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Haruki Murakami

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Hello,

 

If I have posted this in the wrong place, please move as appropriate, thank you:)

 

I thought I would start a topic about Haruki Murakami, since quite a few of our members enjoy his work.

 

Haruki Murakami, born January 12, 1949) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described by the Virginia Quarterly Review as "easily accessible, yet profoundly complex".

 

Novels ~

 

(The year shown is the year the book was published in English)

 

1987 Hear the Wind Sing

1985 Pinball, 1973

1989 A Wild Sheep Chase

1991 Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

1994 Dance Dance Dance

1997 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

2000 Norwegian Wood

2000 South of the Border, West of the Sun

2001 Sputnik Sweetheart

2005 Kafka on the Shore

2007 After Dark

 

Further information can be found Here (Source ~ Wikipedia)

 

I have read so far by Haruki Murakami, 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle', 'Kafka on the Shore' and 'Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman' and they have all made an impact, Haruki Murakami is amazingly talented and his characters are memorable, just an excellent writer. I have on my TBR pile, 'Dance Dance Dance', 'South of the Border, West of the Sun' and 'Sputnik Sweetheart'

 

250px-HarukiMurakami.png

Edited by Weave

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This is one author I keep looking at and looking at at the store, and yet never taking home. Is there a unifying thing to his work, a theme, a method, or are they all induvidual?

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Dance, Dance, Dance will make more sense after A Wild Sheep Chase, as it's a sort-of sequel.

 

I love the bizarre cyber-punky sort of idiom, but set without any of the techyness that sometimes gets in the way - it's sort of wired, people sort-of get into an alternative web, but which never need to be explained.

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Its hard to explain, the story are really simple but they are just amazingly different, I love 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle', I just got it and I loved it.

 

I am not that great at explaining Haruki Murakami (sorry) x

Edited by Weave

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It's okay. I guess I'll just have to try him out.

 

Haruki Murakami takes you into a world ii, that is still this world but he shows a underside to it, which makes really interesting. 'The Wind Up Bird Chronicle' was amazing surreal but not overly surreal, so many themes going through the same book, which gave you a lot to think about, at the end, I was like 'wow' :)

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Norwegian Wood sits apart really, but I guess the unifying thing of the other books is that theoretically very mundane japanese men in very mundane lifestyles get mixed up in weird semi-mythical systems. Sort of like magical realism, but very strictly defined and very Japanese and without the stupidity of a lot of magical realism. It's all very deliberately unexplained.

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Norwegian Wood sits apart really, but I guess the unifying thing of the other books is that theoretically very mundane japanese men in very mundane lifestyles get mixed up in weird semi-mythical systems. Sort of like magical realism, but very strictly defined and very Japanese and without the stupidity of a lot of magical realism. It's all very deliberately unexplained.

 

^Exactly, thanks Andy1.gif

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I ended up reading After Dark by chance, after I picked it up as the third book in one of Waterstone's 3 for 2 offers.

The synopsis sounded interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try, and once I started I couldn't put it down. As I have already said in another thread, his characters are very well written, but he also has a knack for vividly describing locations, without labouring the detail (as some authors do).

I've also read Sputnik Sweetheart, and found both this and After Dark to be engaging and interesting reads. I am looking forward to reading more!

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I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle several years ago but it left me feeling a bit bewildered and unsatisfied - I felt I'd missed the point, somewhat. However, that was when I purely read 'Women's Lit' which I don't tend to touch these days, so perhaps it's time to try another?

 

Would you say Norwegian Wood would be a good one to 'start' with, Andy?

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I recently read After Dark, which I enjoyed, although I did wonder if I was missing the point somewhat. But I have been informed by friends who have read lots of his novels, that After Dark is not one of his better ones.

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I guess Norwegian Wood would be a good start, Janet.

 

I think, Janet and Ruth, you are only "missing the point" by thinking there should be a "point" in the first place. To me, a lot of the point of what goes on in Murukami's books is that it can't be explained exactly; there isn't really a narrative "reason" for what's happening. It's just what does happen. It's one of the things I love about it, but it does mean, I think, that it really can't be for everyone. You rarely push through to a single satisfying conclusion that explains all that has preceded it.

