Book Review: The Night Bookmobile – Audrey Niffenegger

Title: The Night Bookmobile
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
ISBN: 9780810996175
Pages: 40
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts
Genre: Graphic Novel
Source: Library
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:

Alexandra is a night owl who loves to walk the streets of Chicago.  One night after a fight with her boyfriend, Alexandra is walking and comes across a bookmobile.  But this isn’t just any bookmobile – it’s her own personal library, containing every book she’s ever read, and only those books.  After that night, Alexandra searches for the bookmobile, but it is years before she sees it again.

Review:

When The Night Bookmobile was first released, I thought it was a children’s picture book – after all, it is very short and the long, rectangular cover is reminiscent of that genre.  However, I started hearing about it on Twitter, and the rave reviews made me realize it was a graphic novel.  I was immediately intrigued and knew I wanted to read it.

I enjoyed the spooky nature of The Night Bookmobile.  There were questions running throughout the book of how the bookmobile operated, how it knew exactly what Alexandra had read, down to the edition.  I also loved the overall message to the story, the tribute to the power of books and homage to libraries.

However, this is an Audrey Niffenegger novella, so of course, there is a darker theme running through the story.  Alexandra lets go of the people around her and becomes obsessed with finding the bookmobile.  The dangers of obsession are well-chronicled here, especially in the shocking conclusion to the book.  I really disliked the ending when I first read it, unsure of what the message was, but when I discovered that this is the first in a series, it made a little more sense.  Still, I am ambivalent about that final twist, though I will definitely be reading future books if Niffenegger chooses to release them.

The Night Bookmobile was an interesting story, but I would have loved for it to have been longer.  As it is right now, it has trouble standing on its own two feet, as I feel like it isn’t really complete.  I seem to disagree with the general sentiment about this book, as most people I’ve come across absolutely love it.  I appreciated its potential and love the ode to books, but that shocking final twist still doesn’t sit well with me – hopefully future installments will change that!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been sooooo curious about this book. I’ll have to see if the library has a copy.

  2. I’ve been sooooo curious about this book. I’ll have to see if the library has a copy.

  3. How have I never heard of this book? It sounds fascinating, though your review does give me pause. I’m going to track it down today–thanks for the review (and based on what you said, I have a feeling I’ll agree with you, as usual)!

  4. How have I never heard of this book? It sounds fascinating, though your review does give me pause. I’m going to track it down today–thanks for the review (and based on what you said, I have a feeling I’ll agree with you, as usual)!

  5. I was liking it until the ending. I’m still not sure what to think about that. Though maybe time will help settle some of that–or reading more in the series.

  6. I was liking it until the ending. I’m still not sure what to think about that. Though maybe time will help settle some of that–or reading more in the series.

  7. I just love this author even though I had some serious problems with Her Fearful Symmetry. I would love to find a bookmobile like that though. My library on LibraryThing would finally be complete!

  8. I just love this author even though I had some serious problems with Her Fearful Symmetry. I would love to find a bookmobile like that though. My library on LibraryThing would finally be complete!

  9. Oh lordie I am so out of the loop! I haven’t even heard of this one!

  10. Oh lordie I am so out of the loop! I haven’t even heard of this one!

  11. I appreciated the shock of the ending. I had not heard it was part of a series, so I’ll be curious to see what else happens. If I remember correctly, we had opposite reactions to this one (I loved it) and Her Fearful Symmetry (I really hated the twist and it ruined a strong first half for me.)

  12. I appreciated the shock of the ending. I had not heard it was part of a series, so I’ll be curious to see what else happens. If I remember correctly, we had opposite reactions to this one (I loved it) and Her Fearful Symmetry (I really hated the twist and it ruined a strong first half for me.)

  13. I have not read any of her books – this could be a good beginning.

  14. I have not read any of her books – this could be a good beginning.

  15. I admit to not being that excited over this book after reading a few reviews, but something about your review really intrigues me, and I simply must find out what this shocking twist is now! I am really eager to give this one a try after reading this, so thanks for sharing your review!

  16. I admit to not being that excited over this book after reading a few reviews, but something about your review really intrigues me, and I simply must find out what this shocking twist is now! I am really eager to give this one a try after reading this, so thanks for sharing your review!

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