I woudl love to invite such person to vizit my cafe: "russianbreakfastcafe" Chapora port, Goa.
If he chek sometimes this site, I have to tell you: You make me nearly flipp out in this sommer couse of you books. .....
But good flipp out. Boolenat
Dance, Dance, Dance - forever!
i love that i can pick up a novel by murakami and have absolutely no idea what will happen next. that doesn't happen to me very often. totally bizarre and yet very very readable too.
Murakami takes you places where the commonplace is extraordinary and the surreal becomes uncomfortably familiar. His tight,no-frills prose evokes a poetry that compels one to look deeper into one's self ,emphasizing story as opposed to style which,as a result, leads to a style in and of itself.
Which books have you guys read?
The only novel of his I have read is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which was simply amazing. I find it incredibly hard to describe how I felt when I finished it. I was blown away, but I didn't know why (and still don't).
That was in August. Last week I bought The Elephant Vanishes and I've been kind of jumping around in that. So far I've read "Sleep", "The Little Green Monster", "The 100% Perfect Girl", and the one with the historical events in the title that's about the wind (sorry, don't have the book with me right now). I liked "Sleep" and "The 100% Perfect Girl" most out of those four.
Any recommendations as to which novel I should read next? I was thinking of getting Wild Sheep Chase or Sputnik Sweetheart, but I'm open to any suggestions.
wild sheep chase and dance dance dance are kind of inter-related... metaphysical detective novels crossed with richard brautigan. great books, too. some scenes are still vivid in my mind.
his non-fiction is good too; he's become something of an interpreter of of modern japan for me. after the quake and underground (about the tokyo subway sarin gas attacks) are both great.
does anyone know any other contemporary japanese novelists in translation?
"Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" - that's waht i'm reading these days... So far so good.... I like his style!
I am all about "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" and I haven't even finished it yet. I would like to know if his writing in Japanese is considered as readable as the English translations, or if he is known to be a complex read? Anyone?
Since December, I've read 'Norwegian Wood', 'A Wild Sheep Chase', most of 'Underground', 'Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World', and I've started into 'Dance Dance Dance'. I think I might be missing something, but I can't really think right now.
'Norwegian Wood' was pretty devastating at times, even when I knew something was coming. For example, one chapter starts with a line like "That May, XXXXXX committed suicide". Obviously, Murakami's prose was much more interesting than that, but the point is I knew eventually that something like that would happen, but he still managed to catch me completely off-guard. I mean, it was totally evident how the story was going to conclude, but he was able to still keep my interest the whole time, and it's one of the few books that's made me cry. Even had a bizarre night terror inspired by it. Don't really want to get into that, but the point is the book was amazing, maybe moreso than 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles', which to me was much more enegmatic, evoking a sense of dread and the kind of fever-dream atmosphere of Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut' and Umberto Eco's 'Foucalt's Pendulum'.
'A Wild Sheep Chase' was great. Fun, emotionally complex, etc etc.
'Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World'. In a word, wow. One of the best exercises in I've read. Ranks up there with Bram Stoker's Dracula as one of the few experimental narratives that is still incredibly compelling to read. Well worth a second read as well, there's just so much depth and correlation between the two 'parts'.
i finished both wind up bird and hard boiled this summer, as well as reading elephant vanishes and after the quake story collections. began underground, but just haven't had time lately to finish.
i really loved wind up bird and found hard boiled to be an exercise (just as you said spiff), and it was good fun but kinda flat. it grew on me as i read, but still, it felt a bit forced and that could have just been the translation, as i like rubin's translations better. birnbaum is ok though. i want to read the wild sheep chase next. . .
murakami takes you places most other writers can't reach. here you tap into desires,fears,erotic fantasies, hopes and aspiration. the journeys are totally fulfilling and you never know where you will arrive i have the harvill press edition of norwegian wood in a gold box with two small paperbacks in green and red it is a jewel box of secret treasures
I've just finished Kafka on the Shore.
I enjoyed it alot, but I think it's kind of flawed. I'm just not sure how. I think because one of the stories being told is all about deep existential questions of love and identity, and the other is about a pair of oddball characters looking for a magic stone. They just don't seem to go well together.
And I definitely wouldn't call the prose tight, there were lots of bits where I felt he was repeating himself or overstressing a point.
But there were plenty of magic moments in this book, where the style seemed absolutely perfect. And the main character was so well-written it's amazing, it's as if Murakami managed to build a whole universe from scratch inside the character's head, and everything from his false name of Kafka and the fact that he listens to Radiohead (always a good thing) to his many insecurities and his shadowy past, just appealed to me totally.
So yeah. The book is a flawed masterpiece in my opinion. I'll definitely read something else by him soon. 'Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World' hopefully, as it has the best name I've ever heard.
Anyone read anything by him lately?
I did read Hard Boiled... and loved it. Every single page had at least one line that I'd like to have printed on a t-shirt or put on my wall in a frame.
Now I'm about to devour Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a short story collection.
Come on people, talk about Murakami!! He's more interesting than jack!
Murakimi??? Will have to Google; have to admit. Listen to Radiohead...who's the target audience/reader??
