I was thrilled to bits when I received Haruki Murakami’s latest book from a friend since it has been almost three years when he released his 1Q84 and it has been highly anticipated by legions of the Japanese author’s fans, including myself. A huge thank you to you know who you are for gifting me with one of the most thoughtful gifts I have received in a long while.
Murakami’s newest offering is as expected oozing with his typical writing style and themes – a lonely man in his mid-thirties feeling displaced in a big city while harboring a deep sense of solitude.
Before jumping the gun, I would like to rave about the gorgeous design for the hardcover version published by Alfred A. Knopf of “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage”. The dust jacket features five cutout panels, four filled with colors and the last transparent to reveal the complex train lines in Tokyo underneath. When viewed from a distant, the cover forms the shape of a deconstructed left hand, a pictorial description tying in closely with the author’s writing.
“You know in a sense we were a perfect combination, the five of us. Like five fingers,” Ao raised his right hand and spread his thick fingers. “I still think that. The five of us all naturally made up for what was lacking in the others, and totally shared our better qualities.” Continue reading →
Sorry folks for the lack of book review this week because I have been struck by this mega flu bug that has left me crippled in bed for many days. I am currently still recovering from the illness and have been unable to keep up with the comments left by many kind readers, so do give me some time to play catch up when I am feeling much better.
But last week, I was pretty excited to learn that the English translation of Haruki Murakami’s latest book “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Year of Pilgrimage” has finally hit the stores! I cannot wait to read this bestseller, with a million copies flying off the shelves a month after its release in Japan. The hardest part though is to resist perusing all the online reviews before actually reading it myself except for THIS article from The Atlantic that hits spot on with regards to the Murakami appeal in spite of his formulaic approach to his novels.
Murakami writes genre fiction—formulaic, conventional, with an emphasis on plot. But it is a genre that he has invented himself, drawing elements from fantasy, noir, horror, sci-fi, and the genre we call “literary fiction.” The other ingredient, which we tend to think of as antithetical to genre fiction, is a hostility to tidy resolution.
Ending off with this post with a lovely Murakami bingo game that succinctly summarizes the typical recurrent themes found in most Murakami books. This drawn by LA-based comic artist Hunter Nesbitt and a poster of this can be bought HERE.