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The Night Bookmobile

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3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,636 Ratings  ·  1,093 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
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 7th 2010 by Jonathan Cape (first published December 26th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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Joanna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Autumn
Feb 23, 2011 Autumn rated it did not like it
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
Apr 14, 2013 Nanette Bulebosh rated it it was amazing
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
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Bella
May 03, 2011 Bella rated it did not like it
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
Lacey Louwagie
Jan 05, 2011 Lacey Louwagie rated it really liked it
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
Eva
Apr 17, 2011 Eva rated it it was amazing
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
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
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Harris
Jan 07, 2011 Harris rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, library-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Jul 15, 2015 Katie rated it it was ok
Meh. I picked this up on a whim from the library and read it in my car while I was waiting for a storm to pass. I had quickly glanced at some goodreads reviews prior to reading this, so I was expecting a lot more.
Dawn
Dec 05, 2010 Dawn rated it it was amazing
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
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Kasey Jueds
May 16, 2012 Kasey Jueds rated it really liked it
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
Robert
Jul 04, 2012 Robert rated it liked it
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
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Joshua
Feb 20, 2014 Joshua rated it did not like it
Shelves: comix, library
The artwork is completely unmoving and the story makes no sense. (view spoiler) ...more
Rita Meade
Jan 04, 2011 Rita Meade rated it really liked it
This book was a dark surprise. Being painfully insecure for a lot of my youth, I found refuge in books and often identified more with their characters than I did with real kids my age. (Thank God we all grow out of that phase, right? Right??) Subsequently, I completely understood the irrational yearning the protagonist felt about rediscovering all the books she's ever read in her life - I imagine it would be like reuniting with old friends. And, as my student loan bills illustrate, I could also ...more
Teresa
Sep 21, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
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.
Liz
The Night Bookmobile is the story of Alexandria who enjoys walking the streets of Chicago at night. One night she comes upon an old Winnebago and, against her better judgment, enters the trailer after being encouraged by its driver, Mr. Openshaw. There, Alexandria finds an entire library filled with all the books she's ever read in her lifetime. She is so intrigued by the library that she stays all night and asks Mr. Openshaw if she can accompany him on the road. He refuses and Alexandria exits ...more
Merrill
Dec 06, 2010 Merrill rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris Springer
Aug 03, 2011 Kris Springer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2011 Wordwizard rated it it was ok
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
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Joanie
This is the second graphic novel/picture book that I have read by Niffenegger in the past few weeks. While the idea that each of us has our own personal bookmobile filled with everything we've ever read is intriguing, I just wasn't that engaged by the story. Part of the issue may be that I read this right after finishing Her Fearful Symmetry and I was annoyed at the way some things were handled in that book. I had similar feelings while reading this-that I just didn't get why the main character ...more
Renée
Dec 16, 2010 Renée rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dec 30, 2011 jess rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2011
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
Marrie
Jun 05, 2015 Marrie rated it liked it
Kinda unsure how I feel about this one. There were a lot of plot holes, and the messages were sort of conflicting, but I did enjoy reading it. I'm really not sure what I think right now.
Bibliofiendlm
Aug 05, 2015 Bibliofiendlm rated it really liked it
Interesting. Very good but possible one of the more traumatic reads of my recent past.
Mycala
Mar 05, 2014 Mycala rated it it was amazing
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
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Aaron
Feb 24, 2014 Aaron rated it really liked it
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
Dec 08, 2013 Jennie Fiddes rated it did not like it
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.

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
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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
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More about Audrey Niffenegger...

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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?” 43 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.” 21 likes
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