As any of who you’ve read “In the Library” know (and for those of you who have not, I highly recommend it), it is a rather dark book. As my father so aptly put it, “It is very, very well-written, but you should probably prepare yourself for the day that someone kills themselves after reading your book.” This was meant as a joke, of course, even such things I know aren’t funny, but you get the metaphor here. Regardless, that might seem like a negative review of sorts, but it’s really not. In fact, it’s a rave review considering the subject matter of the book is supposed to be dark, ominous, and generate unsettling emotions.
Why would I write something like that then? Why would I present such a twisted narrative to the world? A discussion about Fate and circumstances aside (maybe for another blog?), the primary reason is that even dark tales have a meaning, a message, and deserve to be told. You see, I don’t aim to spread maddened emotions just for kicks, I do it to present the good that can come of them. I believe I discuss this is the oft-forgotten Analysis section in the book, but I think it’s worth re-iterating for those that haven’t read “In the Library” and may be turned off by it’s black cover and ominous description.
Within the first few stanzas of the opening poem, the reader realizes that this story is heading down a shadowy path and it remains that way through most of the book. Each of the characters Neil encounters also has a relatively dismal tale to reveal, but there is little pieces of happiness in each one of them. Is there a happy ending for Neil? Well I can’t tell you that here, that would spoil the fun. But I will say that by changing your perspective, you will be able to find something good in the book that you can take away from it. The same could be said for life in general; if you fail to see the deeper meaning behind awful events, or even just plain annoying or inconvenient ones, you’ll be nothing but miserable. Take it from someone who lives it.
All of the characters in the Library, the setting, including Neil, find some semblance of happiness. It might not be what you’d expect, or what you think is “right,” but every poem, every stanza, and every line, has a reason behind it; there’s a lesson to be learned in every story. Maybe it’s even that that character is so fucked up and you don’t want to be like him/her, but that is a lesson too. My advice, as the author? Open your mind to not judge the madness, but learn from it and grow as a person.
Is “In the Library” a dark and somewhat twisted tale? Yes. Am I, as my mother put it, “a twisted, psycho person” for writing it? Well that’s neither here nor there. Should you give this book as a gift to your suicidal friend or uber-conservative grandmother? No, I would not recommend it. But should you read it and learn from the darkness and madness, if only for a new perspective or unexpected enlightenment? Yes, absolutely, and I hope you do and find some meaning in it that brings you someplace new.
Check out the “Purchase” page at the top panel if you feel ready to take the plunge and read the modern epic narrative “In the Library.”