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Preview — The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
The Strange Library
The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotti ...more
It has elements of Kafka, Borges, Roald Dahl, Hillaire Belloc and Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, with a dash of Orwell (but one digit out). It looks like a beautifully designed and illustrated children's book, though it's rather dark for small children, and YA feels wrong as well.
I think it's a book for adults who like slightly sinister tales and want to recapture a taste of the frisson of fear they relished when young.
The story is a fairly s ...more
Originally published: November 1982. Short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library. A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, bestselling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination.
A boy visits his local library on the way home from school. When he asks to borrow a book, he is directed to Room 107 in the basement where a stern old man confr ...more
I think a grown man (see shoe illustration) is reliving a sad childhood memory.
I think the setting in the bowels of THE STRANGE LIBRARY represents loneliness.
I think the nasty ogre with scary eyes means to show us fear.
I think the starling represents worry and loss.
I think the sheep brings memories of kindness that absorb pain, and
“Because brains packed with knowledge are yummy, that’s why. They’re nice and creamy. And sort of grainy at the same time.”
I have a confession to make ... The Strange Library is the first work of Haruki Murakami I've ever read. There, I’ve said it. One of my best friends, Srđan, kept pushing me to read something of Murakami's. To Srđan, Murakami is a mythic figure ~~ I'm certain he makes the sign of the cross every time the ...more
Haruki Murakami has a fascinating ability to break open the natural world and let loose all the magic that we hope and suspect is lurking right under the surface. The Strange Library is a cause for celebration in the Murakami ouveur, even just for the simple fact that its existence signals that the well-respected novelist has achieved a superstar status in the world of reading; even more wort ...more
The Strange Library is a children's illustrated novel written by Haruki Murakami. The story centers around a boy who finds himself imprisoned in a labyrinth-like library. The book centers around strange, dark themes and words for a children's book. Some regular Murakami-esque features are present here in their full glory.
It is hard to tell what the moral of this strange tale i ...more
When translation of "The Strange Library" was announced with a release of just mere months after his most recent novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, it was like Christmas came early for me. As with most Chip Kidd-designed Murakami covers, "The Strange ...more
"Happy New Year Brendon", came the distinctive voice.
"And to you Moriko", I replied.
"Oh Brendon, you remembered. I am Moriko. It means 'child of the forest'."
"Moriko I haven't even taken 'The Strange Library' out of it's plastic cover yet. Your research skills are still good, but your timing seems to be ...more
When I placed a hold on this, I did so thinking it was a full length novel, not an 87 page novella. With just about any other author, I would have returned it unread when I saw how short it is.
But! The author is Haruki Murakmi so I knew it would be a good story despite its brevity. I knew it would be something I'd get lost in for the duration of its pages.
Ah, Haruki, Haruk ...more
I can understand what the author is trying to convey through this short fantasy/magical realism book.
I can feel the fear, the uncertainty, the relationship with the strangeness of reality, the unexpected inevitable turn of events and some memories that would never leave.
It's so beautiful. I kept wanting for more but the book ended so fast 🙄 ...more
The only good thing about this book is its unique and attractive look. The cover has ...more
In the dream world, everything is slightly askew. The rules of reality don’t apply. Two people can be one and one can b ...more
Thoughts on Translation: "The Strange Library" by Haruki Murakami
Published December 2nd 2014
My first Murakami experience.
I’ve always avoided Murakami. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I don’t read Japanese. Or maybe it’s because I’m very particular about the use of stream-of-consciousness and magic realism in a story. Saramago is to stream-of-consciousness what Borges is to magic realism. José Saramago is for me the Nirnava when it co ...more
And ever since I was little my mother had told me, if you don’t know something, go to the library and look it up.
OK! That’s sound advice. I should know: I once had four different library cards in my pocket, before I even heard of these things called internet and cable television. But this is Japan (have you seen those super weird game shows they love so much?) and this is a Murakami short story, so a library visit can take you to unexpected and bizarre (dark) places.
A young boy interested in h ...more
Weird and wonderful, it reads something like Hansel & Gretel Get Trapped in The Black Lodge from David Lynch's Twin Peaks. Don't expect a novel or even a novella here though. It's definitely a short story and it can be read in an hour. But what a fun hour! Very "condensed soup Murakami", it's chock full of his trademark surrealism (an underground world, a Jungian ...more
Dropping in to the library on a whim to find something out on his way home from school, our main character is led to the depths of the dungeon where he's held captive, along with some very usual people.
The presentation adds a whole lot to the experience here, with illustrations and reproductions of old b ...more
What to make of it? I'm not really sure. Is it really about a library? Somehow I doubt it as Murakami is never "about" any single thing.
A young boy goes to the library after school looking for specific books (on Turkish tax codes of all things). The librarian offers to find them but then the strangeness begins. There are so many conditions to reading the books that life itself is imperiled.
Is this a fable of childhood fears? A fable of fears of institutions with strange ...more
I had just finished "The Garden of Forking Paths". I was about to start some Kafka, but I wandered into a $10 bookshop to see if there was anything that I could read in between. I looked at the front table. Nothing. Inside I wondered about a book about Heidegger. I went back to it twice, but decided I had enough Heidegger for the moment. I resolved to be virtuous and save my money for another occasion. I had one last look at the front table on the way out, and ...more
*Note to self: You don't need to please everyone and seek approval*
Murakami and his wild imagination, he leaves some questions unansered, and it makes you really think. The Strange Library is a mysterious book and one that can only be read and felt and you can have your own theories.
Looking forward to reading more of Murakami's works. He reminds me of Neil Gaiman, anyone else ...more
I say "do as you please, Murakami". But I've been accused of being self-indulgent in my own writing, at times, too.
If you don't like what Mu ...more
This was a sweet-horror (strange association, I know) little story, about a boy and his thirst for knowledge, and I loved its every word until the end, which I hated with all my being! Damn it, Murakami! Yes, pursuit of knowledge follows a thorny path and often, there is no room for anything else, but the story is about a b ...more
If you don't know something, go to the library and look it up.When I first read The Strange ...more
The Strange Library is an excellent story, one of Murakami’s best and certainly his most entertaining I’ve read in years. With its child protagonist, fantastical elements, anthropomorphic animal character and maze, the story remin ...more
The Strange Library is sure to be engagingly familiar for most Murakami fans, regarding the set, the props, and the unlikely hero. There is a solitary, inward-looking boy; an ordinary public building containing a profound mystery; a hidden labyrinth; a sinister and grotesque man looming over the boy's life in a threatening way; a sheep man (I have to admit to a soft spot for Murakami's recurring sheep-man character -- in this story, he even ...more
It doesn't matter to me if a particular age group does or doesn't seem to be a target. In our public library this book is shelved with the author's other works and that is just fine. Maybe I was a strange child (I still remember a friend ...more
I think it's a very odd little book for adults who like slightly sinister tales and want to recapture a taste of the frisson of fear they relished when young.
Haruki Murakami has a fascinating ability to break open the natural ...more
But I'm glad I got this book from the library-it took an hour to read (at most) and is not my favorite Murakami.
But then my feelings about it keep changing. It's my least favorite Murakami (I think) but the format is so interesting and fun it's a large part of how the story is to ...more
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Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am ...more