The Librarianist: A Novel by Patrick deWitt

The Librarianist: A Novel by Patrick deWitt

Title: The Librarianist: A Novel
Author: Patrick deWitt
Publisher:  Ecco
Genre:  General Fiction (Adult), Humor & Satire, Literary Fiction
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  336
Date of US Publication:  4 July, 2023
My Rating:  4 Stars

My Thoughts 

Retired, and long divorced, Bob is alone and lonely, although he wouldn’t describe it as such. After a chance encounter with an older woman who doesn’t seem to speak and unaware of where she lives, Bob sees the badge attached to her shirt, and returns her to the senior facility where she lives. Speaking with some of the people there, he decides to volunteer there, spendi

ng time with the residents. I really enjoyed the reading time spent getting to know more of Bob’s life. 

This was my first time reading the author and it definitely won’t be the last. I adored this lovely novel, savoring each page, and I look forward to reading more of Mr. deWitt’s work. 

Thank you to Ecco and NetGalley for the DRC!


From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes the story of Bob Comet, a man who has lived his life through and for literature, unaware that his own experience is a poignant and affecting narrative in itself. 

Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books and small comforts in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he’s known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center. Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed.

Behind Bob Comet’s straight-man façade is the story of an unhappy child’s runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian’s vocation, and of the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Bob’s experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsize players to welcome onto the stage of his life.

With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert’s condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.


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