Title: I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land
Author: Connie Willis
Genre: Magical Realism?
Rating: 3.5 of 5
Future Release Date: 4/30/18 (Thank you to the author and publisher for a free eARC through NetGalley…this does not affect the content of the review)
This short novella explores an idea more than it tells a story. Our protagonist, a cynical blogger who is more than happy to see outdated things disappear for good, stumbles upon the dusty old Ozymandias bookstore and its vast underground collection of rare books. His attempt to understand what he is seeing and to find it all again after he leaves is basically a way for Connie Willis to ponder how books become lost to history (and how all deserve to be preserved). The blogger’s “tour guide” (Cassandra – who seems to be the author’s mouthpiece) is especially hard on librarians “culling” outdated, unpopular, or otherwise unwanted books without regard for rarity.
Overall, I’m not sure how to feel about this book. I’m going back and forth on whether the book as a whole is melancholy and thoughtful or just cranky and whiny. If it sounds interesting to you, give it a read but don’t expect it to be anywhere near the level of her novels like The Doomsday Book or To Say Nothing of the Dog (one of my all time favorites).