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29 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and Engaging
Translated from the French, this debut novella from Sophie Divry, is a wonderfully quirky and very engaging story, which I read from cover to cover in one enjoyable sitting.

One morning, a middle-aged female librarian arrives at her place of work and prepares to open the Geography section, situated in the basement of the building. This is the section of the...
Published 18 months ago by Susie B

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's unlike anything I've read before
Sophie Divry's The Library of Unrequited Love is very a short story you can easily devour, from cover to cover, in one sitting. I'll be totally honest here: it's been a while since I finished reading it and I still don't know what to make of this book. What I know for certain is that it's unlike anything I've read before.

Firstly, the book doesn't have any...
Published 18 months ago by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits, and Tea


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3.0 out of 5 stars but was very disappointed. The central character comes over as obsessive, 20 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
As a librarian, I was really looking forward to reading this, but was very disappointed. The central character comes over as obsessive, contradictory, aggressive and unlikeable (she does not get on with her colleagues, and sadly, I didn't get on with her at all, either). Although I can relate to some of the library humour, I found much of it tedious. For a debut novel, it is an original approach, and all credit to the author for trying to do something different, but for me, it just didn't work. I actually think that if pruned, it would make an excellent stage monologue, however, as a lot of play could be made with the unknown library reader, and the format of the novel would be far better suited to this genre.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Unrequited reading, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
If you read the blurb on the cover you don't need to read the book. I kept expecting something to happen something more to be revealed. Just a boring monologue.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a fan., 15 Jun 2014
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Jennifer May (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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I really wanted to like this one. It sounded perfect for me, but I just opened it to read the first chapter...and then I discovered that there were no chapters. Not even line breaks. Not even paragraphs. The entire story is just one giant paragraph so once you start reading (if you're like me and have to finish at the end of a chapter) you can't stop until you're done.

The protagonist (and only person you hear) was also kind of annoying and got on my nerves after the first few pages.

Not bad for a short read, but I hoped for more
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4.0 out of 5 stars The story of a woman's life., 8 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
Like many others, I read this from cover to cover in a single go. It only took a couple of hours. The plot as such, involves a librarian talking non-stop at a trapped reader. Unable to escape he (or she - for we don't learn which) can only listen.
In a stream of consciousness monologue, we are treated to the story of this woman's life, loves, and losses. Life hasn't been particularly kind to this woman. It's rather overlooked her. She's slightly brittle and wary of further disappointment. But she does love books, and not only books.
Our narrator has lots of opinions, which she freely shares. For example she doesn't travel, `because Napoleon has always been there first.'
Don't expect much of a plot, it's a vignette. One woman's view on the world she inhabits, where hope burns eternal.
Despite it's brevity, and lack of plot, our librarian narrator is quite a fully fleshed character, and I was left hoping everything would all turn out right for her in the end.
Jane Hetherington's Adventures in Detection Omnibus (Books 1-3)April (Jane Hetherington's Adventures in Detection)
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not good, 19 May 2014
This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
I found this utterly tedious. The language is as flat as a pancake, or crepe or something, the content is as light as the batter the crepe was made... No, no - don't keep that going, otherwise I will end up saying this was as unsatisfying as a galette with no filling. Oh no, zut, I said it.

Dull, dull, dull; waffle, waffle, waffle. Oops.

Phillip
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read, 4 April 2014
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This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
A middle-aged female librarian works in the geography section, in the basement of a library. When she arrives at work one morning (ahead of opening time) she finds that a man has been locked in overnight. So, she starts chatting with him--and it turns into a long, rambling, stream of consciousness rant. The influence of Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground" can be detected here--but the tone is different, and it is funny in a different way. It is not a full length novel, but a novella, so quickly read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sophie Divry novel, 28 Mar 2014
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The title was interesting as was the scenario particularly since it was a French novel in translation so I expected subtlety. However, it was tendentious and sadly boring. I was not sure what the writer was trying to do or 'say' . I did persevere and on the plus side learnt a thing or two about the French library system.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Librarian's Wail of Books, Life & Love, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
I read this jewel in one sitting yesterday & adored it. Admittedly it followed 2 very disappointing books in a row, but I found this to be an unexpected palate cleanser that has renewed my faith in authors (but then French books often have that effect on me). Loved the French setting which is both well rendered by the translator to somehow make it familiarly French and recognisably English & I liked the sudden unburdening by our Heroine Librarian to some poor old unsuspecting tramp caught napping in the basement geography section.

Some might find the continous flow of text a bit off putting if you're not used to that sort of writing, but its the most accessible of that style I've seen recently & its laugh out loud funny.

Give it a go & you'll never see your local librarian in quite the same light ever again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A book of unrequited potential, 26 Feb 2014
By 
Ms. A. Brooke "Anne Brooke" (Godalming, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This is an interesting concept - a brief novella which is purely and simply a diatribe from a downtrodden but ultimately rebellious librarian. It's a brave book therefore, but it's let down by the sheer lack of paragraphs and the sense of well-trodden cliche that hovers over the first half to three-quarters of the story.

The lack of paragraphs gave me a feeling of being trapped inside the book - which is of course the feeling the librarian in her library room has, but even she pauses to pursue other trains of thought. Paragraphs at those sections would have been useful to the reader.

The cliche of course is obvious: a love-sick librarian with a secret passion for an unobtainable student and a series of deep-set grudges to reveal, and there were times when the cliche was simply overwhelming and I thought about giving up. Even in a book with a mere 96 pages. However, the last five or six pages are simply brilliant and well worth ploughing through the first 90 or so to get there - the ending is a tour de force of surreal and bitter brilliance, and I only wish this sort of writing had started a lot earlier on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars absorbing, 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Library of Unrequited Love (Paperback)
a tour de force, a quietly hilarious short prose monologue set in the library in which the middle aged invisible woman, sharp minded, works as the invisible librarian, ironically in charge of geography yet leading a life which seems to go nowhere, but here addressing an equally invisible sleeping man she has found in the library's basement, with her views of her life, her library, the wider world, dashed dreams and irrepressible hope.
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The Library of Unrequited Love
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry (Paperback - 2 Jan 2014)
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