Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Librarianist

The LibrarianistThe Librarianist by Patrick deWitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful treat, funny, propulsive, entertaining, story of a solitary librarian, his too-brief marriage, his tidy years into retirement and volunteer efforts in an old folks home. My first from Patrick deWitt, but there'll be others. He has an easy amusing authorial tone, writes well, and presents a cavalcade of unique characters who cross in and out of Bob Comet's life.
"And I suppose you're a fiend for books?"
"I suppose I am."
"I keep meaning to get to books but life distracts me."
"See, for me it's just the opposite."

During a hospital stay, Bob decides:
"After decades of rejecting the television medium he experienced a period of not just watching TV, but watching with enthusiastic interest. All his life he had believed the real world was the world of books; it was here that mankind's finest inclinations were represented. And this must have been true at some point in history, but now he understood the species had devolved and that this shrill, base, banal potpourri of humanity's worst and weakest and laziest desires and behaviors was the document of the time. It was about volume and visual overload and it pinned Bob to his bed like a cat before a strobe light. "

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