The Book Stops Here

The Book Stops Here Disgruntled disheveled fish out of water mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is finally going home to London rattling along with his irascible companion Ted Carson in their rust bucket book van en ro

  • Title: The Book Stops Here
  • Author: Ian Sansom
  • ISBN: 9780061452000
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Paperback
  • Disgruntled, disheveled, fish out of water mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is finally going home to London, rattling along with his irascible companion Ted Carson in their rust bucket book van en route to the Mobile Meet The annual library convention gives Israel the opportunity to catch up with his family, eat paprika chicken and baklava, and drink good coffee But theDisgruntled, disheveled, fish out of water mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is finally going home to London, rattling along with his irascible companion Ted Carson in their rust bucket book van en route to the Mobile Meet The annual library convention gives Israel the opportunity to catch up with his family, eat paprika chicken and baklava, and drink good coffee But they ve barely found parking when the unimaginable occurs their library on wheels is stolen Who on earth would want to take a thirty year old traveling disaster with the words The Book Stops Here painted across the back Israel and Ted are determined to find out But their search is leading them on a very twisty trail through the countryside in pursuit of a suspicious convoy of New Age travelers And the hunt is raising numerous troubling questions such as where exactly is Israel s high flying girlfriend, Gloria And is Ted really making a move on Israel s widowed mother

    378 Comment

    • Kirsten says:

      These books are not only laugh out loud funny but also very unique. They are mysteries where not even the criminals are bad. The crimes are not even really crimes and there is certainly no violence.In this installment, Israel and Ted are back in England to attend a mobile librarians' conference with their mobile library van. Unfortunately, it gets stolen and sold to Travellers (gypsies). Hilarity ensues!As an American, I did have to google a few terms like potain and craythur. It really is a fun [...]

    • Lemar says:

      Israel Armstrong, more heroically mediocre than he knows, hits the road from Northern Ireland to England with his odd couple partner Ted. Ian Sansom has a breezy and ver funny style making this series enjoyable in a way comparable to P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie. Sansom gently but accurately describes what it's like to live in a new city. As he continues to adjust to the move from London to Northern Ireland "Israel still found it hard to believe that he had ended up here in the first plac [...]

    • JC says:

      Sansome is one of my favorite writers--if Alexander McCall Smith had a malicious bone in his body, he might write the kind of mysteries Sansome writes. The story line in this book rambles a bit as the mobile library bus and its handlers "gang aft agley"; but the scene in the ersatz Irish pub in London, operated by a former Tumdrum acquaintance, is worth the price of the book by itself. The humor in the Mobile Library series ranges from sly satire to all-out moments of farce that remind me of the [...]

    • Judy says:

      Israel Armstrong is my favorite Jewish, mobile librarian--a total fish out of water in Northern Ireland. Since moving to Northern Ireland, Israel has been in culture shock. After leaving London for life in rural Ireland, he has been longing to return to England to visit his family, to see his friends, to eat the foods he misses, and, most of all, to reunite with his girlfriend, Gloria. A golden opportunity presents itself when Israel and his mobile library partner, Ted Carson, are assigned to ta [...]

    • Rachel says:

      These books are marketed as a mystery series. And I guess each one has a little mystery at its core, but really they're more of a hilarious fish-out-of-water series. In this one, we focus in on Israel and Ted, which suited me perfectly, as their relationship is my favorite part of these hilarious, readable books. Also, we finally get to meet some of Israel's friends and family in London, and the way they interact with him answers tons of questions about how he came to be the passive, bumbling, l [...]

    • Joyce says:

      Israel Armstrong is an unlikely hero, and this series is comprised of unlikely but delightful mysteries. Although the mystery plays second fiddle to an odd but intensely likable people and communities in Northern Ireland. And no talk of The Troubles, which is an unexpected and welcome surprise. This is one of my fave series, and I highly recommend it for a funny, fast read.

