Haruki Murakami, Reading List this Week.

As one can see I haven’t been keeping up with this blog lately and for good reason. The past couple of weeks has seen a strange influx of writing from me. Two weeks ago I woke up one morning and started writing a short story that ended up being 10,000 words all together and I finished it in the same day. That was the first eye opening experience. The second came when I had a story idea and started plugging away at the keyboard. Four days later I had the rough draft for a novel that I have been cleaning up and tweaking ever since. Needless to say the amount of work that has been coming out of me has been welcome even if it takes me away from other projects such as this one.
During my down time I have become interested in the works of Haruki Murakami. He is the author of such books as 1Q84, Norwegian Woods, and Kafka on the Shore. My interest in jazz music shifted over to Murakami who owned a Jazz bar during the 1980s. His knowledge of the music comes through in his writing when he is setting the scene. Somewhere in the opening paragraph he will mention a piece of music by an artist with the album and other details he can throw in. What I personally noticed about jazz music is how it will influence the mood of a room without the use of any lyrics. It’s no wonder the music for the beat generation was bebop. The soundtrack for On The Road by Jack Kerouac could easily be a live Charlie Parker album.
Starting off light on Murakami I read After Dark and his newest short read The Strange Library. After Dark captured the night life of Tokyo and the people that live in it. The feeling of Lost in Translation with Bill Murray came through the book although I wouldn’t be surprised if both were independent interpretations of the same world. My favorite character was the woman who ran the love hotel. A former wrestler she was stuck with the job after suffering a spinal injury in the ring and had nothing to fall back on having spent all of her money on her family.
The metaphorical chapters he put in the book regarding the sleeping sister was an odd addition that made sense towards the end of the story.
The Strange Library was a quick read about a child who was held captive in a library. He was forced to read books and memorize the information so that the librarian could eventually eat is brain. An odd tale but one that is not uncommon for those that read Asian literature. Two of the other characters was a little girl the boy fell in love with and a man that dresses in a sheep costume.
Murakami has plenty of material out there to keep me interested for a while. I will have to work my way up to something as lengthy at 1Q84 that boast over 1000 pages. In the meantime I will continue my reading of South of the Boarder, West of the Sun.

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