MURAKAMI SUB GROUP - BOOK 2

We made some progress in understanding Murakami a little better at this week's meeting. Onwards and upwards!

"Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. 

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon."

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  • Peter

    Absolutely fascinating book that left most of us with more questions than answers but which most really enjoyed reading.

    1 · June 19

  • Meera

    For those of us wondering what was left out in translation, there is a paper (one of hundreds, I am sure) discussing it. I would be interested in finding some "fan fiction" that actually provides a complete translation of omitted chapters.

    http://www.uog.edu/sites/default/files/maynard_lost-chapters-wind-up-bird.pdf

    2 · May 28

    • Laneda

      Omitted chapters? OH NO!

      June 18

  • Susan G.

    A great book and very enlightening discussion. What an amazing author. Thanks to Peter for his stimulating insights.

    1 · June 18

  • Laneda

    I always love Murakami, but I always love the books MORE after the book club discussions.

    June 18

  • Chelsea

    This will be my first book club meeting. Where do we usually meet at Austin Java?

    June 18

    • Peter

      Chelsea, we meet in the back room, known as the "tree" room because there's a great big tree in the middle of it! See you soon. Peter

      June 18

  • Suzee

    Hello! I am looking forward to seeing everyone tommorrow. I found this current Murakami novel fascinating and it made me very curious... soooo my "internet researching":) stubbled upon this revealing interview with Murakami and I wanted to share it with the group: http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2/the-art-of-fiction-no-182-haruki-murakami

    June 17

    • Peter

      Thank you Suzee for sharing that. I do love the Paris Review and this interview does, as you say, appear to be quite revealing. I must confess that, having read a number of Murakami interviews, I'm not sure that he is always entirely truthful in his replies. I have even occasionally thought he might be playing a bit of a game. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow and we can discuss further then....

      June 17

  • Chelsea

    Hi Guys! A short story by Murakami is on the New Yorker website: http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2014/06/09/140609fi_fiction_murakami

    1 · June 10

    • Peter

      Thank you Chelsea. It will keep me going until his new book comes out.

      1 · June 10

    • Mary M.

      I usually am on top of this mag, but too busy. Thanks so much for he heads up, Chelsea!

      June 10

  • Judith

    Will have to skip the meeting about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, although I read the story this year. May comment about it in the posts, though. I'm taking a family trip the last weeks of June through the 28th. Looking ahead to Murakami's newest novel in the autumn.

    June 10

    • Peter

      Sorry you won't be able to join us Judith but thanks for letting me know. Enjoy your trip!

      June 10

    • Mary M.

      Judith, likewise, enjoy your trip. If you can squeeze in the time for a comment or two on the book, I know we'd welcome that --Mary

      June 10

  • Judith

    There's a lot of Murakami fans wishing that the music mentioned in his novels would be gathered up into an accessible bundle. Sometimes Murakami will even point out a specific recording of a composition during the story. This is the first compilation I've noticed which gathers the music together for several of his works . You might know of others besides this shared item from Facebook, http://haruki-music.com/

    2 · April 19

    • Peter

      Thank you Judith. It does help sometimes to know the piece of music he's referring to. It can help add a lot of color.

      1 · April 19

    • Mary M.

      Judith, this is tremendous. I love the composers he mentions, but am not always familiar with a particular piece. It was so funny with that one waiter trying to deliver the Cutty Sark and Ice whilst whistling "The Thieving Magpie." You can whistle the musical part of an opera, but not exactly the libretto. In Kafka on the Shore, the music was The Archduke Trio by Beethoven. I'm sure Murakami wants you to run and look it up!

      April 19

  • Laneda

    After 1Q84 and Kafka, I was feeling a bit disappointed in the Wind-Up Bird. Walking through walls? Was that it? Then about halfway through the book it just DETONATED, completely redeeming the first half, and turning me into a "true believer" in Murakami's unfaltering magic

    2 · April 18

    • Peter

      I have found Murakami's works all have certain things in common and some I like more than others but I must admit I have never been disappointed yet!

      1 · April 18

  • Meera

    I finally finished Kafka (what a ride!). I'm determined to finish reading this one in time.

    1 · April 15

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