Tag Archives: adult book review

ARC Review – The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

23164922Title: The Strange Library

Author: Haruki Murakami

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami–a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library. A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, bestselling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination.

Huge thank you for Random House Canada for this ARC!

The Strange Library is certainly one of Murakami’s more unique reads, but I’d argue for such a short book there’s a lot going on, a many mysterious left to the imagination. Actually, this book is insanely imaginative and kind of disturbing, but that’s ultimately what kept me turning the pages.

A kid goes into a library and is essentially taken hostage and forced to read books about taxes in the Ottoman Empire. Of course, he has an ill mother at home and a strong will to escape the hellish library so that he can make it home to her. He meets a voiceless girl and a sheep man, both with a desire to help him escape, and it’s a pretty fast journey.

The translation was one of my favourite aspects of this book, if only because it has this whimsy, creepy sort of tone to it. I mean, being trapped in a library should be a book lover’s dream, but for our nameless hero, it’s an absolute nightmare knowing that his capture is a man who wants to suck the knowledge from his brain. Yeah, disturbing.

This is a really fast read, and a fun one for the most part. It definitely not Murakami’s best work, but it has such a unique presentation with half the book filled with artwork and the other half text. Plus reading it requires the reader to play around with it for a bit. It’s surprising nifty! The ending, however, I admit, it was completely unsatisfying, though that may be because the story is so darn short.

While I don’t think The Strange Library will be for every Murakami fan, I do think it offers a fun, morbid take on libraries and it’s staff. There’s definitely some quirkiness here, and for the right Murakami fan, this book is sure to delight.

Review – Full Colour Cromulence (By Crom! Book 2) by Rachel Kahn

Web_CoverTitle:  Full Colour Cromulence (By Crom! Book 2)

Author: Rachel Kahn

Rating: ★★★★★

Huge thank you to Rachel Kahn for this advance reader copy!

Sam’s Review:

So I have a confession to make: my spouse regularly games with Rachel Kahn so I always get the second hand fun that comes from the gaming sessions and what’s been going down on the Crom-ness. In any case, I love By Crom! and I love the idea that people can have a fictional spirit guide that is their voice of reason, understanding, and of course, inner strength. It’s hard not to love these comics as they deal with real world issues with a touch of Conan’s wise-wisdom of how our heroine should go about her day.

The art in these comics and beautiful and so expressive. I think what I love more is just how much I smile and laugh when I read these. There’s just so much honesty and that always seems to go a long way with me. The only thing that made me sad? Not enough Sam the dog. However, there is a Sam paper doll in the back of the book that I may have to print off, colour in and stick on my desk.

This second installment of By Crom! is worth every penny, and it’s worth supporting. If you want to buy it, you can grab it Big Cartel or check out all of Rachel’s comics here. And just to show you that I am not kidding about how awesome By Crom! is, have a strip to read because Rachel is awesauce.