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BookGround >> Haruki Murakami


5/23/07 10:43 AM
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Willybone
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Edited: 23-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 27430
 
I've always been a fan of his short fiction in the New Yorker, and I just finished a few more of his books. He might be the best fiction author working today, IMO. He captures a lot of Kafka's existential mood while updating everything to this generation. Even as a non-Japanese reader, I feel like he's addressing my culture.

Dance Dance Dance - An excellent ghost story loaded with great surrealist imagery. I was genuinely creeped out, but very happy with the ending.
Norwegian Wood - This could be autobiographical. No surrealism or magical realism, just a straight up portrait of adolescent longing, confusion, and frustration.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Equal parts fantasy and Johnny Neumonic, great sci-fi. I think it's also the most humorous work I've read so far.
The Wind-up Bird Chronicles - This is my favorite so far. It uses many of the images and themes from some of his other books, but pulls them all together brilliantly.
5/24/07 9:32 AM
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DasBeaver
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Edited: 24-May-07
Member Since: 03/28/2002
Posts: 12887
He's on of my favorite authors. If you havne't read Kafka on the Shore yet I highly recommended it, after Wind-Up bird I think its my favorite. Honourable mention also goes to A Wild Sheep's Chase. I appreciate his 'normal' books, but they don't do much for me and all seem to circulate around the same love triangle thats in Noweigian Wood.
5/24/07 11:36 AM
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bjung
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Edited: 24-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 234
he's my favorite author! wind up bird is my favorite book.. i highly recommend his short story collections "the elephant vanishes" and "blind willow, sleeping woman" south of the border, west of the sun was a quick read too, i don't find his "normal" books so much about love triangles as about the general dissatisfaction people feel in their lives... Jay Rubin's book "haruki murakami: the music of words" was also an enjoyable peek at the author and his work...
5/25/07 12:00 PM
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DasBeaver
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Edited: 25-May-07
Member Since: 03/28/2002
Posts: 12898
You're right, but I find the love triangle theme comes up often. "The Elephant Vanishes" is my favorite book of short stories by him. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check that one out.
5/25/07 1:42 PM
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Your Moms Friend
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Edited: 25-May-07
Member Since: 04/21/2007
Posts: 108
I read Kafka on the Shore- it was interesting. I couldn't get into Norwegian Wood. I will try A Wild Sheep Chase next.
5/30/07 8:56 AM
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Willybone
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Edited: 30-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Has anyone read his book on the Aum cult subway gassings? I keep checking the stores for it, but always wind up buying something else.
5/30/07 9:50 AM
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DasBeaver
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Edited: 30-May-07
Member Since: 03/28/2002
Posts: 12908
I didn't realize it was translated. Whats it called?
5/30/07 11:22 AM
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bjung
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Edited: 30-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 236
it's called "Underground" it's actually iirc a compilation of two books he wrote in japanese Murakami interviews survivors and members of the the Aum cult. it's a nice bit of non-fiction/journalism. if your interested in japan/japanese culture it's an okay read. i had the time so i read it. willybone, i'd suggest "the elephant vanishes" if you haven't read it yet. i just picked up his new book "After Dark" the other day but haven't had time to sit and read yet =/
5/30/07 12:28 PM
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Willybone
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Edited: 30-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 27512
I read one long article on the cult once in Wired and have been fascinated every since. I'd like to hear Murakami's take on it.

I'll grab Elephant Vanishes next time I'm in the Strand. I always enjoyed his short pieces in The New Yorker. One about a monkey stealing a woman's name... Good stuff.

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