Out in the world, not much happened. But here in the special night, a land bricked with paper and leather, anything might happen, always did. Listen! and you heard ten thousand people screaming so high only dogs feathered their ears. A million folk ran toting cannons, sharpening guillotines; Chines, four abreast, marched on forever.What is also clear in the book, is that Mr. Halloway met his wife in the library. As he tells it to his son, Will
I looked up from my great self-wrestling match one night when your mother came to the library for a book and got me instead. And I saw then and there you take a man half-bad and a woman half-bad and put their two good halves together and you got one human all good to share between.The library also becomes is a hiding place for Will and his friend Jim. And Mr. Halloway actually uses it the old-fashioned way - to do research. He tells the two boys he knows something evil is afoot and that he is going to
"check police records on carnivals, newspaper files at the library, books, old folios, everything that might fit..." in order to come up with a plan to foil the plans of the wicked ones.
When the boys return to the library to find out the plan Will is afraid to go in, and his young mind invents some wild scenarios about what might happen
'The library' said Will 'I'm afraid of it, now' All the books he thought, perched there, hundreds of years old, peeling skin, leaning on each other like ten million vultures. Walk along the dark stacks and all the gold titles shine their eyes at you. Between old carnival, old library and his own father everything old...well...Ultimately the fear of being outside the library overcomes the fear of being in it.
'I know Dad's in there, but is it Dad? I mean, what if they came, changed him, made him bad, promised him something they can't give but he thinks they can, and we go in there and some day fifty years from now someone opens a book in there an you and me drop out, like two dry moth wings on the floor, Jim, someone pressed and hid us between pages, and no one ever guessed where we went-'
A lot of the action takes place in the library, and some of it is scary, but ultimately the librarian understands what is happening and what needs to be done.
A story about the evil in all of us.