Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
Finished reading on March 27th, 2014
Murakami’s style = missing people and cats + intelligent young people + mystery and magic. Kind of like Mikhail Bulgakov and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mixed up, as there’s someone who’s gone missing, some-one who’s there trying to find them, and then you might have talking animals.
This book is a collection of Murakami’s short stories, that might be a good introduction to his style. They’re interesting, although some might make you want to read more about what happened in that specific story.
However, if you’ve read something by Murakami before, then you’ll probably see something really familiar. For example there are stories that are actually included in his Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up bird Chronicle for example. That was something that borthered me, as although I quite liked the novels, I rather didn’t like reading the same story again, maybe with different names and initial conditions, but that nonetheless followed the same basic formula (probably they were written up before the novels…).
The stories are good, mostly they’re sad – in almost every one of those there’s someone who has just died, or who has gone missing, so this collection more that anything I’ve read by Murakami before reminded me of Arthur Conan Doyle. That makes it a lot easier to understand the popularity of his work as well – there’s mystery and you want to know what happened, but you can’t be certain that there aren’t supernatural elements in there like talking monkeys for example, which was the part that reminded me of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita’s Behemoth. (So if you love Murakami, you might like Bulgakov)
So what one basically needs to know about it is, that it’s 24 short stories – something I didn’t know when I bought the book.