Monday, September 17, 2007

The Grand Complication by Allen Kurzweil

As a librarian, I have wanted to read this book for a very long time. I love reading about books, libraries, librarians and people who love books. Alexander Short is a reference librarian with some unusual hobbies. He is interested in enclosures (a.k.a. secret compartments), coded writing, "girdling" and typography. Without a doubt, the girdling was the most unusual of Zander's hobbies. He carried a small notebook attached to his clothing in which he recorded his observations. If that is not unusual enough for you, he arranged the entries under Dewey Decimal subject headings AND wrote the entries in a secret code.

A strange man approaches Zander at the reference desk of the library and asks for his help in locating a missing object that would complete a collection for him. Zander is soon drawn into a world in which nothing is as it appears.

I loved this smart, well-written book. I found all the library references, including numerous Dewey Decimal classifications, interesting. However, those less enamored with libraries may find it a bit annoying.