I read this book for a number of reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see how easy it was to download a book onto the Kindle. It was very easy. Secondly, I know the author. In fact, I was John’s line manager on more than one occasion when we both worked for Heriot-Watt University Library. Thirdly, the lead character in the book is a librarian based in Edinburgh. A school librarian, in fact, so fortunately it is not based on the author’s time with me in university, but rather on the librarian of ‘St Jobsies for de Boysies’ – a semi-fictitious, disfunctional catholic school. I say fortunately, because early on, the school librarian’s boss meets a sticky end.
The lead character is a rather unusual school librarian – he is known by the pupils as ‘The Mad Librarian Who Can Stand on His Head’ and who, when he catches a thug kicking in the door of the library, grips him tightly by the collar and tells him “Do that again and I’ll pull your legs off, ya wee shite!”
There’s a lot of humour in TheBlissBook, and I chuckled to myself on just about every page. Behind the humour is one serious issue – the sad state of many school libraries in the UK. It all gets too much for the ‘Mad Librarian’, despite his Buddhist tendencies, and mayhem results.
If you have anything to do with libraries, you’ll really enjoy this book. If you’re a teacher, you may be shocked by it, and want it banned. If you’re a parent with kids at school, you should definitely read it. If you’re a pupil attending secondary school, I guarantee that you’ll fall off your seat laughing at it.