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Haruki Murakami recommendations?

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Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Benvolio » Tue 02.05.2008 1:51 pm

Hello.
I have just finished reading Murakami's "Wind-up Bird Chronicle" I loved it.
And I can't wait to read some more Japanese literature.
(I am reading the English translations)
I am aware that Murakami has written many books and I have also heard about an author "Banana Yoshimoto" who's work is supposedly similar? I was wondering if anyone can recommend something good. from any Author. (doesn't have to be one of those two)

Thank you.
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby crissyk » Tue 02.05.2008 3:30 pm

I may advise you:
"Wagahai wa neko de aru" (Probably in the english translation "I am a cat" - in Italian is "Io sono un gatto") - By Natsume Souseki - The beginning of XX Century in Japan seen through the eye of a cat. Very interesting

I liked very much " Makura no soshi" (probably in English " the notes of the pillow)
By Sei Shonagon a lady at the court of Emperor Sadako in the X Century - It is a sort of exercise book where she writes, like in a diary, her feelings, her impressions and some aspects of the life of the court in the Heian period.

According to your opinion, I think that at present Murakami is one of the most interesting japanese writers.
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby stevie » Tue 02.05.2008 6:52 pm

I've liked every Murakami book I've read so far. I read After The Quake (Japanese name 神のこどもたちはみな踊る I think) first, a collection of short stories about characters in the time after the Kobe earthquake. If you're wondering, the Japanese title of the book is the name of one of the stories - in English it's translated to All God's Children Can Dance.

Next I read Norwegian Wood (ノルウェイの森) - I had it recommended to me by a Japanese friend a while ago. I think this is his most famous story, or at least the one that made him something of a celebrity in Japan. At least that's what I keep reading. It's pretty much a love story, but one I enjoyed very much (some people say it's 'just a love story' and that it's boring, but I got really into it. It has that ever so slight surreality to it that Murakami is a master of).

After that, I had a break (mostly for the sake of studying), then tackled Kafka On The Shore (海辺のカフカ), which I've heard touted as his finest work, at least amongst those that don't hold WInd-Up Bird Chronicle to be the best. It's hard to say which one I enjoyed the most...

I haven't read Wagahai wa neko de aru, but that too has been recommended to me by my Japanese friends when I asked their opinion of Souseki. So I can hopefully check that out sometime. Between work, school, and friends, I don't get to pick up as much Japanese literature as I want (got a few more Murakami books to get through and a collection of Souseki, and a few other things), and I want to dabble in Chinese and Taiwanese literature too... hopefully I can dive in soon!
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Benvolio » Tue 02.05.2008 8:41 pm

Thank you both very much. I am definately going to pick up 'I am a Cat' and as for Murakami my next read will either be 'Kafka on the Shore' or 'A Wild Sheep Chase' Still open to more recommendations. cheers ^_^
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby NocturnalOcean » Wed 02.06.2008 1:12 am

I have read all Murakami's books. And they are all great works.
Some more recommendation in addition to those mentioned would be :

"Dance Dance Dance"
"Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World"

Though I would just recommend reading all of his books!
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby burstandbloom » Wed 02.06.2008 5:42 pm

I really liked Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
Great book.
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Cratz » Thu 02.07.2008 9:20 am

Abe Kobo is very interesting - reminiscent of Kafka. Try his 'Box Man' (subject of a short film at http://www.atomfilms.com/film/box_man.jsp) or 'The Woman in the Dunes' (also a full-feature film in Japan in 1964).

Shimada Masahiko is also a lot of fun. His short stories, in particular, are very entertaining. Some of them have been translated in short collections, such as 'Monkey Brain Sushi' and the like.

I've also been getting into Kurahashi Yumiko recently. In particular, her book "Otona no tame no Zankoku Douwa." It hasn't been translated yet, as far as I can tell. But, some of her short stories have been published in English and collected under the title "The Woman with the Flying Head and Other Stories." Very fantastical stuff.

I would not, however, compare Banana and Murakami Haruki. They are worlds apart. Haruki is all about semi-surrealist perception of very real relationships/events.

On the other hand, Banana Yoshimoto is all about the ephemeral, non-existant world that exists within naive, adolescent high-school girls' minds.

Please, please, please don't ever compare the two or even mention the two in the same sentence again. Thank you.

If you liked Murakami Haruki, give some of the aforementioned authors a try. Or, you could even give Murakami Ryu a whirl. He's like the long-lost evil twin of Haruki. ;) Definitely a more abrasive, shocking sensibility.
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Benvolio » Fri 02.08.2008 4:00 pm

Cratz,
Thanks for the reply!
You have given me a lot to look into.
Can you suggest a Murakami Ryu book?
The comparison between Banana & Haruki was actually made in an article on Haruki's website. Sorry for offending you.
I look forward to checking out the authors your mentioned.
Thanks again.
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RE: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Cratz » Wed 02.13.2008 6:58 am

Coin Locker Babies, Almost Transparent Blue, and 69 are considered some of his better novels.

I'm partial to Coin Locker Babies, but only because my Graduate Thesis Chair translated it. ;)
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby japanfreak » Thu 02.28.2008 7:23 am

Blind Willow,Sleeping Woman is undoubtedly the best Murakami work ever. It's a collection of short stories (some of which may not be very understandable) but they have some of my favorite works.
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby _duif » Thu 05.01.2008 2:48 am

I'm reading my first Murakami at the moment, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles", and have another one already lined up, "Kafka On The Shore". These two were recommended to me as his best; they also happen to be (among) his longest.
waiting for 悟道.
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby becki_kanou » Thu 05.01.2008 4:44 am

I love Murakami Haruki as well. My favorite, which no one seems to have mentioned yet, was a collection of short stories called "The Elephant Vanishes" (unfortunately I don't know the Japanese title).

The only novel of Murakam Ryuu's I've read was "Piercing" and that, is one dark and disturbing book, let me tell you. Not for the faint of heart.

I'm quite fond of Edogawa Rampo as well, and several of his stories,including the supremely creepy "人間椅子" have been translated into English and published as "Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination".

-Becki
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例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby _duif » Thu 05.01.2008 1:26 pm

becki_kanou wrote:I love Murakami Haruki as well. My favorite, which no one seems to have mentioned yet, was a collection of short stories called "The Elephant Vanishes" (unfortunately I don't know the Japanese title).


I believe it's 象の消滅 (Zou no Shoumetsu). I saw that one quite cheap in a store here, maybe I should pick that one up as well. Have been thinking about trying out 'the other Murakami' as well, but you may have scared me out of it ;).
waiting for 悟道.
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby Kira17 » Thu 06.19.2008 7:58 pm

I really love "Sputnik sweetheart", "kafka on the shore", "dance dance dance" and "Blind woman; sleeping willow".



Haruki Murakami is really an excellent author!
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Re: Haruki Murakami recommendations?

Postby aldo.swastia » Tue 03.17.2009 11:56 am

Well, I already read "Norwegian Wood" and "Kafka on the Shore", and currently I'm reading both "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" and "Hear the Wind Sing". up until now, my vote for best is still "Norwegian Wood". A very sweet story!=)
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