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Old 25th Mar 2008, 13:59   #61
bill
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

Well, crap. Should I even bother reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle now?

EDIT: Scratch that. I just read beer good's link. Sounds like I should.

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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 17:03   #62
Alan
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

To bring Haruki towards the top of the messageboard...

I've recently read his memoir about running and writing What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Imaginary prize if anyone can guess the inspiration for this title.

Interesting, brief ruminations on why Murakami considers himself a long distance man and a bit of a loner (in a good way). Quite a humble, self-effacing little book.
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Old 29th Jun 2010, 15:27   #63
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Default Re: Murakami

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsheep View Post

Avoid Kafka On The Shore if you have never read him before though. Bad one to start with.

Hope that helps.
It would have done if I had read that before I ploughed my way, with increasing doggedness and reluctance, through its 500 pages. How off the scale of his works is it? because I am more than uninspired to pick up another after this.
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Old 29th Jun 2010, 15:51   #64
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Default Re: Murakami

If it's any help, JM, I've barely been inspired to read another Murakami after reading one about five years ago.
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Old 29th Jun 2010, 16:16   #65
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

I've never warmed to him either. I tried The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, often cited as his best, but it left me cold and I gave up on it early on. I had read a couple of his novels when at university (almost 20 years ago now! Yikes!), but they didn't leave much impression.
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Old 29th Jun 2010, 20:21   #66
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

I've read Norwegian Wood, which I believe is considered the least Murakamiish of all of his books, and After Dark, which left very little impression on me. I have yet to pick up another one. My wife enjoyed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle but has struggled with several others.
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Old 30th Jun 2010, 13:30   #67
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

I enjoyed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I've read many more as a result. I've enjoyed them all to an extent, but The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is still my favourite. All his books answer my standard criterion: "Is this book full of cool ideas?".
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Old 30th Jun 2010, 15:08   #68
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

I loved Kafka On The Shore, and in true palimp style I hunted down the rest of Murakami's books. Particularly enjoyed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but didn't care for Norwegian Wood - supposedly his most straightforward book.

Looking forward to 1Q84 next year.
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Old 30th Jun 2010, 16:13   #69
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

I, like Gil, count "Gosh, I'd never thought of that before," as something I look for in books. And there were some cool ideas in Kafka - it was set in Japan; anything set in Japan is automatically cool for me - but none of the oddnesses or mysteries were resolved. I ploughed on to the end in the hope that there would be some sort of resolution or explanation for all the weirdness, but never got one.

I don't demand my authors cross every t and dot every i in their stories but at the end I was deeply dissatisfied that there was no explanation for anything - and even more dissatisfyingly, the weirdnesses here weren't weird enough for me not to care.

I have no idea what the hell is going on in any of David Lynch's films (with which Kafka had some superficial similarities) or many later AE van Vogt, or Philip Dick novels but they are so bloody weird I don't mind. I just enjoy the ride through the scenery in their heads and come out the other side glad I don't have to live there all the time.

I also got extremely fed up with the characters bumping into incredibly erudite strangers who would launch into long detailed lectures about their pet subjects. The coffee shop owner with the abiding love for Beethoven being a prime example.
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Old 1st Jul 2010, 1:34   #70
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Default Re: Haruki Murakami

Actually, one good thing has come of reading this book. As a direct result of reading it, the kids and I will be making onigiri, sushi, and sashimi for tea on Friday.
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