The Starless Sea

Erin Morgenstern. Doubleday, $28.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-385-54121-3
Built from fables, myths, and fairy tales, Morgenstern’s long-awaited second fantastical novel (following The Night Circus) delves into a vast subterranean library, the Harbor on the Starless Sea, a giant, maze-like, subterranean library where all languages are comprehensible to everyone, and time moves differently. Its wonders include moving statues, edible stories, and a sea made of honey. Narrative-obsessed grad student Zachary Rawlins happens upon an old, authorless collection in the campus library. Among the tales of an improbable land of books and their devotees is an anecdote from Zachary’s own childhood, a time when he found a magical door but chose to walk away, disbelieving. Desperate to understand and longing for a second chance at adventure, Zachary investigates and finds a literary party thrown by a secret society. He goes through a painted door in Central Park and into the Harbor itself, now long past its heyday and mostly deserted. Aboveground, the secret society is trying to close as many doors as possible, hoping to keep the Starless Sea hidden. Aided by otherworldly Mirabel, whose motives and history are obscure, and alluring Dorian, a former society member who opposes the closing of the doors, Zachary works to understand how the Harbor fell into disrepair and what he can do to protect it. He also learns what it means to be not just a reader but a part of the story, and what happens after that story ends. This love letter to bibliophiles is dreamlike and uncanny, grounded in deeply felt emotion, and absolutely thrilling. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 06/28/2019
Release date: 11/05/2019
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-385-68622-8
Ebook - 978-0-385-54122-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-0787-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7352-0789-9
Paperback - 715 pages - 978-0-593-10648-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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