Bob Comet is a retired librarian passing his solitary days surrounded by books in a mint-colored house in Portland, Oregon. One morning on his daily walk he encounters a confused elderly woman lost in a market and returns her to the senior center that is her home. Hoping to fill the void he s known since retiring, he begins volunteering at the center.
Here, as a community of strange peers gathers around Bob, and following a happenstance brush with a painful complication from his past, the events of his life and the details of his character are revealed. Behind Bob Comet s straight man facade is the story of an unhappy child s runaway adventure during the last days of the Second World War, of true love won and stolen away, of the purpose and pride found in the librarian s vocation, and the pleasures of a life lived to the side of the masses. Comet s experiences are imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy; he has a talent for locating bizarre and outsized players to welcome onto the stage of his life.
With his inimitable verve, skewed humor, and compassion for the outcast, Patrick deWitt has written a wide-ranging and ambitious document of the introvert s condition. The Librarianist celebrates the extraordinary in the so-called ordinary life, and depicts beautifully the turbulence that sometimes exists beneath a surface of serenity.