Exploring Murakami

24 Jul

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Saying you are a fan of Haruki Murakami is almost a hipster cliché these days.  In fact, to suggest that you haven’t read his back catalogue is something to be frowned upon.  Sadly I haven’t.  With the exception of his memoir about running, ‘What I talk about when I talk about running,’ I’d never read anything by him.  I thought I would put that right this year, if only because the covers are beautiful in their simplicity.

In total I’ve read three of his books.  ‘After the Quake,’ ‘After Dark,’ and most recently ‘South of the Boarder, West of the Sun.’  These are possibly some of the lesser revered and certainly on the shorter side of his works.  I really don’t think I have it in me to tackle the mammoth 928 pages of 1Q84.

Without trying to sound like one of the many Murakami devotees I must say I am a convert.  Each of these three books were highly enjoyable.  I am a sceptic of the short-story work as I often find it fails to fully explore concepts and can be very much hit and miss but the collection put together in After the Quake was fantastic.  Each offering was thoroughly enjoyable and not one seemed a let down.  I thought it was fantastic.  I was also really taken by After Dark and South of the Boarder in their flowing yet almost static storytelling.  With both I almost felt like I was fully invested in the books completely without noticing I was being gripped.

I’m not sure I have it in me to want to tackle some of the longer works but I at least owe it to the quality of these first three to dig a little deeper into Murakami’s bibliography.  Suggestions where to go next are welcome.

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One Response to “Exploring Murakami”

  1. Claire 'Word by Word' July 25, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    My uncle introduced his work to me some years ago, so the first book I read was Dance, Dance, Dance which was good and weird, but I couldn’t get the essence of what Murakami was all about, so I read A Wind Up Bird Chronicle and started to get him. I also read 1Q84 and thought it was excellent, if anything Book 3 was even more compelling.

    He certainly has a unique voice and is often full of surprises although there are some definite recurring themes.

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