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The Librarian

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  85 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 ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 26th 2004 by Bold Type Books (first published August 25th 2004)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  411 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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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
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 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
Jul 06, 2011 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
Jun 02, 2009 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."
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops, 2020-reads
PROTAGONIST: David Goldberg, librarian
SETTING: Washington, DC
WHY: David Goldberg is a university librarian who is moonlighting part time organizing the papers of billionaire Alan Carsten Stowe. There is a presidential election going on, and the strategists working for the current president, Augustus Winthrop Scott, are using every dirty trick in the book to get him reelected. The opponents team is doing the same. When Goldberg falls under suspicion of finding top secret information
Roger Scherping
Aug 03, 2014 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 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.
Nov 18, 2009 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.
Nov 02, 2009 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.
Ned Frederick
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

What an interesting bit of fusion fiction. A thriller foremost, and a propulsively-paced delightful concoction it is. But The Librarian is equally a primer on political machinations... a darkly preposterous expose on how exactly the Koch-like mega-bucks in politics corrupts and defiles any assumption of fairness or equal footing in our elections. Although its fiction it leaves you wondering if we can trust what we consume as fact-based reportage, or, more certainly the "truthiness" that advocacy
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although I'm not a reader of political novels, I couldn't put this one down. Written in 2004, a woman is running for president. The GOP officeholder and his money man figuring out a way to steal the election. It is totally not about computers, it's about the people and power.

The author also wrote a movie, Wag the Dog, with a similar subject. The world we actually live in seems like a thriller, when viewed from afar.

Quote: Fog Facts: That is, it was not a secret. It was known. But it was not
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The publish date on this book is 2004, but it reads so much current events that I wonder if the author has some secret source in the presidential cabal.

Funded by real estate transactions, a very wealthy individual is able to pretty much control the US government. The president seems largely a puppet, not too bright but willing to appoint heads of industry to cabinet positions. As an example, the Secretary of State was an oil executive. There's also the Black Water types in Homeland Security. The
Heather Henderson
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read American Hero years ago and really liked it. Never saw Wag the Dog, the name they gave the movie version. News commentators keep referring to "wag the dog" so I googled the author and have taken out The Librarian. Really enjoying it! Published in 2004, it foreshadows some of today's (2018) govermental situations. I am slowly acquiring a liking for the librarian. So far the action is packed. I am enjoying that.
Finished! Rich right-wing white guys plot to corrupt the US presidential
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first read this while GWBush was President and it scared me to death. When everyone is controlled by the President and his henchpeople, there is NO ONE TO TURN TO! And now that we have DJT in the White House, it is even more scary.
There is some gratuitous violence that is upsetting but the main point of it is how easily democracy can be subverted and killed. Great book that everyone should read.
Wyckliffe Howland
Jun 07, 2017 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.
Debbie Kirsch
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great page-turner! It was really creepy that this was published in 2004, because it resonates so much with the disgraceful, repulsive antics of our current "Leader" of the U.S. I loved the hero, a mild-mannered, middle-aged librarian. And the secondary characters were entertaining, though the bad guys really made me shudder. Certainly a ripped-from-the-headlines book.
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why Read The Librarian

...because it has more value, is easier to read then Fire&Fury (read both). The Librarian is prescient of todays political drama, mishaps, & intrigue. Its the G. Orwell saga for this 2K generation.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I most enjoyed the first fourth of this book when the political satire and library satire were the most biting. That was some snarky satire! The adventure/action part started out fun but quickly started to drag, in my opinion.
Nancy Keefer
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed it - but perhaps a large measure was because of the topic and current events?
Even though this is right up my alley, it's not quite what I want to read right now - I'll have to get back to it.
A political thriller, not my usual reading but lent to me because of the hero
librarians. It was fun.
Alan Menachemson
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! Paced, clever, funny...lots of seemingly truth and scare here
An intelligent thriller with enough coincidences to make to smile and love it more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A terrific political thriller. Art imitates life. And hooray for librarians!
S. B.
Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Larry Beinharts The Librarian would make the perfect passive aggressive Christmas gift for conservative family. Its a political thriller, made with a heaping cup of Bush satire and GOP-bashing.

The books 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 is
Nov 07, 2016 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 08, 2008 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
Mar 01, 2008 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
Oct 17, 2013 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
Mar 18, 2008 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 ...more
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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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