The Library at Mount Char

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Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78.
–Scott Hawkins - The library at Mount Char - c.2015

Part of my RIP reading

Carolyn is a librarian. Or at least that is word her Father uses. That is the term she uses for herself. But what she does is not what you might think when you hear the word librarian. Most librarians, after all, don’t murder people as part of their work. Maybe CIA librarians? And very very few librarians that I have met also resurrect people. It’s just not that common. Unless you happen to be one of Father’s librarians, or students.

In the 1970s one of Father’s enemies launched an attack on him. He survived, but many did not, so Father took 12 orphans into his house, to raise as his Pelapi, or librarians. Each was given a specific catalogue or area of study and set to learning all they possibly could.

The Library at Mount CharBut now Father is missing. The librarians can’t get back into the house. Somebody has moved against Father and they need to find out who, why, and if they can stop them.

And that is all you need to know about the plot of this book. The less you know going in the better, although I would really recommend that you read it. It is a fantastic book. I pretty much devoured it in two sessions. Nom nom nom.

I decided to read it because Kameron Hurley mentioned it very favourably on her blog and then SF Signal also mentioned it as a book that people needed to pick up so I followed instruction and did so. It is great. And I agree with both of those reviews, you really should read this book.

It covers some weird and nasty things, rape, murder, end of the world, torture. But it also has a lot of compassion in it. It is a disturbing look at how to turn good people into monsters, how revenge can drive people to horrible consequences. It is also full of humour and wonder.

You can read an excerpt from it here and see if it’d suit you. If that opening doesn’t grab you then I don’t know what will.

Post Author: Fence

3 thoughts on “The Library at Mount Char

    jenclair

    (13 September 2015 - 2:24 pm)

    What a strange-sounding book. I’m not at all sure if I would like it, but find myself interested in several of the elements you mention, especially the “librarian” orphans!

      Fence

      (15 September 2015 - 6:58 pm)

      It is strange. And maybe you wouldn’t enjoy it, but it is certainly different enough to give it a try at some point :)
      Twitter: ecnef

    Happy New Year – Susan Hated Literature

    (2 January 2016 - 3:37 pm)

    […] The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins […]

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