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      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
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Haruki Murakami

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I'm currently reading Kafka on the shore,and so far I like it.Very much.I think it'll turn out to be a great book,but I'll just wait until I've finished it before I make that statement official :smile2:

 

As far as Norwegian wood goes,I've read it some time ago,and I remember I didn't have a very good feeling about it before reading it, because Murakami just seemed to be so..Dunno.In I guess.Overblown or sth.But when I read it,it changed my opinion a bit,because the book was well written (of course,keep in mind I've read a translated version,not the original,so this statement is a bit silly,but you know what I mean),easy to read,and it seemed honest.What annoyed me was the sex scenes,they seemed unnecessary most of the time.But I've noticed the sex motif in his other books so...Guess he's just a teeny guy in an grown man's body :) Anyway,it seems to me that Norwegian wood is not one of his best books,but seems to be one of the most popular for whatever reason.

 

Glad you are enjoying Kafka on the Shore so far, I enjoyed it too!

 

Isn't Norwegian wood about teenagers so the sex scenes are probably right for the characters? I know grown/older men who constantly make sexual innuendos/comments more than the teenage boys I know so not sure Murakami is acting like a teeny guy all that much.

 

I have yet to read this book of Murakami's, tis one i'll leave till later, it doesn't grab me as much as others.

Edited by chrysalis_stage

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^^Actually,I agree with everything you've said here.

 

I think it's semi-autobiographic,about his college days (if I remember correctly),so yeah,how can you leave out the sex xD But I think it just seemed too annoying to me,constantly reading something happening-SS-something else happening-SS...They seemed boring compared to the other things he wrote about,so it didn't seem to fit in for me.But that's just me :smile2:

 

Kafka seems much better than NW,so I guess I'm gonna like it :)

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I know what you mean, too much sex can detract from the purpose of the book, if we wanted to read about alot of sex at the end of the day we would just go and pick up some erotic literature. Some is necessary and fits in the story but some is just unnecessary.

 

That said Kafka on the Shore does have quite abit of sexual content, I have read a review which said they thought it was Murakami's most sexually explicit book but i'm not sure of that myself yet as I have other Murakami's to read and compare.

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Really?Well,I was kinda affraid of that,cos of the searching-for-the-lost-mother-and- sister-thing where he uhm ''likes'' :) random women,and then thinks ''oh could that be my sister?I better stop being pervy''.

 

Ah that Haruki :smile2:

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Really?Well,I was kinda affraid of that,cos of the searching-for-the-lost-mother-and- sister-thing where he uhm ''likes'' :) random women,and then thinks ''oh could that be my sister?I better stop being pervy''.

 

Ah that Haruki :smile2:

 

Yeah, tis a great book though I'm sure you'll enjoy it overall esp. if your liking it so far! :)

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^^Thanks,I'm sure I will.

(And thanks for the chat,I'm always nervous when I start posting somewhere new :smile2: )

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^^Thanks,I'm sure I will.

(And thanks for the chat,I'm always nervous when I start posting somewhere new :) )

 

I know what you mean but as you have probably seen its a very friendly forum. If you haven't already, post an introduction post, lots will welcome you then. :smile2:

 

Its great to meet another Haruki Murakami fan! :)

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It is a friendly forum.

My daughter loves all things Japanese so I am going to the library tomorrow to check this author out. Maybe I might like him and she might start to read again :smile2:

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It is a friendly forum.

My daughter loves all things Japanese so I am going to the library tomorrow to check this author out. Maybe I might like him and she might start to read again :smile2:

 

 

;) You definitely should check him out. I hope you like his books and it starts your daughter reading again too. How old is your daughter?

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;) You definitely should check him out. I hope you like his books and it starts your daughter reading again too. How old is your daughter?

 

19 in June. She is studying Japanese at uni. Has a fascination with the country/language/ culture.

I am going to the library today to check out if they have any of his books.:smile2:

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Going back a bit, the thing about Murakami and his use of sex is that it's very idiosyncratic. It's very unpornographic and very unsensual. It's cold, and it's described in a very functional kind of way. I think that it's used as a form of cypher, as just one of those things that is everyday life, for him, the way he talks about listening to jazz or making pasta. It's ritualistic and repeated, but in some ways it doesn't matter that it's sex. It's just that it's one of those things that happens in peoples' lives.

