Sunday, 11 May 2008

The Last Resort Library by Irving Finkel

This was one of those spur of the moment purchases - I had just discovered the joys of the London Review bookshop and was having a lovely mooch around it's well chosen shelves when I saw this book on the counter. The library on the front cover (and the title) were enough to intrigue me - so I picked it up and started to read the prologue -

"The Library is situated" said the short entry in the Guide to British Libraries A-L, "in pleasant rolling countryside not too far from Hereford, and is perhaps most readily accessible by private motor vehicle."

Well, that was me hooked! I leafed through the book and joy of joys it's illustrated - Jenny Kallin's blocky, naive woodcut (?) illustrations are a delight - full of humorous detail and fun. They add enjoyment to the wonderfully eccentric life of a library dedicated to collecting unpublished works - and all the rejection letters that go with them! This is a darkly humorous read - full of the day to day problems that such an odd institution may expect to see.... read it!

Irving Finkel is a curator at the British Museum and one feels he talks with affection and humour - albeit black humour about some of his colleagues......

4 comments:

ifinkel said...

Will you come to our next launch?

Anonymous said...

Great I'd love to!

ifinkel said...

bishopsgate libary
sept 9th eve
call me at work

betty said...

I found it in exactly the same way - browaing in the LR Bookshop - and I loved it. An absolute joy, and totally believable. I know some of those people, and I wish I knew the rest.