The Case of the Missing Books

Ian Sansom

Israel is an intelligent, shy, passionate, sensitive sort of soul: he’s Jewish; he’s a vegetarian; he could maybe do with losing a little weight. And he’s just arrived in Ireland to take up his first post as a librarian. But the library’s been shut down and Israel ends up stranded on the North Antrim coast driving an old mobile library. There’s nice scenery, but 15,000 fewer books than there should be. Who on earth steals that many books? How? When would they have time to read them all? And is there anywhere in this godforsaken place where he can get a proper cappuccino and a decent newspaper? Israel wants answers…

Reviews of The Case of the Missing Books

    ‘A Tristram Shandy for our times… The tone is part elegy, part satire, part howl and very, very funny. I laughed more times than I can remember over a novel for years … Ring Road is well-observed and endlessly inventive, with all the messiness of a real place. Sansom’s deadpan voice throws up jokes on every page.’

    ‘Calls to mind two other outstanding novels: Tristram Shandy…and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22… One of those rare books that, once picked up, proves very difficult to put down.’
    The Irish Independent

    ‘Wonderfully vivid, easy, natural, funny and moving.’
    Oliver Sacks

    ‘A wonderfully comic novel.’
    Daily Mail

    ‘It reminds me most of Jerome K. Jerome… Mellow, intelligent and very funny, a perfect antidote for melancholy.’
    Michael Moorcock, Guardian

    ‘There is something fearless in the gaze Sansom turns on banality, and this novel is, in the end, a surprisingly gripping feat of coming to terms with what ordinary life is like.’ TLS