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The Strange Library

First published in Japan by Kodansha (2008)
Maki Sasaki(Illustrator)

Translated by Ted Goossen

US edition to be published 2nd December 2014 by Knopf:
Hardcover: 96 pages
ISBN: 978-0385354301

UK edition to be published 2nd December 2014 by Harvill Secker :
Hardcover: 96 pages
ISBN: 978-1846559211

All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'

.This is a special illustrated edition of one of Haruki Murakami's short stories.

On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake.

Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?


The book will have full-color art throughout in a lavish volume designed by Chip Kidd, Knopf’s associate art director and long time Murakami cover designer. Kidd said he drew on his own collection of vintage Japanese graphics as inspiration for the design.

Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, said: “We are very excited to be publishing a special illustrated edition of The Strange Library as an unusual gift book for Christmas. Murakami's imagination is unique and this is a wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight his fans."

Knopf’s chairman and editor in chief, Sonny Mehta, called Mr. Murakami’s 96-page book “as scary and surprising as anything he has ever written.”

Illustrating Murakami - New Yorker article on Chip Kidd by Roland Kelts

The Guardian has a preview of Ted Goossen’s translation of The Strange Library, with an exclusive gallery of pages from the illustrated edition.

Read an extract from The Strange Library on Waterstones website

Murakami's The Strange Library shows the e-reading revolution is making books more beautiful - The Independent by Arifa Akbar

Guardian article by Lindesay Irvine

NY Times article by Alexandra Alter



The Strange Library Reviews

The Elusive Qualities of Dreams: On Haruki Murakami’s ‘The Strange Library’ - The Millions review by Buzz Poole

Watch Your Head When Checking Out Murakami's Strange 'Library' - NPR by Alan Cheuse

Seven reasons you must read Haruki Murakami’s new book - review by Arunava Sinha

The Strange Library - Washington Post review by Joseph Peschel

'The Strange Library' Is Classic, Opaque Murakami - Popmatters review by Jon Morris

Strange Library and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - New York Times audio book review by Daniel Handler

Alternate realities: The Strange Library - The Dawn review by Ammara Khan

Slim volume highlights author's idiosyncrasies - review by Kurt Rabin

The Strange Library - Miami Herald review by Kit Reed