!!> Reading ➶ Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ➮ Author Haruki Murakami – Rvtrek.info


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Unclose your mind You are not a prisoner You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Haruki MurakamiBuddy read with my friend, Sr an.There is so much to say about Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World I m just not certain I m the one to say it I was never able to quite connect with the characters or the plot on an emotional level Part of the problem is that Murakami attempts to blend so many different literary genre Unclose your mind You are not a prisoner You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Haruki MurakamiBuddy read with my friend, Sr an.There is so much to say about Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World I m just not certain I m the one to say it I was never able to quite connect with the characters or the plot on an emotional level Part of the problem is that Murakami attempts to blend so many different literary genres and only partially succeeds here Is this a hard boiled detective novel, or a sci fi novel Is it a romance novel or dystopian fiction I m not sure even Murakami himself can answer that And, to make mattersconfusing, Murakami threw some fantasy in here for good measure, along with a dash of cold war spy thrillers It is obvious, that Murakami has a love for the hard boiled detective novels of the 30 s, 40 s and 50 s, and while his Hard Boiled Wonderland portion of the book is interesting, it s also obvious that Murakami has a lot to learn from Phillip Marlow Another issue with the Hard Boiled Wonderland portion of the book, are the random references to Western culture sprinkled throughout the book References are made to films, film stars and musicians for no reason other than to reference them These references do nothing to further the story in any way, yet paragraphs and even pages are given over to them.Confused So was Murakami And yet, this book is fascinating I could not put it down.Murakami promises much in this work And, to be honest, he delivers much Perhaps too much Murakami s Tokyo is a wonderland And we do end up at venturing to the end of the world Along the way we encounter unicorns, gangsters, mad scientists, chubby girls clad in pink, subterranean monsters, seductive librarians, dream readers, mysterious forests, and the hallucinogenic effects of music between the mind and the sub conscious mind.Adding to this wonderland is the Calcutec s penis There is tremendous interest his manhood and it keeps popping up at the most inconvenient moments Where Murakami best succeeds is with the End of the World portion of the book It is a stark contrast to the neon saturated, Tokyo of Murakami s wonderland In this world people surrender their shadows, extract and read dreams and live in fear of a mysterious wall Yet even in this drab world, the characters we encounter are no less colorful Here, Murakami s writing is unencumbered by the ghosts of Marlow, Cain, Bradbury, Jung and le Carr.Upon finishing the book I was bothered with the lack of an ending Characters disappeared for no reason Plots were dropped as quickly as they appeared The book was overwritten and in need of editing, and still the ending was rushed.This was only my third Murakami, and second full length novel of his So, I am still quite new to his work While I found the book to be utterly fascinating, I am certain it is far from his best work In the end, I do recommend this book Even second rate Murakami is better than many writers best efforts And I couldn t be any other self but my self Could I There is always a possibility.In the summer of 1962, a poet wrote a song that would later become the last hymn to be heard as the end of the world approached That is the song I chose to be my companion while writing another non review a song that is being followed closely by the mellifluous gusts of wind that break the silence of this monochromatic night Being my first Murakami, quite frankly, I didn t know what to expect This is, wit And I couldn t be any other self but my self Could I There is always a possibility.In the summer of 1962, a poet wrote a song that would later become the last hymn to be heard as the end of the world approached That is the song I chose to be my companion while writing another non review a song that is being followed closely by the mellifluous gusts of wind that break the silence of this monochromatic night Being my first Murakami, quite frankly, I didn t know what to expect This is, without a doubt, one of the most original novels I have read this year And I can t only ascribe this notion to the creativity of the plot, since the variations of the language used to illustrate it were another element that left me quite impressed I felt disconnected Converting numbers in my brain was my only connection to the world Most of my free time I chose to spend alone, reading old novels, watching old Hollywood movies on video, drinking I had no need for a newspaper For a moment, I walked out of the comfort zone provided by classics and plunged into the world ofcontemporary expressions in which I still feel like a slightly awkward guest Murakami s writing stirred my senses from beginning to end It did justice to the concept that was always hovering over this story the duality of things around us, the dichotomies within ourselves For this is a book that includes two different worlds that may or may not coalesce into one single reality someday The first world is Hard Boiled Wonderland , where I found a peculiar voice a somewhat stark, unvarnished writing Words that tried to conceal the tiniest trace of emotional connection, congenitally unable to do otherwise Detached words probably under the influence of an old pledge to keep distance from the world as a desperate attempt to protect themselves, to prevent their fragile system from blowing to smithereens Words uttered by a narrator who was able to drink gallons of alcohol and then face inconceivably difficult situations and the most disgusting creatures ever, while thinking about sex on every given situation but still capable of disclosing colorful beads of a philosophical nature, which he tried to camouflage with waves of indifference, or rather fear wearing the translucent robes of indifference Who remembers stars Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn t have known My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless a one dimensional wafer Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic Indecipherable except