Saturday, 9 February 2013

Books Read: Sophie Divry - The Library of Unrequited Love

One morning a librarian finds a reader who has been locked in overnight. She starts to talk to him, a one-way conversation full of sharp insight and quiet outrage.

As she rails against snobbish senior colleagues, and ungrateful and ignorant public, the structures of the Dewey Decimal System and the sinister expansionist conspiracies of the books themselves, two things shine through: her unrequited passion for a researcher named Martin, and an ardent and absolute love of books. 

A delightful flight of fancy for the lonely bookworm in all of us...

When a copy of The Library of Unrequited Love dropped through my letterbox to review I wasn't really sure what to expect of it.  It's basically a short story, at only 92 pages, of a French story that has been translated into English.  

At first I thought Uh Oh I'm not sure whether I'm going to like it as it just seemed to be page and page of ranting, about anything and everything.  If I'm honest, if it wasn't such a short story I probably would have given up after the first 30 or so pages but as it was only 92 pages I did read on to the end.

It's basically a one-sided conversation by the librarian who works in the Geography section to the unfortunate soul who'd got locked in overnight who has no means of escape so has no option but to sit there and listen to her. 

He's the outlet she needs to pour out all the frustrations that have building up inside her: so she vents about anything and everything... about the hierarchy system within the library, the way she sees her colleagues, about the different types of visitors to the library, other media types taking over from books as well as how she feels about a young researcher.  But then there's the non-book related topics which include how she came to be in this town in the first place and the French Revolution.  But the one thing that does shine through above all else is that deep down she does love her job as a librarian and she has a real passion for books which as a fellow bookworm I can appreciate.

So now that I've read it, would I read it again?  The honest answer is No.  On the plus side as it is such a short story which makes it a quick read that you can finish in just the one sitting, on the negative side as there are no chapters, if you wanted to stop at a certain point, I normally read on until the end of the chapter when I want a break, you couldn't do that with this book.  Overall I think I'm on the fence on this one, I didn't LOVE it but then again I didn't HATE it either.  

I'd like to thank Nicci at Quercus for sending me a copy of this book to review.

No comments:

Post a Comment