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Thats a good point Andy, I think I agree, it is unpornographic and unsensual from what I remember in the books I have read so far, the topic is there but it is not brash in any way.

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I've only read Norwegian Wood, so I can't judge really. Admittedly, that the sex is so cold and functional made me feel uneasy reading it (someone else made that same comment a while back) because it seems weird like that. So if that is what he wants to achieve with it, he suceeded with me. But the sex is irrelevant to my overall opinion of that book.

 

My actual problem with that particular book was that all the women were psychos and yet had no character, there was basically no plot and Toru was just a narratorial vehicle that went along with anything. It just seemed pointless.

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Interesting point there Andy and I agree about it being cold and all.

But you know,I thought of how his characters often get aroused by...whatever.I remember how in ''Hard boiled wonderland...'' the main character is aroused by the ''slightly overweight'' girl,and then a bit later there's the scene with the library (LOL) girl.Which is definitely,as you've mentioned before,described very functionally.The actual process I mean.But why the arousement?Also can be found in Kafka...Just currious.

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Just putting it out there (as my daughter would say), do you think his clinical approach to sex, if that is the word, is cultural?

 

 

Well you people wore me down.:yahoo: Despite the fact that I have about 20 books in my TBR pile I went and got two of his books from the library. I have started "After Dark". I have read one page:blush:. I have been very busy lately, but I hope to rectify this reading deficit.:lurker:

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^^ :yahoo: I know how you feel.

 

Good question. I'm affraid I haven't read many books by Japanese authors so I can't really answer it. But it could be. It does seem like they have a specific approach to emotions and expresing them which might seem colder to us folks from the West, but as I've said, I can't really judge. I'm sure we could find a lot of Europian authors who describe things such as feelings in such a mechanical/functional/non sensual/warm manner. The epoche of naturalism comes to mind :lurker:

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As far as i'm aware, I always thought sex was a more accepted and talked about topic in Japanese culture compared to our western culture. Whether more accepted means they have become robotic about it is something I don't know but doubt, it is probably just something Murakami does in his work for some not completely understandable reason at this moment in time.

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I agree, I find with Haruki Murakami, he is very clinical about sex, he does mention feelings of love, etc but they never seem real, but then most of his characters don't seem real. With 'Kafka on the shore', I found it uncomfortable with the mother/sister aspect but at the same time it was all about metaphors, so maybe she was his mother/sister but in another way she wasn't, which was confusing.

 

Needless to say, I think he is amazing writer, very straightforward in his approach to writing while delivering an almost mystical reality with his characters, which I also like.

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As far as i'm aware, I always thought sex was a more accepted and talked about topic in Japanese culture compared to our western culture. Whether more accepted means they have become robotic about it is something I don't know but doubt, it is probably just something Murakami does in his work for some not completely understandable reason at this moment in time.

 

Interesting

 

I have finished "After Dark" and I enjoyed it. To me he is like a Japanese Ian McEwen.

 

Getting back to the sex thing, the Love Hotel owner in After Dark asks Mari straight out if she was a virgin, in the same context as one might ask someone if they would like a cup of tea.

I remember reading an interview with Mischa Barton, the US actress about an interview she had done in Japan. Amongst questions about her movies, etc, a journalist had just asked her straight out if she was a virgin.:)

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Still reading KOTS and I have to mention how original the story is (imo) :lol: Where does he come up with these things? I especially love how he starts off with 2 stories that seem separate and then further on you slowly see the link between the two.

When I started reading I kept thinking I wonder what that's got to do with the other thing...A fun read by all means :)

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I've read Norwegian Wood, The wind-up bird chronicle and Kafka on the shore and also a collection of his short stories called blind willow, sleeping woman from which Haruki is supposed to have gained the basis for the novel Norwegian Wood. He's a beautiful writer, it's comfort reading for me.

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I have been reading over this thread and I am pleased to see a lot of mixed reactions to this writer. The next book I will be reading is Kafka on the Shore. It will be my first by Haruki Murakami. He seems to be an author you either love or hate. I have a feeling I am going to love his work, so I am rather excited about delving in and sharing my thoughts. :D

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