I’m jealous of Norwegians.
I was in Norway for a night, for work, waiting in the airport lounge for the flight home. Having hours to kill and nothing to do I browsed the English section of the small Tanum bookshop, and then, still having nothing to do, I browsed the Norwegian section of the bookshop. And then I saw the hard back edition of 1Q84 there for sale.
I opened it, which was a mistake. Murakami’s prose were there, mockingly unreadable in Norwegian, and 1Q84 isn’t due to be released in the UK until October.
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood were the first two Murakami books I read. They made a huge impression. In the same way when watching a film you can recognise Wes Anderson as the director, or hear a song and know it’s by Michael Jackson, Murakami’s writing is so distinctive it’s instantly recognisable, and always brilliant. The books ebb and flow with poetic descriptions, sureal situations and sharply drawn characters who drift along with instinctive, insightful thoughts and actions.
Following that two footed plunge in to Murakami I read a lot by him, but not everything. Kafka on the Shore is probably his next best known book, and was the third book I read, and after that there was A Wild Sheep Chase and then Dance, Dance, Dance. They had been published together in a single book and I read the first and then the second, one after the other, and then I stopped.
Too much Murakami in too short a time period.
I went back a year later and reread Chronicles and it was just as good as before, but it was too soon to return to Murakami.
To be released: To be released:
18th October 2011 25th October 2011
I haven’t read anything since Chronicles and I think enough time has passed. I plan to go back in style. Both 1Q84 books are to be pre-ordered; the first will be delivered a week before the second which, with Book 1 and 2 weighing in at 640 pages, means I should have enough time, just, if I really try, to read the first volume and then move straight on to the second.
I’m looking forward to finding myself once again in the surreal, drifting world of Murakami. And after that, maybe I’ll get hold of After Dark or Sputnik Sweetheart.
A couple of short stories / essays from Haruki Murakami are available here: http://www.murakami.ch/hm/shortstories/main.html