Author Topic: Haruki Murukami  (Read 4285 times)

BlodwynPig

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2019, 12:25:20 AM »
Bergerac next?

purlieu

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2019, 10:12:41 AM »
*Googles "Bergerac novelisations"*

Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2019, 01:57:13 PM »
Do you lot tend to read Murakami books attempting to make sense of the symbolism?
I really like his books, but I find I just tend to enjoy the feeling of mystery they give me, but dont really try to intellectually analyse what the different motifs in there mean. Not sure if they even are intended to mean anything.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2019, 03:27:14 PM »
Same here. Let the books wash over me and fill me with feelings.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2019, 11:01:13 PM »
Do you lot tend to read Murakami books attempting to make sense of the symbolism?
I really like his books, but I find I just tend to enjoy the feeling of mystery they give me, but dont really try to intellectually analyse what the different motifs in there mean. Not sure if they even are intended to mean anything.
I tend to get a vague sense of what each book is 'about' - it's usually a very subtle 'sort it out you twat' towards the very complacent, passive narrator - but don't look much further than that. The themes tend to get me pondering in a vague way rather than wanting to analyse them, and although there are definitely some intended things there - the contrasting rain and desert metaphors in South of the Border spring to mind, as my most recently read - they're not the reason I read the books. The atmosphere, ambiguity, humour and weirdness are always the pull, and if I can take anything more then it's a nice bonus.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2019, 11:50:05 AM »
The Elephant Vanishes is a frustrating book. His first set of short stories, they veer between strange little tales (certainly 'The Dancing Dwarf' and 'The Little Green Monster' are among his weirdest moments) that are enjoyably odd in themselves, and then more down-to-earth tales that really feel like they warrant much more expansion. The best of these is 'The Wind-up Bird and Tuesday's Women', which gets its much-needed fleshing out in his next novel, but most of them just feel unsatisfying. The writing, imagery and humour are all top-notch, but the collection definitely shows his shortcomings as a short story writer.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2019, 04:10:09 PM »
Just spotted and bought his new book yesterday : Killing Commendatore

The inside blurb promises it to be a return to the woozy supernatural stylings of his earlier work, so let's see.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2019, 11:51:36 AM »
I'm waiting for the paperback to get that (October, I think?). I've seen mixed things about it but I'm sure there'll be lots to enjoy.

Underground is beautiful. Succeeds brilliantly in what it sets out to be: a completely unsensationalised document of now the Tokyo gas attack affected people. Some of it is heartbreaking, some of it is life-affirming, lots of it is strangely 'normal'. Not a light read, nor something I could return to regularly, but definitely worth reading.

Just started The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. My favourite of his first time 'round, so I'm interested to see how well it will hold up.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2019, 01:33:25 PM »
I'm waiting for the paperback to get that (October, I think?). I've seen mixed things about it but I'm sure there'll be lots to enjoy.

Underground is beautiful. Succeeds brilliantly in what it sets out to be: a completely unsensationalised document of now the Tokyo gas attack affected people. Some of it is heartbreaking, some of it is life-affirming, lots of it is strangely 'normal'. Not a light read, nor something I could return to regularly, but definitely worth reading.

Just started The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. My favourite of his first time 'round, so I'm interested to see how well it will hold up.

Once I've finished, would be happy to send my copy to you, unless you really want a paperback

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2019, 12:15:07 PM »
I actually really hate hardbacks, so I'll have to pass up your generous offer, but thank you!

Recent reading:
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Yes, still absolutely love this. He creates a much more solid, textured world than in earlier books, before jumping off the deep end into the surreal. Also foreshadows his next few books by moving away from the personal and incorporating several characters' viewpoints and Japanese history, as well as casting his vision to wider society; also the first presence of third-person sections in his novels. I love the web of characters and stories and their inter-connectedness, exploring free will and/or destiny. Just an absolute masterpiece. 5/5.

