Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Library of Lost Things, by Matthew Bright

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(Fantasy) Tom takes a job as an indexer in a library that exists outside of space and time for the purpose of collecting books and manuscripts (among other things) that were lost. (5,879 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Ann VanderMeer), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: I loved the setting; a good bit of work clearly went into it, since many of the different works described (e.g. La Chasse Spirituelle by Rimbaud) are indeed famous lost works. Likewise, the apparent nonsense words spoken by the rats are all real and occasionally meaningful.

Tom has come to the library solely to find the lost book of his father’s poems. By cleverly copying it onto the reverse side of Genet’s own lost first-version of Notre Dame des Fleurs he manages to bring it with him into the real world.

Jean Genet wrote gay-themed stories in the 1930s, when this was difficult to do.

Con: It’s awfully elaborate for such a small payoff.

We never do see what Tom sees in Genet, who seems to be interested in him purely physically.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 08/23/17)
Matthew Bright Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. For a common trope that I'm predisposed to love nonetheless, this was a particularly fun take on it -- the Librarian, the rats, the speakeasy where they're imbibing forbidden books! The plot itself sort of paled in comparison.

    1. We're looking at ways to recommend stories that have outstanding settings but insignificant plots. Maybe as simple as a note (above the fold) that says simply "Recommended for the fantastic setting, not the plot."