THE MUSEUM OF LITERARY SOULS BY JOHN CONNOLLY
STORYFRONT (KINDLE), 2013
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Mr. Berger has spent thirty-four years keeping his life as empty as possible. His job title as a closed accounts registrar doesn’t spark much interest, and his cautious flirtation with a woman at his company was cut short upon her engagement to another man. This doesn’t bother him, however, as he much prefers the company of books to that of people. When a series of fortuitous events leads to an early retirement in the English countryside, Mr. Berger is content to spend the remainder of his years nestled comfortably between the pages of a book. But fate has other plans.
His serene life turns strange when he witnesses a tragedy chillingly reminiscent of Anna Karenina as a woman flings herself before a train. When he rushes to the scene, she has vanished, leaving no body on the tracks. Berger’s investigation into this event leads him to Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository, where the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred beyond comprehension.
Let us begin with this: to those looking at his life from without, it would have seemed that Mr. Berger led dull existence.
WHAT I THOUGHT
John Connolly is one of my favourite writers so I tend to be biased when it comes to his work. I absolutely loved this short story. There is a weirdness to the story which I adored. I was sort of jealous of Mr. Berger and wanted to be living his life. I love stories and books about books and weird libraries and such things. They’re a book lover’s dream. I knew I was going to fall for the story hard when Mr. Berger sees the woman throwing herself in front of the train but no body or trace of her is found. I thought this is going to be a cracker and I was right. I adored the concept of this story. What book lover wouldn’t cut their right arm off for a chance to spend some time at a place like Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository? I loved the odd things that happen, the sense of wonder Mr. Berger feels and even liked it when he breaks the rules. I loved the way the story ended as well. This is a great little story.