I’ve bought this book a week ago in “Rahva Raamat” — one of the coolest bookstores in Tallinn. I’ve read about this one quite a long time ago and thought that it’s a new Haruki Murakami novel, which unfortunately wasn’t translated into the Russian language. But it turned out to be an old short story about a boy, who got lost in a library. More to say, I’ve already read it a couple of years ago.

The Strange Library

This is a story about a young boy who finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. On his way back home from school, he enters the library and gets trapped by a strange old man. The novel is quite surreal: girl, who can speak with her arms, sheep-man, vast labyrinth underneath the building and awakened abilities to memorise books… Good old Murakami atmosphere!

Pros

Book edition. It’s a masterpiece of art! A lot of great illustrations, good paper quality and reasonable price. I don’t buy premium books often, so 17 euros totally worth it. The book is quite thin, only 60 pages at all, but so the novel is. With tonnes of illustrations which set right atmosphere, “The Strange Library” can be a perfect gift for Murakami lovers.

Cons

Same old song. As said before, I’ve already read this one. So no mystery at all.

Overall

Good book if you have spare money and if you like Haruki Murakami. Or if you have a friend who likes Murakami. Or if you like to watch good pictures and don’t like to read. In any other cases just pass it by. “The Strange Library” is an interesting novel, but I’ll not recommend it for ones who didn’t read Murakami at all. There are tonnes of other good books by Murakami you can look at.

Book cover via echoes-empty-mind.blogspot.ru

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