- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Crown; 1St Edition edition (June 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553418602
- ISBN-13: 978-0553418606
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 669 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Library at Mount Char Hardcover – June 16, 2015
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“Wholly original…the work of the newest major talent in fantasy.”
—Wall Street Journal
"Freakishly compelling...through heart-thumping acts of violence and laugh-out-loud moments, this book practically dares you to keep reading."
An engrossing fantasy world full of supernatural beings and gruesome consequences."
"Vivid...the dialogue sings...you'll spend equal time shuddering and chortling."
—Dallas Morning News"
“A spellbinding story of world-altering power and revenge…Hawkins has created a fascinating, unusual world in which ordinary people can learn to wield breathtaking power—and he's also written a compelling story about love and revenge that never loses sight of the human emotions at its heart. A wholly original, engrossing, disturbing, and beautiful book.”
“An extravagant, beautifully imagined fantasy about a universe that is both familiar and unfamiliar…Hawkins makes nary a misstep in this award-worthy effort of imagination. You won't be able to put it down.”
"A bizarre yet utterly compelling debut...might remind readers of Robert Jackson Bennett's or Neil Gaiman's horror/fantasies.”
—Library Journal (starred)
“A terrific book, full of dark mystery and genuine beauty.”
—Richard Kadrey, New York Times bestselling author of Sandman Slim
“A first-rate novel… a sprawling, epic contemporary fantasy about cruelty and the end of the world, compulsively readable, with the deep, resonant magic of a world where reality is up for grabs. Unputdownable.”
—Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother and Makers
"Funny, horrifying and original…the kind of story that keeps yanking you off in ridiculous new directions every time you think you know what's coming next."
—David Wong, New York Times bestselling author of John Dies at the End
"The most genuinely original fantasy I’ve ever read. Hawkins plays with really, really big ideas and does it with superb invention, deeply affecting characters, and a smashing climax I did not see coming."
—Nancy Kress, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Beggars in Spain
“This book is batshit crazy. From the very first pages, the story grabs you by the guts and doesn't let go. It mashes together fantasy and thriller, love stories and dark comedy, into a wild trip at once unpredictable and unforgettable. You'll never look at a librarian in quite the same way.”
—Keith Donohue, New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child
“A pyrotechnic debut...The most terrifyingly psychopathic depiction of a family of gods and their abusive father since Genesis.”
—Charles Stross, Hugo and Locus Award-winning author of Accelerando and The Apocalypse Codex
"Don't pick up this book unless you want to read something you've absolutely never read before. The Library at Mount Char is funny, bizarre, moving, frightening, and surreal. The most original work I've read in ages."
—Walter Jon Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Destiny’s Way and This is Not a Game
About the Author
SCOTT HAWKINS lives in Atlanta with his wife and a large pack of foster dogs. When not writing he enjoys woodwork, cooking long and impractical recipes, and playing fetch with his dogs. He works as a computer programmer. The Library at Mount Char is his first novel.
Top customer reviews
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I'm picky about what I read from the fantasy genre, and consequently wind up starting, but not finishing quite a few books as a result. I like Gaiman, I like hard sci-fi. And I have come to detest the hackneyed gimmick of "chosen", special twenty-somethings who are going to change their dystopian worlds. Thankfully, refreshingly, this is very different, very wonderful. The story demonstrates appreciation of old mythological archetypes (like Gaiman has) with just enough introduction of exotic mathematic and philosophical theories to ground the fantasy but not confound or distract readers.
The characters are fun and interesting. They're terrifying because of their human characteristics and sometimes sociopathic behaviors acquired during apprenticeships in godhood. When they surprise us with certain actions, the actions are not wholly out of their character UNLESS it is the result of purposeful third-dimensional development.
Scott teased out the correct kind of honest details about growing up and being a young child in the late 70's to make certain settings and interactions between characters feel authentic. Dialogue is well-written and there's nothing extraneous in the narration. Pacing is perfect. I want there to be a sequel, but at the same time I want this to be the only thing of its kind forever, and I am putting off reading it again as a treat to myself when I finish other books in my to-read pile. Can't recommend it highly enough. And I'll be checking out the writing links Scott provided in his acknowledgements in a bid to improve my own work.
A note regarding one-star reviews I've read that are critical of violent scenes and sexual content: This book is not (IMO) overly gory or graphic, and the rape that occurs is described by the character it happens to in the course of a dialogue with another character in what I would consider tasteful terms, the nature of the thing itself considered. There are gunshot wounds described well and appropriately; there is a scene of devastation in a jail when the Mars-like character David comes in to abduct someone, but there is nothing described in here gratuitously. It is all part of the plot and character development. Regarding "confusing timelines", the book is not absolutely linear. There are flashbacks. They are well-placed, IMO, and hell, for a story about a god and his wards who have mastery over things like time and death and small universes, I would feel a little confined if the story was absolutely linear. I have 99% confidence that WRITERS will love this book.
I usually reserve this rating for the classics, the Pulitzer prize winners.
You can list what makes a book great. A great story. Characters that you identify with and care about. Ideas that change your mind set. This book has these qualities in spades.
But there is more. And it has to do with the classification. It's listed as fiction, but you will find it under fantasy. But, that is not what it is. It is about knowledge, research, theory, practice, and science. Science that is not real to us. Possibly, science that never will be. But science is always perceived as magic when first revealed and demonstrated. Writing itself is a practice that flummoxed and confused earlier peoples, certain it was magic and wizardly.
This book shows the practice of:
* manipulating space and time in more than 4 dimensions.
* bestowing immortality, and resurrecting the dead.
* seeing into the future, and manipulating the past: "The past kneels before me."
Carolyn constantly repeats the phrase: "It's not magic, it's not a trick". There is no wizardry, it's study and learning.
It's a cruel book. It's a grim book. Horribly atrocities are committed by both the villains and the heroes -- without guilt or regret:
"Another time Father pierced her heart with a stiletto, but only after telling her what he would do, setting the knife before her on a silver tray, and letting her contemplate it for three full days and nights."
It's a hard book. Steve's life is weighed down hard with grief and guilt. And Carolyn has lost herself, every part, except her "coal heart"
Steve struggles with understanding, struggles with his loss; desperately learning how to give compassion to others -- compassion that he has needed desperately throughout his life.
Carolyn tries to re-discover herself, find herself again. Breath life into her heart of coal.
Should you read this? If you want to see the beauty of joy replacing anger and despair, then yes!
Most recent customer reviews
Fresh and original without having to get all Tolstoy about it, eh?