- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: MacLehose Press (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1623654033
- ISBN-13: 978-1623654030
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Library of Unrequited Love Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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"It's funny, sad, and agreeably discursive . . . There isn't a dull page or even a dull sentence . . . In short, this is a very accomplished and delightful debut."―Allan Massie, The Scotsman
"We're in Anita Brookner territory here . . . Sophie Divry brilliantly captures the voice of a frustrated lady librarian past her prime."―The Evening Standard
"[An] eloquent debut . . . Cultural knowledge and insights into human nature are perfectly woven in this original novel, which deserves all its critical praise."―Rachel Kitson, The Independent
"Thoroughly entertaining, but also tinged with sadness, The Library of Unrequited Love is a slim, strongly written novel."―The National
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Top customer reviews
A few of the librarian's remarks are amusing, but most are sad (especially when she reveals her lust for someone who visits her reading room regularly). Her comments often come across as the ramblings of an unhinged and irrational loner. For example, at first she praises reading: "You're never alone if you live surrounded by books. They lift my spirits." Later on, she says, "You never feel so miserable as in a library...Books can't do anything for us." At one point, she gives kudos to the creator of the Dewey Decimal System, praising the genius who "methodically arranged all human knowledge." On page 82, she reverses course. Now, she decides that it is "a perverse invention, an instrument of torture.... Stupid, anarchic, mega-moronic. The Dewey system is a secret code invented by the Axis of Evil...." As the narrative progresses, it becomes clear that this person needs to get a grip. This is too bad, since on page 65, there is some very good writing: "Borrow, because as much as accumulation of material things impoverishes the soul, cultural abundance enriches it." In addition, "The library is the place where the greatest solidarity between humans takes place." These are sentiments that most of us can applaud.
I loved this monologue. The book is short, but it consists of one very long paragraph. It's very original and I enjoyed this clever librarian's words so much. She has some excellent points of view and a fabulous and eloquent way with words. I read this book in one go and enjoyed every minute of it. Sometimes it's like a rant, then the librarian is sensitive and observant and at other times she's telling honestly about her self-image. Everything was threaded together so well and the author never even missed a single stitch. I liked the admiration the librarian has for Martin and the words she uses to describe him. Apparently it's a one-sided love, but as there's no dialog or interaction I will never find out if it's true or not. I loved that and I was thoroughly intrigued. This book is perfect for any book lover and I'm glad I received it as a gift as it's absolutely fabulous!
From the moment I opened the book and read that one line, I knew this book was for me. I could not have put it in better words, Sophie Divry spoke to me directly with that dedication.
I was looking for a short, quick read to get me from one book to another. I had been reading a lot of heavy material lately, and I needed that little breather in between. So when I saw this book by Sophie Divry, and read the synopsis, I had to get it. And I'm glad I did.
I finished reading it in a little over an hour, as it is quite a short book, but also because it is a very gripping, brilliantly written monologue that you just cannot put the book down halfway through the narrator's (librarian's) rant - the rant goes on for about a 100 pages.
The story is basically about a librarian who works in the Geography section at the basement of the library. She walks in one day to find a poor soul sleeping there after being locked in the previous night. She takes that as an opportunity to pour out all her frustrations, disappointments, discontentment, but also her hopes, dreams and feelings. She vents to this stranger more than she's ever done before. And thus begins her incredible 100-page monologue. In just a few pages, Divry was able to make us feel for this woman and connect with her in unimaginable ways.
I found it a very captivating read. One that you could complete in one sitting. I definitely recommend it to any and all book lovers out there.
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