Is this Revenge of the Librarians the best book ever created? It does have to beat some pretty stiff competition, but I’m still going to say yes!
OK, I’m biased. I love books, writing, and libraries, and this book has pages of cartoons dedicated to all three. If that wasn’t enough, it’s stuffed full of geeky pop-culture references too. In addition, the creator of Revenge of the Librarians, Tom Gauld, was kind enough to give permission for me to use one of his cartoons in my very short-lived series about literary science fiction. (Long-time readers of GeekDad will know if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s short-lived series!)
The book draws together Tom’s cartoons from the last few years in one handy place. He has a weekly column in the UK Guardian, and his work has also been seen in The New Scientist and The New York Times. Being of recent genesis many of the cartoons in the book draw from our collective lockdown experiences.
As you can tell from the title of the collection, it serves as an homage to the librarians, libraries, and the power of the written word. The book even has a fake library ticket on the inside front cover—a small but very pleasing addition.
Revenge of the Librarians is a narrow rectangular hardback, with a lovely tactile cover. It’s 180 pages with a pair of cartoons on each double-page spread.
For me, the question of whether you should read Revenge of the Librarians is a foregone conclusion. The only real question is whether you should savor it, reading only one or two cartoons a day, or whether you should just binge the whole lot in one glorious session. If I’m honest, this question is review writers’ hyperbole, as I did neither. I opted to consume it in three exquisite bites! The good thing about the cartoons in the book is that you can return to them again and again; they’re still just as funny.
If you like books and reading you should definitely pick up Revenge of the Librarians. I can’t help but notice that the nights are lengthening and the days are cooling, at least here in the northern hemisphere. This means Christmas and the holiday season are only just around the corner. (Forgive me for bringing up this fact so indelicately.) If you have bibliophile friends in your life, definitely consider picking them up a copy of the book as a present. Do be sure to check with other friends and relations. It’s such a no-brainer purchase for book lovers, and it’s entirely possible your intended recipient will end up with half a dozen copies.
I’ve posted pictures of a few of my favorite strips found in the book (excuse the dodgy camera work); I think they speak for themselves. This is not so much a review, then, just a gushing notification that Revenge of the Librarians is available now in the UK and will be available in the US in October (but is available to preorder now). Go buy it. I promise you won’t regret it!
Don’t forget, you can check out my other reviews here.
Many thanks to Canongate for sending me a copy of this book in order to write this review.