Sputnik Sweetheart. Such a small scale work to follow that. Effectively a third-person story of Sumire, albeit told from K's first person perspective. As a standard romantic tale, along the lines of Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, it falls somewhere between the two in quality: it's a fairly inconsequential tale like the latter, but it just about grips me on an emotional level. I'm still not sure how well the surreal twist in the final third works: I can't escape the nagging doubt it feels like he ran out of ideas. 3.5/5

after the quake. Finally, one I'd not read before. That said, it's fairly underwhelming over all. Most of the stories feel like single chapters from books, ending not even on a cliffhanger, but totally unresolved. I'm sure this is for an artistic reason, but whatever it is, it leaves them feeling thoroughly underwhelming. Only the final two stories satisfy: the ludicrous 'Super-Frog Saves Tokyo', and the absolutely beautiful 'Honey Pie', which really feels like the skeleton of a novel, and I wish he'd fleshed it out like that rather than keeping it as a short. His first book to be written entirely in the third person. 3/5

Just started Kafka on the Shore this morning.

Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2019, 12:37:31 PM »
Aw, Serge.

Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2019, 02:37:04 PM »
Loved everything I read of his until 1Q84 which was good, but somebody really should have told him that if he's trying to write a sympathetic book about women and the way they're objectified and treated abhorrently by men, maybe don't have the female protagonist constantly commenting on how she hates her uneven breasts?

I read almost all of his novels consecutively which definitely isn't advised - there's a lot of classic Murakami tropes that grate if you don't give yourself a break. Haven't read Killing Commendatore but I'm expecting the worst

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2019, 12:45:04 PM »
Yeah, I'm taking some time off once I've finished Kafka on the Shore. Back to Doctor Who I think.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2019, 02:19:25 PM »
Yeah, I'm taking some time off once I've finished Kafka on the Shore. Back to Doctor Who I think.

Old Dr. Who or CBeebies Dr. Who? I can imagine Old Dr. Who being a good transition, and CBeebs Dr. Who being a complete palette cleanser

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Haruki Murukami
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2019, 01:04:30 PM »
Ah you'll have to follow the Old Doctor Who thread to find out the details.

(I'm in the McCoy era, a few books away from the end of his TV run).

Kafka on the Shore. It's an odd one, this book, although one that goes on to define his style for a decade. Two very separate plots (albeit connected overall), one told entirely in the third person, totally different protagonists to the usual, generally more action, and a much more overt emphasis on interconnected / fate-driven plots. Despite it containing many Murakami hallmarks - detailed descriptions of meals, classical and jazz music, weird sex, cats, jarring moments where metaphysical strangeness meets blunt, down-to-Earth dialogue* - it definitely feels different to his earlier works.

It always feels like it sags for the first half or so to me, to the extent that I think it's one of his worst books, but somehow by the end I always keep my 5 star review on Goodreads. An odd book.

*my favourite moment in the whole book is when Hoshino meets a mystical character and asks if him having 'no name or shape' means he's like a fart. Totally ludicrous.

After Dark. Didn't feel like going back to Who just yet, so moved onto this. This one moves even further from his usual style, eschewing almost all of his trademark themes (cats appear in one chapter, and one character plays in a jazz band, but that's about it for his usual references). It feels incredibly lightweight in contrast to the previous couple of novels, which does seem to be a pattern in Murakami's chronology, so maybe not surprising. The main story, set in central Tokyo over one evening, with many characters interacting and conversing, is very enjoyable, albeit slight. The more dream-like plot with Eri just feels like a waste, however, and I never get anything from it at all. The writing style is interesting, the book structured almost as camera script for a film rather than a novel. Definitely one of his lesser works, but with enough going on for it to seem less boring than, say, South of the Border, West of the Sun. 3.5/5

I also read Birthday Girl, his own contribution to his Birthday Stories collection, which is a fun little tale and better than a lot of his short stories.