Not sure. His books are quite kind of trendy. There are always lots of references to pop culture and music. Anyway it's surreal stuff, like magic realism I think.
You've all convinced me to continue on with this wonderful writer. I've only read portion of the latest collection, but I have some of his nonfiction at home...I will try that!
Norwegian Wood is a truly awesome coming-of-age story.
I'd like to read some of his non-fiction. I like the idea someone said earlier of him becoming an interpretor of modern Japan. That would be very useful, as I find modern Japan pretty hard to understand.
I have read Norwegian Wood, a couple months back, almost every character in the book is interesting, one of the things I did observe is that there was hardly any reference of any Japanese artists, although mention of Western lit and music is in good taste it would have been really nice that he would have made mention of any Japanese... nonetheless, it is a terrific book, I was really torn between who I like better, Midori and Naoko.
I will have to read it soon.
I think he's also a jazz musician, or owned a jazz club or something. He's very into western music and culture, but yeah I agree, as I don't know much about Japanese artists.
In was finally able to get hold of a book, I was able to finish Kafka on th Shore a few days ago... It is interesting. Some people online say that you have top read it a few more times (and I do not have the time to re-read it again) to understand the story... I tried to absorb as much as I could with every page. The end I guess was a bit satisfying. Vague endings never really bothered me; however, it would have been nice if there were some things that was given clearer explanations. The characters in the books are all interesting, you could really care for them. When Nakata met Hoshino and how Hoshino wants to follow Nakata was touching for me. I also like how the book touches some philosophical topics... for a book that covers the supernatural, that I think is rare. And yeah, there are times that you think the book could have been shorter.
I will probably read something else by the writer. They say it's not his best book. I'll look for "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" sometime.
I'm reading After the Quake at the moment. It's definitely better than the other short story collection I've read. There seems to be a nice contrast between deep thoughts on the human condition and zany magical fantastical stuff.
Super Frog Saves Tokyo. The man has a gift for cool names, that much is certain.
The story 'Honey Pie' is so good I had to stop reading it.
A few weeks ago, I have read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. It was amazing!
The story started with 2 threads.... one sciFi (or post-modern, am not very good with distinguishing genres) and part Fantasy... how those two stories merged in the end was amazing. Murakami knows how to make me emotional... I was wandering through some user reviews and I don't understand how people couldn't empathize with his characters... maybe it's just me.
I noticed that Murakami has a fascination on how the human mind works especially in this recent novel I read.
Yeah, I love that book. I especially love the fantasy side of the story, as you slowly start to realise what 'The Town' and the beasts are. I've lent it to someone in an attempt to spread the word of Murakami's awesomeness.
I just saw 'After Dark, released 2007' at the side of this page. I'm excited XD
i've read a fair amount of murakami's works, translated into english.. i've liked them all..but i've enjoyed the last two novels i've read, "kafka on the shore" and "the wind up bird chronicles" the most. His waking dream worlds, fraught w/ musics, are intoxicating. i've often wondered how much is lost in translation - but by relying on music, esp. pop music so much, he catches something that has become the closest thing to a worldwide lingua franca.
I'm reading "Kafka On The Shore" right now. I think it's amazing. He's so matter of fact in the way he steps so far over the edge. He definitely moves from one surprise to the next and harldy blinks an eye. I'll definitely read more of his work.
He's an amazing author. I'm trying to write a short story in his style.
since my last visit, I have read two books: The Elephant Vanishes and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. His short stories are great. I am recommending his short stories to people who can't bear his themes since they're... plain good. 'A Window', 'Sleep' and 'The Silence' were my favorites.
I think The Wind-up Bird Chronicle among all the books he wrote (and I have read so far) had the widest scope. It tackled a lot of topics from philosophy, war, isolation (it's a recurring theme, huh?) and other human emotions. I can't help but notice how Kumiko's presence was more largely felt when she had gone missing when she was present in the earlier parts . And May Kasahara has to be one of the most interesting teenagers in fiction I have encountered, I just adored the character. And I like how it seem to have all the characters connected in some way and it has Toru, Kumiko and Noboru Wataya in the center of the story. The personal stories of each character in the book were all interesting. Despite the length of it, it was all worth it.
Heh, as interesting as Kafuka? The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is next on my list. I miss Murakami, feel like I haven't read anything by him for ages. Wild Sheep Chase also sounds good. From reading the blurb it seems to be just a big mix of bizarre ideas.
Yeah he does seem to write about isolation a lot, like Kafka living in a cabin for a fortnight on his own. His stories are just so deep, like huge dark lakes.
Jeeper have you read After the Quake? That has some really memorable characters.
I prefer Wind-Up bird rather than Kafka (still good), Mostly because of the scale of it. An online buddy says that Wild Sheep Chase is not very interesting but I'd still be reading it just to be sure.
After the Quake, haven't read it yet. Next time, I get to a bookstore I might but I am eyeing Sputnik Sweetheart. I am trying to do some light reading these days. Time is depriving me of the luxury.
yeah, isolation and alienation appears to be a recurring theme, I think that's one of the reasons why I like his books so much. And yes, his books are deep (minus the yawns) and unpretentious. His observations on society, I personally, find very accurate.
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