And that's what you would normally go to the library for — borrowing books. Not getting trapped in a hidden reading room, forced to memorise books on Ottoman Empire tax collection methods with the threat of having your brains eaten by an old librarian if you fail.
This is exactly what happens to the young narrator of The strange library, who, on his way home from school, decides to sate his curiosity at the local library? Big mistake. Quickly, he finds himself locked in a small cell with three books to memorise in one month, and two strange fellow prisoners for company. The old man who he thought would help wants his brains as payment for using the library, and his mother is waiting for him at home, surely worried out of her mind. How will he escape?!
For something titled The strange library, it's strangely apt I came across it while working in a library. The book itself is as whimsical as the story, with images taken from The London Library's archives accompanying text set in a typewriter font. It's a short story, and the plot reads almost like a children's book if it weren't for the underlying sinister quality that carries it over to adult fiction.
This book is enchanting, bizarre, and creepy — everything Murakami. Check it out!
Title: The strange library
Author: Haruki Murakami
Sucheta R is based in Grey Lynn Library. When she doesn't read, she has an overflowing shelf full of books and an ever-growing to-be-read pile. When she does read, it’s two or three books at the same time: a few chapters here, a few chapters there and a few more somewhere else. Sucheta likes dystopian sci-fi, contemporary fantasy, satire, young adult, and the occasional classic.