The night bookmobile / Audrey Niffenegger.
Booklist Reviews 2010 October #2
*Starred Review* Niffenegger's love for and wariness about libraries is threaded through her best-selling first novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), and blossoms poisonously in her first graphic novella. An artist given to elegantly eerie and clever drawings, as seen in her two illustrated novels, Niffenegger makes supple use of the graphic format in this pensive and unnerving story. Alexandra is out walking late one night on a quiet Chicago street after a fight with her boyfriend when she happens upon an old Winnebago that turns out to be a magical mystery bookmobile open between "dusk and dawn," and piloted by Robert, a gentleman librarian who serves tea. Even more strangely, its collection comprises every book Alexandra has ever read. She is galvanized. She looks for the bookmobile every night and longs to work with Robert. Years go by. Alexandra reads incessantly and becomes a librarian. Yet still she is refused a place on the bookmobile, until one especially grim night. With beautifully complex perspectives, lustrous and moody colors, and refined expressiveness, Niffenegger has created a haunting cautionary tale about solitude, obsession, and the unfathomable power of books. Originally serialized in the Guardian in England, this is the first provocative volume in a larger work titled The Library. While the book is best suited for adult collections, teens who like classy and psychologically subtle spooky tales will shiver happily over this gorgeous short story as well. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2010 September #2
Pacing the 4 a.m. streets of Chicago after boyfriend trouble, Alexandra happens on a bookmobile, lit up and blaring "I Shot the Sheriff." And it's her bookmobile, as it houses every book she has ever read—plus every cereal box, letter, and scribble. Unfortunately, it closes at dawn, so she can't stay long, and librarian Mr. Openshaw explains that she cannot borrow anything and he cannot hire her. Deeply enthralled, Alexandra seeks the bookmobile again and again, even changing her life to become a librarian (and breaking up with the boyfriend). It is not just books she seeks, however, but her own books, her own past, her own identity. This story amounts to a parable about accepting the losses of adulthood, to let go of the wish to hold forever a complete remembrance and understanding of the self. VERDICT Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife) has packed a captivating and eerie story into this short work, originally a webcomic for The Guardian and inspired by an H.G. Wells story. The clear-line color art emphasizes the mystical realism. A unique literary title recommended for adult collections.—M.C.[Page 51]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2010 August #3
Novelist and visual artist Niffenegger brings the dark dreaminess that characterized her bestselling novels to her first full-length graphic novel. After a fight with her boyfriend one night, Alexandra goes for a walk and comes upon a bookmobile. When she goes inside to look at the books, she discovers that it's a library of her own reading history; every book she's ever read, including her diary, is on the shelf. As her life continues, she searches for the bookmobile, but years go by before she finds it again. Meanwhile she becomes a librarian and a loner, eventually deciding that she wants to work in the bookmobile, though the price for doing so is high. Niffenegger's full-color art has a naïve tone, with sometimes stiff figures, and text written in childlike script. The simplicity of the images contrasts with sophisticated page layouts in which she plays with panels and perspective. The story was originally serialized in the Guardian, and in an afterword, Niffenegger reveals that the book is the first volume in a larger project. At heart this romantic, melancholy tale is a paean to reading and to the life one person lives through books. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.