Author(s): Haruki Murakami
'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'. On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake. Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?
Designed by Suzanne Dean.
The Strange Library is a novella about a boy who walks into a library and finds himself in a terrible situation. Wonderfully designed, this book is beautiful: a small hardback with images throughout, laid out perfectly with gorgeous endpapers and compelling details on each page. But it is the text that will take you on the best journey. You will open this book and not close it until you reach the end, delving further into the strange library alongside the boy, hoping for an outcome that will deliver you both back to safety. This is Murakami through and through, with its labyrinth of winding passages for feet and mind, and characters that are part-human (the bird girl and the sheep man), it's sparseness of text which is somehow expansive, and a sense of unease in which we can place our own fears and apprehensions. And above all it is charming. - Stella
I was so excited to see this title come into the shop! It’s a novella, or short story, that has been redesigned for publication in English. This is the British Vintage edition and designed by Suzanne Dean and is yet another gorgeous book that proves that physical books are better than e-books (or at least more versatile). There is also an American edition designed by rock-star graphic designer Chip Kidd. We have some copies on order, and I’m dying to get my hands on one. The story itself is weird and wonderful in true Murakami fashion. Set in a library, it is part horror story, part fairy tale. It left me with a slightly unsettled feeling, as Murakami so often does (that’s one of the reasons I love his work), but also a complete reverence for the possibilities of book design. This is definitely one for the collector’s bookshelf, and a perfect Christmas present for lovers of books and design. - Holly
This beguiling, strange tale, set in the basement of a library, is mysterious and magical. It is contains beautiful and strange illustrations and comes complete with a library pocket on the front cover. Contained within this book is a boy who loves to read and learn, a wicked old librarian, a sheep man and a silent girl. Pick up this book and head off on a strange, slightly frightening journey. - Sarah
Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans.