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Summary

In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing - a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto. 

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell...and Earth.

©2019 A. J. Hackwith (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"It's like The Good Place meets Law & Order: Bibliophile Crime Unit. Highly recommended. This book is so much fun, and you should be reading it. Trust me. Stories about story are some of my favorite kinds. This book definitely makes the list. I am so glad I read this." (Seanan McGuire, author of In an Absent Dream)

“The Library of the Unwritten is a tiered dark chocolate cake of a book. The read is rich and robust, the prose has layers upon layers, and the characters melt like ganache upon the tongue.” (Meg Elison, Philip K. Dick Award Winner)

“Clever, charming, full of intricate worldbuilding and delightful characters, The Library of the Unwritten is the first book in your new favorite series.” (Christina Henry, author of The Girl in Red)
 

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What listeners say about The Library of the Unwritten

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Novel idea but ends up a bit ‘by the numbers’

The handling of the library idea is novel and interesting, but there are clues to what’s going to happen when the Brevity sidekick keeps dipping into exposition. The first third is good but the ‘quest’ in the remainder of the story feels a bit routine.

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Good narration but over-long

Good narration, and I liked the concept behind the book. however the story was over-long and could have done with editing down.

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  • Reading Addict
  • 08-01-20

So Much More Fun than Dante

This story is so different in so many ways. There is a library of books that have not been finished by their authors and its unlikely location is in Hell. But this is NOT Dante's Inferno. This is such a fresh story idea, with many moving stories within the book. I don't want to spoil your fun so I'll only say if you are looking for something "different" and action packed, this book is for you.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Maureen Skube
  • 21-05-20

don't ...unless this is a parady of 'high concept'

i don't know who the hell owed who a favor at Random House to excuse how this made it through any professional selection process?!*#&%! like someone with a christian symbolism PhD thought a 'novel' might make their philosophical essasys more bearable.....it does not. story poor characters poor writing v poor this PhD holder then used a novel by number template based on Jungs Hero's journey....and ta da. you will be annoyed and disappointed. i began to suspect 'Hackwith' is some publishing industry "Alan Smithee' joke. where are the professional gatekeepers of publishing? they fled random house i guess?!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-20

Please change “Romeo” to “Ramiel”

I had a little difficulty at the beginning because of the error in the Chapter titles. 😫 Please change the chapters titled “Romeo” into “Ramiel”. Other than that, the story is great and captivating. This is something I wouldn’t mind listening to again.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie
  • 01-01-20

An Interesting World

What unpublished author would not dream of their books living on forever. Realistic characters and a plot line that, while occasionally predictable, had enough twists to hold my attention.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Terry
  • 21-01-20

Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover

This is one case where I totally judged and bought the book by it's cover. I think the cover graphic is great! And the title! How funny is that? Hell's library of unfinished books! I bought the hardback, intending to give to my niece, who is an unfinished author and I bought the Audible version because I thought it would be fun to listen to. The setting is great and the characters are good. The dialogue is witty, but getting tiresome by 60% into the book. The plot is getting away from the original antics of the librarians catching the characters trying to escape from their unfinished books and morphing into a heaven & Earth giant struggle of good vs evil that I enjoyed in Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch but don't feel like reading about here. So, I am dissapointed, I thought I would like this one.

4 people found this helpful

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  • yoby
  • 05-01-20

Poi’s and magic???

This is more entertaining and thoughtful most books I’ve read about magical, mystical libraries and the characters of their books.

4 people found this helpful

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  • a_library_on_elm_street
  • 26-06-20

A new enchantingly intricate fantasy series

I listened to the Audible version of this book and it was fantastic! Wonderful narrators. I’m a huge Supernatural fan and this story gave off the same vibes when I read the synopsis. I immediately put the book on my listed to read. The cast of varied characters gives you a chance to find one you grow to love or hate: Demons, angels, hero’s, damsels, hell-spawn, gargoyles, and hell hounds. What’s not to love. You send our cast on a perilous journey through different realms as if the story taking place in a library placed in Hell wasn’t fun enough already. Definitely a must read.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Hunt
  • 03-01-20

Something New

Colorful story of self reflection binding old and new to be read again and again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 02-01-20

Layered and intriguing

As any avid book reader might - Hackwith imagined the “what if” of characters coming to life from the pages of books (even better-the pages of unwritten books!)The results were not what I would have imagined and the book is full of unexpected plot twists and characters who bloom out into fully realized people. The book also plays with our literary tropes and expectations in surprisingly fun ways. It was a delight! And Lisa Flanagan performed it with nuance and spirit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • H. Nicolson
  • 09-03-20

Awesome fantasy!

The characters are well developed. It does leave me wanting the next in the series

2 people found this helpful