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Thread: Haruki Murakami

  1. #1
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Haruki Murakami

    Any opinions on the above author? I am just reading "After Dark". Surreal, sort of interesting writer.

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I've read Kafka on the Shore and The Windup Bird Chronicles and liked both. For a Japanese writer he is very Western, but there is something keenly different about his stuff. Definitely drawing on Kafka, and magical realist like Borges.

    If you want a Murukami expert, or Japanese literature expert in general, send a PM to FifthElement, she's read almost everything he has written.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

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    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Thanks. He uses quite a bit of symbolism coupled with ambiguity.

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I've read two of his books: Norwegian Wood and What I Think About When I Talk About Running. I actually read What I Think... because it was a book about his marathon running, not realising he was a famous author. I was a long way into Norwegian Wood before it clicked I'd read one of his books before. Norwegian Wood was certainly very moving, and it made me want to visit those Japanese mountains. I am not 100% convinced he is good at dialogue.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
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  5. #5
    I've only read Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World and had a mixed reaction to it.

    There were times when I was more than engaged in the way he weaved the narrative and so on...but the dialogue and writing I found to be utterly pedestrian and at times, pretty darn poor. There is a high possibility it was to do with the translation so I will continue to search out more of his work. Aside from the translation though, I also found the characters flimsy, as mere tools to the concept...but the concept could only engage me so much, especially when it's not as intellectually stimulating as say, a Borges concept.

    But again, I'll seek out more of his work and see how I respond.
    Vladimir: (sententious.) To every man his little cross. (He sighs.) Till he dies. (Afterthought.) And is forgotten.

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    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    I've read After Dark and the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I liked After Dark, but found it a bit too slight and unsubstantial. Wind-Up Bird on the other hand blew me away. I thought it was fantastic. I don't really remember what made me connect to this book the way I did. There's some nice deadpan humour, but that wasn't the main ingredient. Must re-read sometime.
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  7. #7
    I read Kafka on the Shore a while back. It was OK. I had heard a lot about Murakami and I was pumped to read the book, only to be underwhelmed once I finished it. Now, it seems from I've read and heard that Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is top-tier Haruki Murakami, so I suppose I will have to read that someday.
    La felicidad es interior,
    no exterior; por lo tanto,
    no depende de lo que tenemos,
    sino de lo que somos.

    - Pablo Neruda

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    Registered User perhapsican's Avatar
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    I've only read Norwegian Wood. I have since been told that that is a bad one to begin with, but isn't that always the way! I, personally, was not a fan of Norwegian Wood, but I am hoping to read Kafka on the Shore soon- never disregard an author until you've read both ends of his work! I thought his dialogue was weak and his female characters were poor. Anyone else read his work from a feminist POV?
    "And as I surveyed the clutter of his study I was pleased to see that he was a man after my own heart. All of his money appeared to have been spent on either books or shelves to hold them." -Ross King, Ex-Libris

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    I've read 'A Wild Sheep Chase', 'The Elephant Vanishes' and 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'. I find his books (and short stories) fascinating as they encapsulate a view of life that is both filled with wonder and fatalism at the same time, a combination that is so strange it is quite fascinating.

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