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Bookbed reviews: ‘The Strange Library’ by Haruki Murakami

by KB Meniado

The last time I picked up a Murakami book was when I won 1Q84 from Mensis Liber in 2013. It was a challenging read, to say the least, and after that, I kind of crossed him out for a while from my reading pile. This book, with its beautiful packaging and all, got me to reconsider.


From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages. Read reviews: Goodreads


THE HARD COVER EDITION, RIGHT? An office mate lent me her copy, and the illustrations were so pretty!


I wanted to like this one—after all, there’s an inquisitive boy, a mysterious girl, a sheep man and a brain-eating old man—but I have an issue with Murakami portraying the library, home of wonderful words, in an unpleasant light.

But that’s Murakami for you. He turns the ordinary and mundane into something else—something either terrifying or magnificent.


“All I did was go to the library give Murakami a chance to borrow some books. and now I’m sucked into another world. Yet again.” 


5 responses to “Bookbed reviews: ‘The Strange Library’ by Haruki Murakami”

  1. Weird, I thought the message was that if you’re looking for
    (including really strange ones) adventure the library is the place to go. Well, say I’m just biased. He’s in my list of favorites. Nyahaha. 😀


  2. Haven’t read this one but I agree that the illustrations were pretty.

    Murakami’s one of my favorites because of Sputnik Sweetheart and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his amazing use of narrative prose. But yeah, he does not strike everyone’s fancy.

    I might give this one a try, though. (^_^)v


    1. Yeah, Murakami shines in short stories. I remember being mesmerized by the surreal, wabi sabi-ish narratives in After the Quake.

      “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” is a staple part of our discussion in World Lit (most of my students like it).


    2. YES! I LOVE THAT ONE. I don’t know why but somehow it made me (and some of my classmates) laugh. But it was cute and I really liked it. Murakami’s popular in our class in college, too. 😀 A college friend collects his books and I borrow the copies from him. I enjoy his short stories because sometimes, his novels can get a bit dragging. (Like Kafka on the Shore) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I bought this book for the same reason. I’m still undecided whether I like it or not! HAHA


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