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Haruki Murakami, the writer I'd LOVE to read this 2017

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Sarah R. found this witty
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I have only read Norwegian Wood and The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami, but I fell in love with his literature. I love his quirky style, the poetic findings in his narrative, the uniqueness of his short stories and his sense of humour. I definitely need to read more of his books.

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is a bewitching and wildly inventive novel from a master stylist.

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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

Toru Okada's cat has disappeared and this has unsettled his wife, who is herself growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has started receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.

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What I Talk about When I Talk about Running

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston. Funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a must read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.

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A Wild Sheep Chase

"A Wild Sheep Chase" is one of Murakami's most fantastical novels. An advertising executive, infatuated with a girl who possesses the most perfect ears (an erotic charge for him) uses a picture of a sheep with a star on its back. This catapults him into a weird adventure to find the mythical sheep up in the wilds of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. There are strange encounters, a hotel with an extra disappearing floor, and other oddities. "A Wild Sheep Chase" is an early Murakami work, but its remarkable and individual voice makes it one of the most thrilling of his books. It is superbly read by Rupert Degas with an edge of Raymond Chandler.

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1Q84

The long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and bestselling author gives us his hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell's 1984. The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre 'proposal' to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange disturbance that develops over a literary prize. While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?

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After Dark

Here is a novel, set in Tokyo, of mysterious and intriguing chance encounters. The midnight hour approaches in an almost empty all-night diner. Mari sips her coffee and glances up from a book as a young man, a musician, intrudes on her solitude. Both have missed the last train home. The musician has plans to rehearse with his jazz band all night; Mari is equally unconcerned and content to read, smoke, and drink coffee until dawn. Then they realise they've met before through Eri, Mari's beautiful sister. The musician soon leaves with a promise to return before dawn. Shortly afterwards, Mari will be interrupted a second time by a girl from the Alphaville Hotel - a Chinese prostitute has been hurt by a client; the girl has heard Mari speaks fluent Chinese and requests her help. Meanwhile, Eri is at home and sleeps a deep, heavy sleep that is "too perfect, too pure" to be normal. Her pulse and respiration are at the lowest required level. She has been in this soporific state for two months. And so Eri has become the classic myth: a sleeping beauty. But tonight, as the digital clock displays 00:00, a faint electrical crackle is perceptible, a hint of life flickers across the TV screen in Eri's room, though the television's plug has been pulled. (P)2007 Hodder & Stoughton Audiobooks

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South of the Border, West of the Sun

Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.

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Sputnik Sweetheart

Haruki Murakami is unquestionably Japan!|s leading novelist with his many works { fiction and non-fiction { consistently reflecting contemporary Japanese life while, unusually, sustaining an international appeal through a deeply human perspective. Sputnik Sweetheart is his ninth novel, written in 1999, and tells the story of a young woman { Sumire, an aspiring writer { who falls in love with an older, successful businesswoman and wine expert, Miu. Their relationship is told through the eyes of Sumire!|s close (male) friend. It is a curious, mysterious tale, told with the compassion and quirkiness that is the hallmark of Murakami!|s writing.

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The Strange Library

Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans. 'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'. On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake. Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?

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Birthday Stories

What will you get for your birthday this year? A chance to see into the future? Or a reminder of the imperfect past? In this enviable gathering, Haruki Murakami has chosen for his party some of the very best short story writers of recent years, each with their own birthday experiences, each story a snapshot of life on a single day. Including stories by Russell Banks, Ethan Canin, Raymond Carver, David Foster Wallace, Denis Johnson, Claire Keegan, Andrea Lee, Daniel Lyons, Lewis Robinson, Lynda Sexson, Paul Theroux, William Trevor and Haruki Murakami, this anthology captures a range of emotions evoked by advancing age and the passing of time, from events fondly recalled to the impact of appalling tragedy. Previously published in a Japanese translation by Haruki Murakami, this English edition contains a specially written introduction.

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Sarah R. found this witty
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