"The not so quiet life of librarians..."
Life is a book... and every person is a chapter.
Everything's looking up for Robin Walker. It's 1994 in New York City, and he's been transferred downtown to the 58th Street Branch Library. Ready to move up the ladder, Robin is excited about the opportunities that await him.
But success, personal or professional, is as elusive as a first-edition rare book. Robin struggles with his strange new work environment as this motley crew of employees generates more drama than a runaway bestseller. He doesn't know who to believe – or who to let in. And as potential romance mingles with devious machinations, there's no telling where Robin's story will go. All he knows is that he must see it through to the very last page.
Call Numbers is a captivating and multilayered adult drama. Through realistic dialogue and situations, author Syntell Smith has crafted a modern-day classic about the trials and tribulations of adulthood. Because a library is usually the last place you'd expect high drama, but for these characters...it's long overdue.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Even though it took me a while to read the first 50 or so pages, I really found this book quite interesting. It has it all — drama, comedy, well-developed characters, and it deals with various social issues such as racism and sexism. Also, I love that the novel is set in the 1990s, as I’m a 90’s kid. It was so fun remembering that decade’s lifestyle, trends, and technology. While we usually think we’re prepared for what awaits us after we graduate from high-school or college, the truth is that most of us have no idea how to deal with being a grown-up. Therefore, the fact that this is one of the recurring themes in the novel, makes it quite universal. While many of the characters are still in their teens or early twenties, this is by no means only a Young Adult novel. It explores not only the process of growing up and dealing with adult responsibilities but also analyses the adult characters, their actions, and motivations. Of course, it’s not all about social injustice and adulting issues. There are also some romantic subplots, suspense, and personal dramas to keep things spicy. Whether you love or hate your job, you will surely find some of the library scenes very familiar. For instance, mean treatment of new employees, sometimes brutish colleagues, various intrigues and gossips, nepotism, an elderly lady who seems to know everything and anything that happens under the library roof — it’s all there. The fact that Smith decided to create so many characters has both good and bad sides. On the one hand, I love that no character in this novel is lazily portrayed. First, they all have well-developed backstories. Moreover, the novel doesn’t just portray their work-related issues, but also their private lives and problems. Also, the characters are incredibly diverse: we have African-Americans, Native Americans, Caucasians, and Asians. Therefore, since diversity is a big issue in America, not just in books, but in pretty much every industry, this was a great and brave move. The problem with having so many characters is that most of the first part of the book is all about describing them. Not just their backstories and basic features, but detailed descriptions of what they’re wearing and how tall they are, makes it hard to get into the book. This doesn’t apply only for the major characters, but also to the general public that shows up in the library from time to time. All in all, this novel is definitely worth reading, and I’m looking forward to the nest part of the series. P.S. I would like to thank Syntell Smith for giving me a chance to read his first novel and sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review.