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Haruki Murakami


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Rustem



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:32 pm Reply with quote
I know his stuff isnt really 'light' or even remotely related to anime, but I was curious if anyone has read this fella, Kenzaburo Oe, Yasunari Kawabata, etc.

Its all enjoyable, but Murakami is much easier to read than the other two. "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle" is fantastic.
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Mylene
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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
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Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:21 pm Reply with quote
Hmm... I found The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to be very interesting, but I'll admit, it wasn't a favorite. There were something a little too weird about the man's new 'job' and the blue mark on his face. I never really understood what was going on really. I could get the sense of what I should take away from the book, but while reading it I found myself often frustrated. I did really like May and her letters, however. I still get really creeped out when I think about the detail of the spoiler[man being skinned alive] though. The detail provided in that scene was so incredibly intense.

Murakami is probably my favorite author (English, Japanese, French, or otherwise). Norwegian Wood is definitely my favorite novel, followed up by Dance, Dance, Dance, and After the Quake. He is just so incredibly good at making you feel and sympathize with his characters, and I like having the consistency of the same translator for all of the English U.S. releases of his works. Once my winter break begins, I'm hoping to finally getting around to reading Kafka by the Shore which I've had sitting around for a year, I just haven't had a chance to start yet.

You know, I've never been entirely certain if the "Novel" section is limited only to anime-related novels, but with the Yoshimoto Banana thread never being locked and now this one, I guess I can assume that any Japanese novel/novelist is okay for the time being.
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Rustem



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:50 pm Reply with quote
I liked Norwegian Wood too, and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is a solid, fun read.

I haven't read many other modern 'contemporary' authors from Japan, though. My wife is really into the big ones that I mentioned before, but I wondering if theres any other translated stuff out there like Murakami... that isnt genre-specific.
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Mylene
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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
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Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:59 pm Reply with quote
Yoshimoto Banana is another good Japanese author. Her novels tend to be more like novellas, but she is also excellent at making the reader comprehend and sympathize with her characters. There is also a very ethereal sense to her stories. I always feel like I'm reading them through a fog--but not in a bad way. Goodbye, Tsugumi is my favorite novel of hers--it focuses on two cousins, one of whom is chronically ill and their summer together. I also really enjoyed the short story that was in the back of Kitchen, "Moonlight Shadow." It combines the grief of losing someone young along with supernatural ways to overcome such grief. She also has the indirect styling that Murakami seems to use--tells the story in a roundabout way.
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Futagi



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:42 am Reply with quote
I read his Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. It was a really good novel that personally I'm surprised hasn't been adapted into some sort of an anime. Has a lot to do with the subconscious mind and has a great story to boot. Every odd chapter takes place in the hard-boiled reality while the even chapters take place in the semi-fantastical place called the End of the World. A friend of mine who read it said the end of the world sequences reminded him a lot of Hanmei Renmei, but having never seen this show myself, I can't say for sure. [/b]
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Shigi



Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 41
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:01 am Reply with quote
I think you mean Haibane Renmei.

And here's a quote from wiki:

Quote:
Graphic artist Yoshitoshi Abe has cited [Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World] along with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as an inspiration for his anime series Haibane Renmei.


It's missing a cite in the wiki article, but I do remember that coming out around the time Haibane Renmei was airing. Unfortunately, I can't recall the original source.
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Mylene
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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:24 am Reply with quote
Given the importance of wells and the 'truth' at the bottom of them in Haibane Renmei, I can certainly see the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle influence. I still haven't read Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World yet, but fully intend to, as I love both Murakami's works and HR. Great combination for me.

Has anyone read Sputnik Sweetheart or Kafka by the Shore? I have Kafka, but haven't read it. I've heard it has a really disturbing part, and wonder if it could be nearly as disturbing as the spoiler[human skinning] scene in Wind-Up...
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:49 am Reply with quote
Mylene wrote:
Has anyone read Sputnik Sweetheart or Kafka by the Shore? I have Kafka, but haven't read it. I've heard it has a really disturbing part, and wonder if it could be nearly as disturbing as the spoiler[human skinning] scene in Wind-Up...

