Monday, May 01, 2017

Book Review: Murakami's

Assalamualaikum and Hi.

Here’s to another boring side of mine…book review! My review may not be critical, you know... all serious and informative. I like to write sesuka hati, sesedap rasa. At the end, I just hope this kind of post encourage you to read. That's all. So if you are looking for in depth review, you might have taken a wrong junction. 

Title: A Wild Sheep Chase
Author: Haruki Murakami
Published Date: April 2002 (read this somewhere in July 2016, dua tiga bulan juga habis baca)
Price: RM39.90
Pages: 300 pages
Shop: Popular

I started reading Murakami’s work last year. Booo…. I know, I know. Late! Before I decide on which book to start, I read the suggestion from bloggers, book enthusiast and most of them agreed on A Wild Sheep Chase, his first international hit. Well I was excited, here it goes… reading the work from one of the greatest novelist. However my eagerness was troubled halfway (more like in the first chapter). I don’t know if it is my proficiency, but then again I seem to have troubles comprehending the story to a point of discomfort. You see, reading the title, chasing sheep is probably an analogy or metaphor. But it’s not. They were really in quest of finding a sheep and later confronted with one that inhibits a man. Reading Murakami’s work requires focus, proficiency, exploration and openness. You will find words like arpeggios, Valhalla, succinct, allotment and many others that may delay your comprehension.  Ohh… there were a lot of references of ears, ears that possess power. Confuse enough?

The “world”- the word always makes me think of a tortoise and elephants tirelessly supporting a gigantic disc. The elephants have no knowledge of the tortoise’s role, the tortoise unable to see what the elephants are doing. And neither is the least aware of the world on their backs.

People can generally be classified into two groups: the mediocre realists and the mediocre dreamers. You clearly belong to the latter. Your fate is and will always be the fate of a dreamer.

Rating: 3.9/5….. well comprehension problem.

Title: Norwegian Wood 
Author: Haruki Murakami
Published Date: September 2000 (Read this probably end of 2016 and finish it in couple of weeks)
Price: RM 39.90
Pages: 389 pages
Shop: Popular

I continued with Norwegian Wood. This is way better when it comes to reading pace and understanding. I would suggest you to read this first. Again, with Murakami’s work, you gotta take the story as it is. Don’t relate or try to make so much sense because at times, it doesn’t. In some parts, it’s very detail and dragging (slow I mean). In another parts, peculiar, unlike the conventional novel. Peculiar maybe an unfair statement. It’s more towards culture difference to a surreal feeling of our ordinary existence. He described feeling, everyday feeling like love, devotion but in provoking means, poignant and intriguing. Like when Midori said love is throwing strawberry shortcake out of the window. Norwegian Wood touched issue on relationship, sadness, mental illness, passion and many others.

With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.

Why do guys all think girls with long hair are the classiest,  the sweetest, the most feminine? I myself know at least 250 unclassy girls with long hair.

Life doesn’t require ideals. It requires standards of action.

I sometimes wonder: if you and I had met under absolutely ordinary circumstances, and if we had liked each other, what would have happened?

She’s letting out her feelings. The scary thing is not being able to do that. When your feelings build up and harden and die inside, then you’re in big trouble.

Rating: 5/5, Everything is quote worthy, open and poignant (did I mention that?)

Title: Birthday Stories 
Author: Selected by Murakami
Published Date: January 2004 (yang ni 3 jam pun boleh habis baca)
Price: RM 39.90
Pages: 207 pages
Shop: Popular

Third one is Birthday Stories. I love this! It is an anthology of birthday stories inspired after stumbling two great stories based on a birthday theme. There are 13 stories in this book from distinguished authors and Murakami himself. The stories are relatable, strange and nothing alike. The stories that stood out for me were The Moor by Russell Banks (fave!), The Birthday Cake by Daniel Lyons (of devotion), Turning by Lynda Sexson, Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath by Ethan Canin, Close to The Water’s Edge by Claire Keegan and Birthday Girl by Murakami (leave me hanging here..).

There’s been time this whole time. You can’t kill time with your heart. Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.
(Forever Overhead, David Foster Wallace)

Then she climbed in and spent the rest of her life with a man who would have gone home without her
(Close to The Water’s Edge, Claire Keegan)

No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. 
(Birthday Girl, Haruki Murakami)

Rating: 4/5 (the one that makes you wonder how your 50th birthday going to be like, hidup lagi ka tidak)

I still have two Murakami books in my collection. One of it is Dance, Dance, Dance, the fourth book in Rat Series. Since I had a difficult time reading the A Wild Sheep Chase (also from the same series) so I kinda skipped this one. Mesti buku yang bikin bingung juga. Will get back to this later. The second one is The Elephant Vanishes which I cannot wait to start!

Hope this post doesn’t make you yawn, switch tab or something.

Till next post.

Lots of love, N.

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