    • Joanna says:

      These books are all about the character--poor hapless Israel Armstrong---and not at all about the supposed mystery. The sequence of events hurtle out of his control and I feel a bemused can't-look-away sympathy for his ineptitude and the intense discrepency between who he thinks he is and who he is. Meanwhile, I love it.

    • Rachel says:

      Things manage to get even worse for our Israel in this entry in the Mobile Library Mystery series, leaving a pretty beaten down adventurer at the end. That's all good, though, now that he's hit rock bottom I know that this reader is curious to see where he goes from here. The only problem I have with these books is that I read them so quickly then wait and wait for the next to be published.

    • Jule says:

      Sometimes I wonder how people come up with ideas for novels I mean, who wakes up one morning and thinks, "I am going to write a series about a Jewish Englishman who is a mobile librarian in Northern Ireland and his Northern Irish grumpy colleague? Apparently, Ian Sansom did, and for what it is worth, it was a pretty good idea. I mean, sure, I did not learn anything substantial from this novel, but it sure was fun to read due to its sheer absurdity. Israel and Ted are unlikely, but wonderful prot [...]

    • Hans says:

      3.5 stars - The mobile library "mystery" series continues to be more of a fish-out-of-water / buddy-cop-errr-make-that-buddy-librarian series. Fun twisting romp with a beating heart that is searching for a home to call its own. Two quick highlights: "Eileen believed passionately in what you might call the trickle-down theory of literature; according to her, the reading of Booker Prize-winning novels by Tumdrum's library-borrowing elite would lead inevitably and inexorably to the raising of socia [...]

    • Trudy says:

      I was hoping for more. The characters in this book were basically irritating.

    • Samuel Langer says:


    • Hannah says:

      I like this series, but I feel like I need to read the next installment immediately after this one. The ending was interesting, just very very open.

    • Nessie says:

      I found it a tad annoying to start, but Israel redeemed himself by coming through in the end. I think I prefer Ted, to be honest. It was a nice fast read.

    • B Moignard says:

      I couldn't put this one down. It's laugh out loud funny, sofa shaking comedy at its best.

    • Ruth Brumby says:

      To light and silly for me and I'm never sure about quoting wrong views in order to mock them - it sometimes has the wrong effect.

    • Julie says:

      I'm not sure if the homophobia and racism are supposed to be a learning experience for one of the characters, but I just don't want to read it.

    • Spaka Eon says:

      This series is awesome! First book was a personal discovery. Second book was a comfort. I picked up this book because I missed the world of Northern Ireland and Israel. Laugh out loud (especially chapter 10), familiar and new characters, adventures and mischiefs - overall very much as expected pleasure! Looking for the next book of the series.

    • Ed says:

      Isreal Armstrong is a fish completely out of water. Holding a BA (Hon) from Oxford, employed in a book shop where he feels his talents are wasted, engaged (more or less) to a beautiful, intellignet and successful woman, he feels he needs to do something with his life. So (in the first book of this series) he answers an advertisment for a librarian postition in Tumdrum, Northern Ireland. Tumdrum might as well be at the other end of the world. It takes longer to travel there from London by train, [...]

    • Annina says:

      It took a while - well months - for me to read this book. I started it quite long ago, but had absolutely no problem putting it down to read other things. I had more problems getting myself to pick it up again. I was a little bored by this book. I still had so much interest in it that I wanted to finish it. The mobile meet also seemed like something fun, but that was glossed over in about a page in the end. I really quite enjoyed the first Mobile Library book I read. That was the one before this [...]

    • Nilo Di Stefano says:

      C'è poco da fare o da scrivere, la saga del bibliobus di Tundrum è divertente, irriverente, fresca e assolutamente da leggere. Questo terzo episodio ha meno colpi di scena, ma non meno ritmo rispetto i precedenti. Gli immancabili riferimenti sessisti e razzisti ne fanno una lettura politicamente non corretta, ma sono riferimenti sempre da prendere con il sorriso ed in modo intelligente perché rompono gli argini del buonismo, dei classici benpensanti, quei canoni di falso moralismo che spesso [...]

