• Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Haruki Murakami

jay

New Member
novella said:
If every fiction author thought this way, I might have to give up reading fiction altogether.

Well, aside from _knowing_ this would be your reaction (I was stumped by your initial enthusiasm) and your being veddy, veddy wrong, let’s just say Murakami aint your man.

Still, I'm tempted to try Wind-up Bird Chronicle anyway. His writing style is intriguing, and maybe the failed aspects of WSC are unique to this book.

Very little if anything in ‘Sheep’ is “failed” by any means. You just didn’t dig it nor will you ‘Wind-up’.
Save your time.
Needless to say the bookstore is chock full of overly written tripe that will sate your need(s) a bit better.

francesca said:
I'm sorry to hear that, is this cinema in general or Hollwood in particular?

Any movies. And don’t be sorry. I’d rather watch the clouds move.
j
 

novella

Active Member
Golly, jay, typical of you to ignore the substance of my post and instead cut straight to your usual unfounded insults.
 

jay

New Member
novella said:
Golly, jay, typical of you to ignore the substance of my post and instead cut straight to your usual unfounded insults.

Novella’s “substance”:
‘it’s a failure on several levels’.
The “unfounded”ness behind Novella’s “substance”:
‘Clearly I don’t know what HM is (was) trying to achieve, so to claim he is “failing” is pretty…out there.’

I wasn’t being insulting whatsoever, just trying to help you out and giving my informed opinion that I *truly* feel that if you didn’t like ‘Sheep’ (overall, that is) that you will also be left with the same feeling(s) (more or less) with ‘Wind-up’.

I appreciate your thought-out review, and I’m disappointed you didn’t like it but one of the things that makes Murakami Murakami is his non-use of some of the conventions that we as readers so usually crave.

j
Who, not being anywhere near an oven, cheese, dough or tomatoes just “failed” to make a pizza while writing this post.
 

novella

Active Member
jay said:
Novella’s “substance”:
‘it’s a failure on several levels’.
The “unfounded”ness behind Novella’s “substance”:
‘Clearly I don’t know what HM is (was) trying to achieve, so to claim he is “failing” is pretty…out there.’

I wasn’t being insulting whatsoever, just trying to help you out and giving my informed opinion that I *truly* feel that if you didn’t like ‘Sheep’ (overall, that is) that you will also be left with the same feeling(s) (more or less) with ‘Wind-up’.

I appreciate your thought-out review, and I’m disappointed you didn’t like it but one of the things that makes Murakami Murakami is his non-use of some of the conventions that we as readers so usually crave.

j
Who, not being anywhere near an oven, cheese, dough or tomatoes just “failed” to make a pizza while writing this post.

jay, you clearly aren't QUOTING me here, so I'm not sure where all this is coming from. I'm pretty specific in pointing out the areas in which I think Murakami substantively fails. No reason for you to be disappointed.

What would you say, then, that Murakami is trying to achieve, particularly given that he is, himself, resistant to discussing that subject and similarly resistant to analysis of his work? I'm judging his 'achievement' (i.e., lack thereof) based on the two most important aspects of any novel, in my view.

(And why are you so coyly directing this at some imagined audience rather than at me?)
 

jay

New Member
novella said:
jay, you clearly aren't QUOTING me here

You are correct and get half-points for observance: note the inverted commas, *not* quotations marks.

I'm pretty specific in pointing out the areas in which I think Murakami substantively fails.

You are, which is appreciated. I’m not sure how or why you decided to finally pick up HM, but it does generally seem that many people go into him knowing to except something a bit…different.

No reason for you to be disappointed.

Don’t take it (or anything) too personal, just as I am puzzled when shite books are celebrated, I am dismayed when good books are not appreciated.
I try not to lose any sleep over it though.

What would you say, then, that Murakami is trying to achieve, particularly given that he is, himself, resistant to discussing that subject and similarly resistant to analysis of his work? I'm judging his 'achievement' (i.e., lack thereof) based on the two most important aspects of any novel, in my view.

In my view, he was trying to achieve telling story in a specific way.
Which he succeeded at.
It really needs no analysis, further embellishing or ‘answers’.
I’ve always been a bit fond of Mark Twain’s “notice” in the front of _Huckleberry Finn_:

“PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons
attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”

I appreciate your views and I _do_ understand them.
If you said these things about nearly any other writer I’d be right there backing you up.
But as some of these traits are heavily a part of HM’s writing, based on this (having read everything by HM available in English) I have to claim it 1) works (for a specific reader) and 2) that if it didn’t work for you, then I sincerely believe ‘Wind-Up Bird’, while a more expansive novel, more than likely will not be an overly enjoyable read for you.

(And why are you so coyly directing this at some imagined audience rather than at me?)

