Book Review; The Strange Library

by - 5:37:00 PM

Hi hello and Assalamualaikum!

Since I have a lot of free time this semester break, this blog will be 'alive' again for awhile. So, I will update plenty of book/movie review that I read/watch before.

When I returned to my home sweet home, the first thing I had in my mind was to read the awful lot of books that I bought but never finished them. I opened my goodreads account, and I admit I left behind a lot. So, this holiday, I am determined to catch up what I had been missing before.

So, this book is not physically a book (as you can see) and I bought it in the form of e-book.

Title: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Year: 2014

Genre: Fantasy

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 doughnuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying about why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have appetite for eating small boys' brains. How will he escape?

Review: (4/5 stars)

This is the first book I read from Haruki Murakami. Because I was quite left behind, I happened to know him later than anybody else (pretty sad isn't it) so I decided to start off with something 'light' like this book.

Though I consider this book 'light', don't expect you will find anything 'normal' within this story, because from the start till the end all the events seems weird to me. (Maybe not the first second page, it's still pretty normal btw) I thought that maybe the events in this book is metaphor of something.

Another speciality of this book is it has many graphics. And the world knows how I love graphics.

The boy went to the library to search for a book. He was lead to a room in a basement, meeting an old man, who refused to let this boy out once he found the book. The old man gave excuse that the books the boy was holding can only be read at another special room, and lead the boy through a maze (a maze inside library?) until he reach to a jail. That's the special room. At the jail, he met a sheep-costumed man, who served foods (doughnuts mostly) and drinks to him everyday, and a girl who was mute but talks using her hands. He was planning to escape and asked the sheep man to join, but the sheep man refuse to join because he was afraid of the old man.

All I can say is, this story is like some sort of story that you had mostly in your dream. Well, everything can happen in our dream, right? We can fly, talk with animals, large beach in a house, etc. Everything that seems nonsense, but in our dream we tend to accept that nonsense like it's a normal thing. I'm not good at explaining this, but that's how I think this story look like. It gave that dreamy vibes. At the same time, it has few thriller elements (what with a man eating human brains like a zombie etc.) It can be dreamy and dark at the same time.

Metaphors that I can think of about this story are how awfully obedient we are, we tend to say 'yes' for both right and wrong things, and the importance of knowledge, which is the most valuable assets for everyone and should be treated with care (someone can go as far as 'eating' them like a zombie), and helpfulness like the sheep man and the mute girl, and another complicated metaphors I still can't think of.

After reading this book till the end, you can't help but feeling disturbed for a few hours. Because the ending is so weird, plus how the author potraying loneliness, it's a little bit confusing too.

So, that's all for my review. Will be coming with another review, In shaa Allah! Goodbye for now!

best wishes, 

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