Gromov is merely a forgotten writer of Soviet propagandist novels. But he has left behind his Books and the powers they impart - the Fury to tear enemies limb from limb, the Memory of a perfect childhood, the Strength to overcome all fear of death. These books transform believers from senile to lucid, cowardly to brave, weak to strong. Soon, Libraries of readers start to emerge, waging war on one another to seize precious copies of the Books and terrible consequences ensue. Trapped in the middle of this world inhabited by society's outcasts - the decrepit, the heartbroken, the abandoned, the abused - is the young and unremarkable Alexei. Everything will change when he inherits a Book of Memory, and therefore becomes... a Librarian. Blending depravity, black humour, reality and myth, Elizarov casts a satirical eye over Soviet Russia in this epic masterpiece and winner of the Russian Booker Prize-a tale of human longing, unwavering belief, and the search for meaning in a chaotic, illusory world.