You claim to note what is “typical” of me but can’t pick up on the fact that I do this in every one of my posts? Very rarely am I directing words at a specific person, and when I do I generally writer his/her name.
Public board, public posts.
While I can’t claim to have some “imagined audience”, I probably wouldn’t waste so much time if I thought I just had an audience of one.
I _do_ have a Mussolini complex to uphold…
j
 

novella

Active Member
jay said:
While I can’t claim to have some “imagined audience”, I probably wouldn’t waste so much time if I thought I just had an audience of one.

j


Dang. I thought an 'audience of one' was called a conversation. And here I was wasting my time. :p
 

jay

New Member
novella said:
Dang. I thought an 'audience of one' was called a conversation. And here I was wasting my time.

Sure. But when it’s held in the presence of others I find it simply good form to occasionally glance at them and make eye contact (so to speak).
Those seeking only one-on-one would probably be inclined to use the private message thingie.

Anyway.

Novella (and those looking for an intro to HM),
I would maybe suggest that you look into HM’s short story collection _The Elephant Vanishes_. The first story, "The Wind-Up Bird and Tuesday's Women” is an almost unaltered story that turned into chapter one of _The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle_. So this would give a bit of a peek into how the novel, originally published in three parts, starts out.
Aside from that it’s a *great* collection of stories.
N, I’d be happy to send you a copy…

And on the shorts front, good news:

Murakami's next book will be _Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman_ [UK date: July 6, 2006], a collection of short stories most of which date from the late 90s onwards in translation. A number have been previously published in magazines but quite a few have never seen the light of day in English.
The stories included are:

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
The Birthday Girl
New York Mining Disaster
Airplane
Mirror
The Folklore of Our Times
Hunting Knife
Perfect Day for a Kangaroo
Dabchick
Man Eating Cats
The Poor Aunt Story
Nausea
The Seventh Man
The Girl from Ipanema
In The Year of Spaghetti
Tony Takitani
Sharpies
Ice Man
Crab
Firefly
The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day
Hanalei Bay
A Chance Traveler
Where I'm Likely To Find It
A Shinagawa Monkey

Murakami has selected the stories himself and will write an introduction explaining his choices.

j
 

Bagpuss

New Member
novella said:
I saw this interesting quote:


Murakami talked to the LA Times about Kafka on the Shore, his short story about a tsunami, and why it doesn't matter if you don't understand his books.

"In Europe and America they say I am surreal and unrealistic and postmodern and I'm happy to hear it," Murakami laughs. "But in Korea or China or Taiwan nobody says these things. They just enjoy the stories."

I wonder if that's because of something in the translation? Or do you think it's a basic cultural difference?
I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last year, and it was unlike anything I've ever read before. I enjoyed it, but I don't think I truely understood it! It was an odd story, to say the least!
 

Kenny Shovel

Active Member
I've not read massive amounts of Murikama, just:

South of the Border, West of the Sea
The Elephant Vanishes
Sputnik Sweetheart
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
and one other the name of which escapes me...

"In Europe and America they say I am surreal and unrealistic and postmodern and I'm happy to hear it," Murakami laughs. "But in Korea or China or Taiwan nobody says these things. They just enjoy the stories."
I think this is a very interesting quote; and personally I'm with the Asians on this one. I've got on problems with "Surreal" or "Unrealistic" or any other labels he may have been given, he just writes intriguing stories in an engaging style. As for 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle', whilst it's been a while since I read it, I seem to remember feeling it had a perfectly satisfying internal logic.

K-S
 

pwilson

New Member
Thanks for the link, novella. I had never read any of his work up to this point but have been eyeing this thread for several weeks while deciding whether or not to add his books to my TBR list. I read this story rather hurriedly at work and feel it definitely requires a slower reread later but I really like his writing style. Is this story representative of his novels?
 

novella

Active Member
pwilson said:
Is this story representative of his novels?

In a way, I guess is the answer. The story, to me, has a sort of parable structure that I haven't encountered in his other work, but other than that, I think the sensibility is the same.
 

pwilson

New Member
novella said:
In a way, I guess is the answer. The story, to me, has a sort of parable structure that I haven't encountered in his other work, but other than that, I think the sensibility is the same.
After reading this thread I get the impression that you have mixed feelings about Murakami. Do you feel comfortable recommending any of his works?
 

novella

Active Member
pwilson said:
After reading this thread I get the impression that you have mixed feelings about Murakami. Do you feel comfortable recommending any of his works?

Yes, absolutely. He's a very fluent and interesting writer. His work uniquely stands out for its matter-of-fact otherworldliness. Personally, I would not read all of Murakami serially because its difference is part of its pleasure.

As with anything I read, I have my own little quirks as a critic. I'm fussy about well-developed endings, in particular, and I want things to resolve within their own context. So I have some minor tics in my relationship with Murakami, but I would not dissuade anyone from reading him.
 

WoundedThorns

New Member
ah, the Wild Sheep Chase. i am yet to read it. my friend got it for me as a surprise on my birthday - i have an obbsession with sheep. believe me it, it was much worse at some points.
 

clueless

New Member
WoundedThorns said:
- i have an obbsession with sheep. believe me it, it was much worse at some points.
Did it start while counting sheep during imsomnia and is that the reason you are on sleeping pills now?
 
Top