A Short Walk Through a Wide World

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Product Details
$28.99  $26.96
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author
Douglas Westerbeke is a librarian who lives in Ohio and works at one of the largest libraries in the US. He has spent the last decade on the local panel of the International Dublin Literary Award, which inspired him to write his own book.
"This whirlwind fever dream of a novel races around the globe, through markets, deserts, and cities, across oceans, over mountains, into the caverns of a vast underground library, chasing its extraordinary protagonist, Aubry Tourvel. . . Welcome to her long, exciting, dangerous, and romantic life." --Marion Winik, Oprah Daily

"An epic adventure. . . rich with all the possibilities the world can hold." --People

"Sharing a shelf with philosophical adventure novels like The Midnight Library and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Westerbeke's debut thoughtfully explores the effects of being forced to live only in the present." --Washington Post (10 Noteworthy Books for April)

"Part magical realism-laced travelogue, part love letter to the world, Westerbeke's extraordinary debut spans decades . . . Striking set pieces, stunning character work, and evocative, insightful prose make every page worth savoring. A hopeful tale of improbable friendships, whirlwind romances, and unexpected joy." --Kirkus Review (*starred* review)

"Librarian Westerbeke combines elements of Vernian adventure and Borgesian fantasy in his enthralling debut about a woman who must travel constantly in order to survive. . . Capturing each moment of Aubry's sweeping odyssey with extraordinary vividness, Westerbeke's poignant epic speaks to the challenges of knowing oneself and others in a world of endless change. This is unforgettable." --Publishers Weekly (*starred* review)

"A one-of-a-kind love letter to nature, humanity, and the stories we all carry within ourselves. Westerbeke's engrossing, assured debut will enchant fans of Erin Morgenstern and Alix Harrow." --Booklist (*starred* review)

"Readers of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and Life of Pi by Yann Martel will fall in love with Aubry. Librarian Westerbeke's debut is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys armchair travel and stories that open wide to embrace every experience, even the sad ones." --Library Journal (*starred* review)

"A wild romping adventure, a poignant tale of relationships and interconnectedness, and a compelling journey of self-discovery. A Short Walk Through a Wide World is utterly engrossing, a world--worlds--to get lost in. . . every reader will find something to love." --Shelf Awareness

"Imaginative. . . A fleet-footed winner." --The Christian Science Monitor

"A shining story. . . with exciting twists and prose that feels like legend, this is an essential read for anyone looking to renew their lust for life. Perfect for fans of Matt Haig and V.E. Schwab." --Barnes & Noble, "Most Anticipated Debut Novels of 2024"

"An incredible, dazzling debut. . . I've never read anything like it." --Thoughts From a Page podcast

"For those who believe the journey is the destination." --Goodreads

"A Short Walk Through a Wide World is a gorgeous ode to wanderlust. When Aubry Tourvel embarks on an eternal trip, trying to outrun a mysterious affliction, she quickly learns to defend herself. But while her spear's aim is deadly, curiosity and compassion slay harder. Douglas Westerbeke's dazzling debut takes readers on a thought-provoking journey through cultures and timelines... and also, through a mysterious cave-bound library. I savored every page of this book!" --SHELBY VAN PELT, New York Times bestselling author of Remarkably Bright Creatures

"A Short Walk Through a Wide World is the rare book that immediately becomes a dear friend. Westerbeke has written a beautiful ode to wanderlust, the intrepid spirit, and the changing planet. Aubry Tourvel perfectly embodies the twin desires for exploration and rootedness in a way that makes readers long to walk with her. This is a novel that asks what it is to love the world, and what it is for the world to love us. A grand adventure that begs to be revisited again and again." --ERIKA SWYLER, author of The Book of Speculation and Light From Other Stars