Skip to content
Account Login Winnipeg Toll-Free: 1-800-561-1833 SK Toll-Free: 1-877-506-7456 Contact & Locations

parsed(2023-07-04) - pubdate: 07/23
pub date: 1688446800
today: 1713330000, pubdate > today = false

nyp: 0;

The Librarianist

A Novel

July 4, 2023 | Hardcover
ISBN: 9781487009915
Reader Reward Price: $29.69 info
Out of stock. Available to order from publisher. We will confirm shipping time when order has been placed.
Checking Availibility...



From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes the story of Bob Comet, a man who has lived his life through and for literature, unaware that his own experience is a poignant and affecting narrative in itself.

Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books and small comforts in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he's known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center. Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed.

Behind Bob Comet's straight-man façade is the story of an unhappy child's runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian's vocation, and of the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Bob's experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsized players to welcome onto the stage of his life.

With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert's condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.

About this Author

ISBN: 9781487009915
Format: Hardcover
Pages: n/a
Publisher: House of Anansi Press Inc
Published: 2023-07-04


Bob Comet, a retired librarian ... brings to mind John Williams' Stoner and Thoreau's chestnut about 'lives of quiet desperation,' but it is telling that deWitt chooses to capture him at times when his life takes a turn. A quietly effective and moving character study.

Gripping, random, and totally alive.

A bittersweet tale of a retired librarian ... deWitt imbues the people he meets with color and quirks, leaving a trail of sparks ... This one gradually takes hold until it won't let go.

The Librarianist is another charmer from an author who knows how to delight.

A page-turner... an entertaining menagerie of strange characters and numerous apt and evocative phrases. And the divergent possibilities in the novel's ambiguous ending scene give readers two very different stories to ponder after the final word.

Bright and entertaining from beginning to end.

deWitt's great gift lies in his ability to depict the Everyman in extremis - heroism hidden in plain sight.

A touching, affectionate novel showing, without cliché or agenda, that engagement in old age is a courageous act to be applauded.

deWitt's writing and endearing characters create a memorable world.

deWitt is at his best writing dramatic and comedic scenes ... He's a writer who plays with the conventions of the realist novel.

The Librarianist is a novel that's interested in happiness ... There are elements to be savoured in the nuance of particulars on the page.

deWitt's great achievement is in creating, perhaps for the first time, a character whose very ordinariness is his defining feature ... The aching heart of The Librarianist is a piercing seriocomic character study of isolation and abandonment.

A character study of almost defiant gentleness.

deWitt is one of the great literary ventriloquists, producing funny, quirky, richly imagined novels shaped each time by a wildly different narrative voice.

This novel begs to be read.

Filled with profound heartbreak and humour ... After just a few pages of acclimatization to his style, we're immersed in deWitt's world.

Utterly charming ... Characters come alive immediately on the page and there's simply an energy to deWitt's books that make them pleasurable to spend time with.

Personal and existential ... deWitt cobbles together a complicated but heartfelt treatise on introversion and the value of a life lived through books ... [The Librarianist] never strays far from what makes his novels so delightful: his dexterity with language, his interest in what happens when words fail, and the rare moments where they land.

Quirky [and] Incredibly unique ... Not only entertaining, but award-worthy.

DeWitt is a fabulous stylist and unquestionably gifted storyteller ... The Librarianist stands out most when [he] explores the depths of human relationships and traces the evolutionary development of one man for whom fellow humans have led to unplanned disappointments.

If the product is in stock at the store nearest you, we suggest you call ahead to have it set aside for you, or you may place an order online and choose in-store pickup.