from a review of The Night Bookmobile Niffenegger, Audrey
LJ Reviews 2010 September #2
Pacing the 4 a.m. streets of Chicago after boyfriend trouble, Alexandra happens on a bookmobile, lit up and blaring "I Shot the Sheriff." And it's her bookmobile, as it houses every book she has ever read—plus every cereal box, letter, and scribble. Unfortunately, it closes at dawn, so she can't stay long, and librarian Mr. Openshaw explains that she cannot borrow anything and he cannot hire her. Deeply enthralled, Alexandra seeks the bookmobile again and again, even changing her life to become a librarian (and breaking up with the boyfriend). It is not just books she seeks, however, but her own books, her own past, her own identity. This story amounts to a parable about accepting the losses of adulthood, to let go of the wish to hold forever a complete remembrance and understanding of the self. VERDICT Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife) has packed a captivating and eerie story into this short work, originally a webcomic for The Guardian and inspired by an H.G. Wells story. The clear-line color art emphasizes the mystical realism. A unique literary title recommended for adult collections.—M.C.