Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review of Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Sputnik Sweetheart Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first Murakami book I've finished. I've started the more complicated ones in fits over the years but they never took hold, or rather I didn't have the attention available that these books merit. This one is, I think, a breezy beach-read version of that intensity.

At risk of lumping the few Japanese authors I know together, this struck me as a positive spin on Dazai's No Longer Human - the similar sense that even in the intimate confines of love, we are still only particles drifting in a largely empty void, and our collisions, while meaningful to us at the time, are mostly incidental. Dazai's protagonist wallows in this sort of nihilism and destroys everybody he encounters with it, while Murakami's characters give the void its due and then, with charm and a resiliently flickering sense of wonder, try to make it work regardless.

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