This Writing Life
Writer and psychologist.
View all posts by Ian Hocking
It may be a bit of a cop-out, but Murakami has a way of transcending critical faculties. His style (or his translators’ styles) and content are pretty basic, almost to the point of banality. But he manages somehow to create a mood and an atmosphere like few other writers I know. I’d compare his work to the music of Radiohead, which can sound (objectively) like annoying clatter with sixth-form lyrics scattered on top, but (instictively) it works. Thom Yorke is, unsurprisingly, a Murakami fan.
If you can be bothered to persist with him, I’d suggest The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (big and sprawly) or, maybe better, the underrated South Of The Border, West Of The Sun (small and sad — rather like a Wong Kar Wei film). Kafka was a return to form after the tiresome Sputnik Sweetheart, but it’s hardly him at his best.
Good site, btw. Will return.
Thanks for your comment, Tim. I have a feeling that there’s something about Murakami that I’ve missed and, since one of my favourite authors (David Mitchell) is a Marukami fan, I’ll probably pick up another one at some point. South of the Border sounds interesting…
Unfortunately, I am not that big of a fan. Was rather disenchanted after reading his Wind-Up Bird Chronicles earlier this year, and had just posted a criticism on his Elephant Vanishes that you might be interested in.
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