Patrick deWitt The Librarianist


Code 9781526646934
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'I absolutely adored it' NINA STIBBE **Selected as a Washington Post Book of the Summer** From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes a novel about an ordinary man who thought life's surprises were behind him - until a chance encounter changed everything


Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books 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 facade 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 the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Comet'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.


Praise for Patrick deWitt:

'A triumph from a writer truly in the zone' Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette 'deWitt remains a true original' Guardian 'One of the most talented young writers around' Sunday Times

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'I absolutely adored it. I loved Bob - his position over to the side of charisma and horribleness, out of the game, his notions and his demeanour ... This beautiful book took me far away from all my concerns. It's so wonderful, soothing and heartbreaking'
- Nina Stibbe

'Wildly imaginative, genre-defying'
- Washington Post, Books of the Summer 2023

'A touching, affectionate novel, showing ... that engagement in old age is a courageous act to be applauded'

'Gripping, random, and totally alive ... Readers come to deWitt for his brand of slightly off-kilter storytelling blessed with exuberant characterizations, gleeful dialogue, and a proprietary blend of darkness and charm, all strung up in lights here'
- Booklist

'An old man's routines are interrupted by a woman in pink in this wistful fable ... A quietly effective and moving character study'
- Kirkus

'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'
- Publishers Weekly


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