I have read Kafka, but I think I was the one you were talking to before. I haven't read Wind-Up, but peeked at your spoiler and can say that the scene in Kafka is similar. Despite that scene, it is a very interesting novel and will leave your head spinning a bit when it's all over. It was a book that I very much enjoyed reading but which at the end I was left wondering what, if anything, was Murakami trying to get across? I hope you will post your impressions when you get a chance to read it.

BTW Mylene, thanks for the recommendation of Yoshimoto Banana. I picked up Asleep and enjoyed it. I haven't poked my nose into this forum in a while and am just seeing these threads so I'll have to check out that one as well.
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Amethyst Alchemist



Joined: 02 Jan 2007
Posts: 234
Location: where you can always pick mikans

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Kafka on the Shore is one of my favorite novels ever. Honestly, there are a lot of "disturbing" parts in it, but it really makes you think. You might never get the answers you're looking for, but I think that's a big part of the point.

You can really analyze the story and find a lot of meaning. (I did a college project on the book and got an "A++" CoolAnime catgrin + sweatdrop ). I think a comment Murakami made somewhere about it is very important to remember though. I wish I knew where I read it. He says something like "you get the clearest meaning out of it with multiple readings". That's definitely advisable, seeing as how confusing it is.

I truly think it is an excellent story worth it for everyone to read. I also bought two of Murakami's short story collections. Other than "Man-Eating Cats"--another good story and for a college project--I haven't gotten to read them yet. I really don't like the format the short story in general. I prefer how novels have much more opportunity to fully develop. At any rate, I'm looking forward to reading his short stories next.
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abunai
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Joined: 05 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:24 pm Reply with quote
This forum has a search function, you know. You could have used it, and found (among others) these two highly relevant threads:


...demonstrating not only that many of the regulars here are familiar with Murakami, but also that he is extremely relevant to the subject of anime.

- abunai
...who has read all of Murakami's oeuvre.
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Tyrant XD



Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Haibane-Renmei was based on a short incomplete doujinshi, and the doujinshi was based on Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I just got three of his books outta the library, very cool. I found out about him through a thread I started on the HR boards on the IMDB.
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Time and Space



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 167
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:52 pm Reply with quote
Mylene wrote:

Has anyone read Sputnik Sweetheart or Kafka by the Shore? I have Kafka, but haven't read it. I've heard it has a really disturbing part, and wonder if it could be nearly as disturbing as the spoiler[human skinning] scene in Wind-Up...

I'm not a Japanophile who will specifically search for Japanese literature for sake of it being Japanese; but in my general seach for 'a good read' I have stumbled upon (and read) various works by Japanese authors including Haruki Murakami. I have read Kafka on the Shore, but not Sputnik Sweetheart, so I can't make a comparison.

Anyway, thought I'd mention that if you want to be disturbed, read In the Miso Soup by, Ryu Murakami. This Murakami is certainly no Haruki, but a particular scene in this fairly short book was quite horrendous, if you're interested, (it's probably in your best interest not to be). Coincidentally, I bought this book in Rome, as a replacement to a book of short stories by Haruki Murakami, which I lost.
"Oh look, I can replace it with a book by another Japanese author. Oooh, and he shares the same name as the author of my other book."
Great...
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Mylene
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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
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Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Time and Space wrote:
I'm not a Japanophile who will specifically search for Japanese literature for sake of it being Japanese;


Same here. I was recommending Norwegian Wood by a non-Japanophile acquaintance who knew I took Japanese. Given how much I loved it, it made sense for me to check out his other stuff. I found out about Yoshimoto Banana because her book Asleep sat in my sociology class for an entire semester (guess someone left it and never reclaimed it?) After seeing it 3 times a week for a few months, I couldn't help but be curious and checked it out from the library. Once again, total love, so I checked out more of her books. Goodbye Tsugumi is my favorite thus far, although Kitchen was also very good.
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HMMcKamikaze



Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:45 pm Reply with quote
I've heard great things about Murakami, but I've yet to read any of this work. Kafka on the Shore has been sitting on my shelf for a while; it caught my eye because when I saw the title it immediately made me think of Franz Kafka, whom I'm a fan of.
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.Metal.



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:37 pm Reply with quote
For me the greatest thing about Murakami is his characters. I always have a character in his books that I can identify with. My favorite is undoubtably Kafka on the Shore, but a Wild Sheep Chase comes in a close second.
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