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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Borrower

by

The Borrower Cover

ISBN13: 9780670022816
ISBN10: 0670022810
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.95!

 

Staff Pick

Lucy is a children's librarian who one day, sort of accidentally, takes her work home with her. Actually, she kidnaps one of her regular readers — well, perhaps not kidnaps, but something very close to that, only not so malevolent. Ten-year-old Ian suffers at the hands of his fundamentalist parents (although it's not exactly crystal clear how), and he runs away. Somehow he manages to drag Lucy with him. As they spend 10 days wandering aimlessly through several states, leaving mountains of lies behind them, Lucy questions her sanity as well as her ethics. They soon begin to run out of funds and realize they are being followed, and it seems that this story can only end badly. Yet, eventually, one thing becomes clear: sometimes the worst choice turns out to be the best choice. Very tenderly told, this is a sweet tale of books, family, identity, and surprisingly, love.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob.

Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path.

But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

Review:

"Makkai shows promise in her overworked debut, an occasionally funny crime farce about a hapless librarian — cum — accidental kidnapper. Lucy Hull is a 26-year-old whose rebellion against her wealthy Russian mafia parents has taken the form of her accepting a children's librarian job in small-town Missouri. After an unnecessarily long-winded first act, the novel picks up when Lucy discovers her favorite library regular, 10-year-old Ian Drake, hiding out in the stacks one morning after having run away from his evangelical Christian parents, who censor his book choices and are preemptively sending him to SSAD (Same-Sex Attraction Disorder) rehab, and Lucy soon aids and abets his escape. The tale of their subsequent jaunt across several state lines dodging cops, a persistent suitor of Lucy's, and a suspicious black-haired pursuer is fast-paced, suspenseful, and thoroughly enjoyable — the real meat of the book. Unfortunately, the padding around the adventure too often feels like preaching to the choir (censorship is bad, libraries and independent booksellers are good) and the frequent references to children's books — including a 'choose-your-own adventure' interlude — quickly go from cute to irritating. There's great potential, but it's buried in unfortunate fluff. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"[Lucy's] relationship with Ian is charming and original...A stylish and clever tale for bibliophiles who enjoy authors like Jasper Fforde and Connie Willis." Library Journal

Review:

"Makkai takes several risks in her sharp, often witty text, replete with echoes of children's classics from Goodnight Moon to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as more ominous references to Lolita...the moving final chapters affirm the power of books to change people's lives even as they acknowledge the unbreakable bonds of home and family. Smart, literate and refreshingly unsentimental." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road.

Synopsis:

"Rarely is a first novel as smart and engaging and learned and funny and moving as The Borrower." —Richard Russo, author of Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls

Lucy Hull, a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Ian needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours, and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai's short stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2009, and 2010, and have appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, and on NPR's Selected Shorts. Makkai teaches elementary school and lives north of Chicago with her husband and two daughters. Visit rebeccamakkai.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

l_zard, January 23, 2012 (view all comments by l_zard)
Interesting view from a childrens librarian...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
LisaW, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by LisaW)
Inspiring and insipid, the heroine (can you call her that?) of the book makes you laugh, and groan. Her journey with 10 year old Ian, however, leaves you rooting for both of them. And her denouement for the issue underlying her quest leaves you smiling (and feeling like there just isn't enough time to read great books!!!!). A fun read which could not be put down. Definitely my favorite book published in 2011.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
The Book Goddess, November 13, 2011 (view all comments by The Book Goddess)
I'm not sure exactly what to say about this book..it was off-beat and quirky. Definitely an original plot and a unique way of telling a story. As a lover of all things books, I really enjoyed the many book references that were sprinkled throughout the story. I'm still on the fence about how I feel about the main character, Lucy. Through most of the book I was thinking to myself "What is wrong with her, she is an adult..." I was a little disappointed with the lack of development in the other characters, but in restropect, that was probably done on purpose in order to keep the story focused on Lucy and Ian. Overall, I liked the book but I definitely don't see it being mainstream popular.(
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670022816
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Makkai, Rebecca
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110609
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Borrower Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Viking Adult - English 9780670022816 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Lucy is a children's librarian who one day, sort of accidentally, takes her work home with her. Actually, she kidnaps one of her regular readers — well, perhaps not kidnaps, but something very close to that, only not so malevolent. Ten-year-old Ian suffers at the hands of his fundamentalist parents (although it's not exactly crystal clear how), and he runs away. Somehow he manages to drag Lucy with him. As they spend 10 days wandering aimlessly through several states, leaving mountains of lies behind them, Lucy questions her sanity as well as her ethics. They soon begin to run out of funds and realize they are being followed, and it seems that this story can only end badly. Yet, eventually, one thing becomes clear: sometimes the worst choice turns out to be the best choice. Very tenderly told, this is a sweet tale of books, family, identity, and surprisingly, love.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Makkai shows promise in her overworked debut, an occasionally funny crime farce about a hapless librarian — cum — accidental kidnapper. Lucy Hull is a 26-year-old whose rebellion against her wealthy Russian mafia parents has taken the form of her accepting a children's librarian job in small-town Missouri. After an unnecessarily long-winded first act, the novel picks up when Lucy discovers her favorite library regular, 10-year-old Ian Drake, hiding out in the stacks one morning after having run away from his evangelical Christian parents, who censor his book choices and are preemptively sending him to SSAD (Same-Sex Attraction Disorder) rehab, and Lucy soon aids and abets his escape. The tale of their subsequent jaunt across several state lines dodging cops, a persistent suitor of Lucy's, and a suspicious black-haired pursuer is fast-paced, suspenseful, and thoroughly enjoyable — the real meat of the book. Unfortunately, the padding around the adventure too often feels like preaching to the choir (censorship is bad, libraries and independent booksellers are good) and the frequent references to children's books — including a 'choose-your-own adventure' interlude — quickly go from cute to irritating. There's great potential, but it's buried in unfortunate fluff. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "[Lucy's] relationship with Ian is charming and original...A stylish and clever tale for bibliophiles who enjoy authors like Jasper Fforde and Connie Willis."
"Review" by , "Makkai takes several risks in her sharp, often witty text, replete with echoes of children's classics from Goodnight Moon to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as more ominous references to Lolita...the moving final chapters affirm the power of books to change people's lives even as they acknowledge the unbreakable bonds of home and family. Smart, literate and refreshingly unsentimental."
"Synopsis" by , In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road.
"Synopsis" by ,

"Rarely is a first novel as smart and engaging and learned and funny and moving as The Borrower." —Richard Russo, author of Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls

Lucy Hull, a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Ian needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours, and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

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