BookBrowse Reviews The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt

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The Librarianist

A Novel

by Patrick deWitt

The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt X
The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt
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  • Published:
    Jul 2023, 352 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Chloe Pfeiffer
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About this Book



A moving, quietly funny portrait of one man's life of solitude and literature—a story of love and loss in equal measure, and a tribute to the joy of reading.

Patrick deWitt's The Librarianist begins when Bob Comet, a 71-year-old retired librarian who lives a solitary life in Portland, Oregon, stumbles upon a senior center. "He had no friends, per se; his phone did not ring, and he had no family," deWitt writes, and though Bob isn't unhappy with these circumstances, he's taken with the eccentric group of seniors that he meets, and immediately signs up to volunteer at the center. A lover of literature, he decides to read aloud to the residents; one short story he chooses is Gogol's "The Overcoat," a nod to the type of person one might suspect Bob to be: a tragic everyman, with no life beyond his mundane daily existence. But Bob has faith in the "sideways beauty and harsh humor of the work," as the reader, in turn, learns to have faith in his contentedness and fulfilling inner world.

The Librarianist soon takes us back in time to Bob's ...

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