Book Review: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library by Haruki MurakamiThe Strange Library: What it is about

From the publishers: “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.

The Strange Library: What I thought

This is a long short story in a remarkable little book. To open it, you fold the flap at the front upwards, and the flap below it downwards. The text begins on the front page, which feels like it should be an additional cover page. But it’s not. There’s the text, in a kind of courier style, as if type written. There are many page-sized pictures in beautiful colors. What all these pictures mean is not always clearly visible but it’s a pleasure to the eyes.

The story itself is a simple one: A boy goes to the library to borrow a book and gets locked up inside. In order to be released, he has to carry out an impossible task. But there is a girl who may help him.

This is definitely a Murakami story. There is a lot of mystery (who are these people in the library, what do they want of the boy, why don’t his parents wonder where he is, etc.) and the story has a dream-like quality.

A pleasure for the eyes and for the reading mind. Any book lover will need a copy of this book, but Murakami lovers need it yesterday.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)

Number of pages: 96

First published: 2014

I got this book: from my local bookstore

Genre: short story, surrealism

Also read by this authorThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Hear the Wind Sing (and many more, unreviewed, books)


About Judith
I'm owner and editor at and We edit books and articles for independent writers.

4 Responses to Book Review: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

  1. I also enjoyed it very much

  2. Hfineisen says:

    Sounds like a must-read and must-have!

  3. parrish lantern says:

    Not read this one yet, probably will do as with the sheepman in it, it adds to the Rat trilogy. Also love little books of art & words.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Gary, I hadn’t really made the connection that it was the same sheepman. Not sure it is, but then, it’s been a while since I read the Rat books.

      This is definitely a book for you if you like art and words!

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