    • Gerri Alexander says:

      You can't go home again, even if you get to go there on a business trip. Bookmobile librarian Israel Armstrong has been working in rural Northern Ireland for a few years, and always compares it to the wonderful way things were done in London. He's excited to return for a bookmobile conference and thinks how great everything will be, but finds out that the whole country has changed since he's been gone. And none of it is changed in a good way. Or was it like this before, and he just never noticed [...]

    • Jenny says:

      I found the first two Mobile Libraries quite enjoyable. Perhaps it was relocating the characters away from Tumdrum that made this less fun for me. The plot is stimple: Israel takes off for London for a mobile library convention. Unfortunately the book mobile is stolen their first night in London. Confusion, solstice celebrations, and patchouli smelling dirty hippies later the van is recovered. And Gloria is dispatched from the series without ever actually appearing. Unlike the first two, I did n [...]

    • Kylie Sparks says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not for the mystery, there isn't really one, but for the writing which is laugh out loud funny and for the author's perception and kind, keen observation of human nature. I laughed the whole way through this book, and kept coming to bits that I wanted to read out loud to someone. I meant to start this series with the first book, and somehow ended up starting with a book in the middle so I'll have to go back and read them all in order. Basically, the series is abou [...]

    • Camille says:

      i'm halfway through with this book, but i have absolutely no desire to open it again. i've read the first two in the series and was annoyed with them and can't imagine why i thought this one would be any less unpleasant. what got me to finally give up on finishing this one was checking out the other reviews here on . there are others who found the conversation between the main characters annoying. i don't want to say that this book is written poorly or to diss the author in any way. i just know [...]

    • Thais says:

      Il primo episodio della saga mi era piaciuto moltissimo. Il secondo era pessimo. Questa è la terza delle avventure di Israel Armstrong, biblioecario ebreo, vegetariano ed estremamente sfigato, e devo dire che un po' si ritrovano l'ironia e la suspence del primo romanzo. Non mi è dispiaciuto, e la trama era più originale e meno scontata rispetto al secondo episodio, senza trascurare un pizzico di riflessione su cosa significhi tornare a "casa" dopo mesi che si è via.Bravo Sansom, stavolta mi [...]

    • Jeremy says:

      Ian Sansom has created a great little series here. When you have finished those high brow intellectual books you read pick up one of these and have a little light relief. Light relief? side splittingly funny. This is the third book and our hero travels to England (on business apparently)and takes his Irish colleague on a tour of the London, Essex and Hampshire areas. They come into contact with some, lets say interesting characters and, of course, get into to some terrible scrapes that only thes [...]

    • Beth says:

      Um, I read it. I kinda enjoyed it? It was too pithy. Too witty to be believable. I didn't actually like any of the characters because the writing was all about being super catchy. Every once in a while I'd get a good section, something deeper, than it would regress into the shallow snippy writing that made it hard to read. Hard to sink into and just enjoy. And it was more than a bit depressing and sad. There was a section on Isreal trying to re-connect with his friends and they were all texting [...]

    • Kevin K. Gillette says:

      This is one of those books that I really want to like more than I actually do. It's funny and peculiar, and normally these sorts of books appeal to me. I've read the previous volumes in this series as well, and came away with the same feeling: That although they weren't a waste of time by any means, I simply don't empathize with the main character (Israel Armstrong) enough. He's too much of a ninny to be a hero, and yet he's also too much of a ninny to be a proper anti-hero - a real conundrum! N [...]

    • Candy Wood says:

      This third outing in the Mobile Library series sounded interesting because the not-so-intrepid Israel Armstrong and his Irish colleague, Ted, take the van to London on the way to a Mobile Meet. And I enjoyed it, while suspecting that it's all too clever. The mixture of social satire (like the episode where the neighborhood hangout, Grodzinski's, has turned into a Starbucks) and sort of mystery (this time it's just about finding the stolen van) still works, but. Israel's mother is heading back to [...]

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