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'The Wind Up Bird Chronicle' had a very open end but I was left satisifed that it would work out for the main character. Haruki Murakami books are to me, very much take them as you find them, I have only read three books but I am planning to read more, especially 'Norwegian Wood' :lol:

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I recently read After Dark, which I enjoyed, although I did wonder if I was missing the point somewhat. But I have been informed by friends who have read lots of his novels, that After Dark is not one of his better ones.

 

The reader comments on Amazon back that up as well, but I like it (especially the wonderfully laid-back character of Takahashi).

 

I think, Janet and Ruth, you are only "missing the point" by thinking there should be a "point" in the first place. To me, a lot of the point of what goes on in Murukami's books is that it can't be explained exactly; there isn't really a narrative "reason" for what's happening. It's just what does happen.

 

Personally, I've found his books inetersting precisely because things aren't explained, and that it is left to the reader to make of the story what they will.

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My copy of 'A Wild Sheep Chase' arrived today :)

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I really love murakami. I first read "hard boiled wonderland" and it just blew my mind. Nothing else has quite matched up to the sheer surreality of that one for me. I've read kafka on the shore, wind up bird and some of a collection of short stories I forget the name of.

 

There's also an illustrated short story by Murakami here, the 100% perfect girl.

 

Wondering now whether to read Norweigan Wood or to re-read hard boiled wonderland.

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I have other books to read yes but I keep pining over Murakami books and I don't have any money to buy them yet......hopefully be able to get one by mid april :)

 

I want them all, I've only read one so far ' a wild sheep chase' but I can't stop thinking of it and others I want to read.

 

I have them all in my amazon basket ready to buy :yes:

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I have read (so far) by Haruki Murakami ~

 

A Wild Sheep Chase

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Kafka on the Shore

South of the Border, West of the Sun

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

 

And on my TBR Pile ~

 

After Dark

Dance Dance Dance

Sputnik Sweetheart

 

I also have the Murakami Diary 2009, its lovely, it has extracts from his books and lovely pictures :yes:

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You've got me very jealous now Gyre :yes: I'm interested in the diary too, is it worth it?

 

I'm not that interested to read after dark or south of the border, west of the sun compared to the others, the storylines don't interest me as much although I may end up reading them anyway.

 

Order of what I'm interested in reading next:

Kafka on the shore

The Wind up bird Chronicle

The Elelphant vanishes

Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world

Blind willow, sleeping woman

Norwegian wood

Dance dance dance

Sputnik sweetheart

 

Hoping to aquire pinball and hear the wind sing from somewhere when I get some money

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You've got me very jealous now Gyre :yes: I'm interested in the diary too, is it worth it?

 

I think it is worth it Chrysalis, its very pretty, so pretty infact, I hate writing in it :)

 

31wFJYmX1L_SL500_AA240_.jpg

 

Product Description~

 

Cats slink across the pages; the seasons are marked by cherry blossom and Japanese maple; spaghetti strands or telephone cords separate the days; and a generous selection of quotations and extracts from Murakami's novels and stories appear on almost every page to inspire, amuse or entertain. This is a diary like no other, faithful to all that is witty, surreal, sexy and beautiful in Murakami's work. A must-have for fans of Murakami, fans of Vintage fiction and fans of unique design, this diary will appeal to everyone as a quirky companion for 2009.

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I bought 2 Murakami books on the weekend:

 

Dance Dance Dance

South of the Border, West of the Sun

 

I haven't read any before, so was thrilled to find them.

 

Any recommendations as to which one I should read first?

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As Seiichi said Kylie, read 'Dance Dance Dance' after 'A Wild Sheep Chase' but if you don't want to wait, 'Dance Dance Dance' can be read as a stand alone book.

 

'South of the Border, West of the Sun' is really good, I hope you enjoy it.

 

I would recommend reading 'The Wind Up Bird Chronicle' next :D

 

Happy reading Kylie:haha:

Edited by Weave

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I'm afraid I don't "get" him either? I was given "Norwegian Wood" by my big sis ages ago, because the title is a Beatles song (I am a big Beatles fan) so she thought the song might prove crucial to the story, thus interesting me. Back then I read the first 50 pages or so and got very confused; I get the feeling from you guys' posts that that's part of the whole point (i.e. that there isn't one) but I like points in books... am I wasting my time in planning to give it another go?

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