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The Library at Mount Char

de Scott Hawkins

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,9192146,367 (4.05)97
Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill in this astonishingly original, terrifying, and darkly funny contemporary fantasy. Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for. After all, she was a normal American herself, once.; That was a long time ago, of course--before the time she calls "adoption day," when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father. Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library--and with it, power over all of creation As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her. But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price--because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.… (mais)
  1. 51
    Deuses Americanos de Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
    sturlington: Hawkins' style reminds me of Neil Gaiman.
  2. 30
    The Magicians de Lev Grossman (TFleet)
    TFleet: Both novels are centered in the modern real world, but with a set of young adults who have magical powers. The novels are different takes on the question, "What would the modern real world be like if there were magic?"
  3. 11
    Lexicon de Max Barry (TFleet)
    TFleet: Both novels feature a female protagonist, whose ability with language is crucial, in a life-and-death struggle with antagonists of greater power.
  4. 00
    Duplex: A Novel de Kathryn Davis (KatyBee)
    KatyBee: Unnerving and strange, dark literary writing that follows no rules.
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I really enjoyed this. It never went anywhere I expected it to. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
A Unique and Enjoyable Fantasy

What if there was an all powerful man who stored all of his knowledge in a library that could only be read by his twelve "children"? And what if that man disappeared one day, causing the library to be totally unreachable to those children? This is the mystery at the heart of "The Library at Mount Char". Naturally, of course, if quickly becomes something else entirely - but still very enjoyable.

Like most fantasy novels, it does take a while for the story to really get going. It's always well-written, but the first 25% of the novel, or so, is filled with a lot of exposition that's needed to set up the world of the story. It's important information, but it is a bit of a slog to get through. However, once you get through it, the story definitely takes off.

Throughout the book, the point of view shifts between different characters and a number of interludes shift the action between different times. This was a bit challenging for me to get into, at first, but I did eventually wrap my head around it and all of this point of view shifting and time shifting ends up coalescing in a really interesting conclusion. It's not a super surprising one - the book is definitely littered with clues as to how it eventually ends, but that doesn't make the journey any less fun.

Ultimately, "The Library at Mount Char" is a really fun book. It's very well written, filled with a number of very interesting characters. It tells a wholly complete story, though does feature an epilogue that sort of sets up a sequel were the author to want to revisit the world in the future. If you enjoy weird fantasy stories or stories about quasi-Gods, this is the book for you. ( )
  thoroughlyme | Apr 23, 2021 |
4*
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read. And it was actually pretty good. Things were pretty confusing at the beginning. Storylines slowly came together as timelines changed throughout the plot. Parts of the story dragged a bit as there were parts that didn't feel overly necessary and other parts that felt a bit info dumpy at times. HUGE trigger warnings for animal abuse, rape, suicide, and death. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 25, 2021 |
Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Net Galley.

The Library at Mount Char is a fantastic book, but it’s almost impossible to summarize. Part of the problem is that a lot of the book hangs on misdirection. The main character knows a lot of things that she isn’t telling us, so we have to work with what little the author provides.

This means that to summarize the book past the first few chapters is to spoil some really great surprises. On the other hand, some of the bat-shit weirdness that occurs in later chapters is what made me truly, madly, deeply love this completely insane novel. It’s a bit of a quandary, because I want to recommend this book to everyone I know.

It doesn’t help that the book’s cover looks like the sort of thing you might find on a remaindered thriller in the bargain bin. The design doesn’t really grab you by the face and insist that you start reading the book RIGHT THIS INSTANT.

The basic summary is as follows: Carolyn and her adopted brothers and sisters are apprentice librarians in a massive, strange Library full of books that include all the knowledge in the world. When they were young, all of their parents died suddenly and a mysterious man they call “Father” adopted them. Father is viciously cruel, incredibly dangerous and infinitely powerful… but he’s gone missing and now none of them can get back into the Library. When they discover what actually happened to Father, it may change the fate of the entire universe as we know it.

I started reading Mount Char back in September on my Kindle, but – even though I was definitely enjoying the book – I just didn’t make much progress. It’s gotten to the point that I just don’t finish books quickly unless they’re an audiobook because I can listen to them during my commute. I don’t really set aside time to sit down with a book in front of my face. So, despite the fact that I really enjoyed what I’d read of Mount Char, it ended up languishing on my Kindle to the point that I began forgetting what was going on in the story.

Luckily, my local library has a great selection of books in Overdrive, so I was able to download the MP3 version without waiting for too long. The audiobook has a fantastic narrator who really captures Carolyn’s odd combination of valley girl mannerisms and menacing behavior, so it ended up being the best possible way to read the book.

So, the question is: how do I explain to you what this book is and why you should read it? Well, first off, I think one of the simplest things I can say is that if you enjoy the work of Neil Gaiman, it’ll probably be in your wheelhouse even though it’s simultaneously very different from the sorts of things he writes.

The Library at Mount Char is a dark fantasy with occasional gruesome parts. It’s also absurdly funny. You may go for long stretches of the novel not entirely sure who to root for. You oftentimes won’t understand why the characters are doing what they’re doing. There was a point about two-thirds of the way through when I realized that there was still plenty of story left even though one big thread had wrapped up. It was really exciting because I wasn’t at all sure where Hawkins might be going with the rest of the book.

One of the best parts about The Library at Mount Char is that it is so incredibly confident. The longer you stick with the story, the clearer it becomes that Hawkins knows exactly what he is doing. The way he undermines expectations feels almost gleeful.

The Library at Mount Char is easily one of the best and most exciting books I’ve read in a very long time. I want to buy copies for everyone I know and pester them until they read it. I hope someone eventually figures out a way to turn it into a movie because I’d love to see some of the later scenes dramatized. I can’t recommend it enough. ( )
1 vote unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
How to describe this book? Its dark, disturbing, sometimes terrifying. It refuses to be pinned to a genre. The story can be confusing and convoluted. And yet, its brilliant. The very strange uniqueness of it draws the reader in. I just went from WTF moment to WTF moment all the time scrambling to keep up with what's happening. And yet the story for all its strangeness is tremendously entertaining and thought provoking. I am not sure if this is a standalone or not. I hope it is.

I am not sure how to describe the genre but the closest analogy is Neil Gaiman crossed with really grimdark fantasy. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Hawkins, ScottAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Brand, ChristopherDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Huber, HillaryNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For my sweet-natured and extremely patient wife, Heather, with much love and many thanks.
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Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78.
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Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill in this astonishingly original, terrifying, and darkly funny contemporary fantasy. Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. She's sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for. After all, she was a normal American herself, once.; That was a long time ago, of course--before the time she calls "adoption day," when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father. Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible. In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn't gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient Pelapi customs. They've studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power. Sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God. Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library--and with it, power over all of creation As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her. But Carolyn can win. She's sure of it. What she doesn't realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price--because in becoming a God, she's forgotten a great deal about being human.

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