaven as a funky old camper filled with everything you've ever read. What is this heaven? What is it we desire from the hours, weeks, lifetimes we devote to books? What would you sacrifice to sit in that comfy chair with perfect light for an afternoon in eternity, reading the perfect book, forever?” 36 likes
“Have you ever found your heart's desire and then lost it? I had seen myself, a portrait of myself as a reader. My childhood: days home sick from school reading Nancy Drew, forbidden books read secretively late at night. Teenage years reading -trying to read- books I'd heard were important, Naked Lunch, and The Fountainhead, Ulysses and Women in Love... It was as though I had dreamt the perfect lover, who vanished as I woke, leaving me pining and surly.” 19 likes
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