to some machine The second world is, ironically enough, The End of the World , where Murakami s writing acquires aexpressive tone with which places and people are vividly portrayed There, a narrator depicts a seemingly perfect world echoing an ancient nirvana, an empty world, a tempting world descriptions that also convey one significant distinction everything might be happening nowOnly living will remain Undisturbed, peaceful living Facts unfold following the familiar cadences of a foreign narrative and I stunned, in deep thought, marveled at how every piece falls into the right place, slowly, cautiously, with desperate detachment and stoic passion until the puzzle is almost complete contemplate oncehow life bifurcates and reveals two realities intrinsically different and yet strongly connected one belongs to the actual world and the other to the realm of the mind Everything might be connected in thisworld surrounded by wallsBut then again, perhaps everything is an illusion, nothing is connected and we are truly alone Hopefully, that too could be another figment of one s imagination You tell me there is no fighting or hatred or desire in the Town That is a beautiful dream, and I do want your happiness But the absence of fighting or hatred or desire also means the opposites do not exist either Despite the differences that perhaps exist only in the mind of this inexperienced reader, both forms of writing converge eventually That is what made me change my opinion, since four solid stars became a glimmering 5 star rating after reaching to a certain point amid the distinctive ebb and flow of this novel From that moment on a moment which I will keep to myself, hoping you find yours an unbridled desire to knowtook over my body and I couldn t put this book down until it was over Shortly after, I realized the mistake I had made, since I wasn t prepared for the billows of emotions that were about to sweep away every vestige of a former calm Not many are able to resist the allurements of the literary anxiety That s the way with the mind Nothing is ever equal Like a river, as it flows, the course changes with the terrain After stepping in the middle of seven sad forests, and being out in front of a dozen dead oceans, questions began to haunt me, relentlessly, until some invaded my whole being and there one still lingers, for I haven t found any word willing to form a decent answer.Here, in the palm of my hand, I have the story of a man facing an impending fate, remembering distant errors that will never be mend, old lyrics and classic scenes, the discrepancies between desire and reality, between who we are and who we would like to be the little we say, the echoes of regret through the mountains of things unsaid the departure from a world with the aftertaste of nothingness to enter one resembling everything Despair, disillusionment, hell, reality himself Love, fear love Multiple shades of existence encapsulated in twenty four hours A woman, a song, the park under the sunSome limited happiness had been granted this limited lifeOne last peal of a winter bell The sounds of the end of the world Could I have given happiness to anyone else Sep 26, 16 Also on my blog Photo credit via wallhere.com I started writing it in June, then life and other books, now catching up Maybe you ve heard it said before in every joke there is a grain of truth Well, as many of you may remember, I ve been known to pick on Jay Rubin now and again for what I perceive to be his clunky translations of Murakami s flawless prose Because it couldn t possibly be that Haruki is a clunky writer Get that thought out of your head right now So I like to kid poor Jay and make him the scapegoat, but theI think about it, thevalidity I find in my little quips You see, dear read Maybe you ve heard it said before in every joke there is a grain of truth Well, as many of you may remember, I ve been known to pick on Jay Rubin now and again for what I perceive to be his clunky translations of Murakami s flawless prose Because it couldn t possibly be that Haruki is a clunky writer Get that thought out of your head right now So I like to kid poor Jay and make him the scapegoat, but theI think about it, thevalidity I find in my little quips You see, dear reader, MY top three favorite Murakami novels were translated by this guy Alfred Birnbaum Hmmm, coincidence I m not so sure Translations aside, as I mentioned in my little place holder review, Murakami s books are like comfort food for my soul Let me explain this further Like Haruki, I have a deep seated love for music of all genres, and as a result I have a rather bloated music collection Yet sometimes, for whatever reason, nothing I listen to pleases me It is in these moments that I turn to Wilco They never let me down Something about the music is just so cozy It doesn t make me mopey it doesn t pick at my scabs, trying to open a healing wound it doesn t make me wallow in the murky waters of nostalgia The music manages to contentedly complement whatever mood or psychic place I m in What does this have to do with Murakami Well, I feel the same sort of cozy feeling when I read one of his novels When the experimental fictions are crushing my brain or nothing else is really revving my engine, I pick up a Murakami novel and all is right with the world again I know I ll be treated to a delicious, savory meal, a blend of musical delights, many an otherworldly adventure, and a couple of romps in the sack Better than any date I ve had in years KIDDING Or am I Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was no exception In fact, in what I ve come to love about Murakami, it is the rule Mind bending, thought provoking, dreamlike and just a little bit sexy Oh, and did I mention Unicorns Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else I d move to Casablanca, open a bar, and I d meet Ingrid Bergman Orrealistically whether actuallyrealistic or not I d tune in on a better life, somethingsuited to my true self Toward that end, I had to undergo training I read The Greening of America, and I saw Easy Rider three times But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place I wasn t anywhere I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return.Here s a little Wilco song that feels right at home with a Murakami novel Sekai no owari to h doboirudo wand rando Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world, Haruki Murakami Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Sekai no owari to h do boirudo wand rando is a 1985 novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami The English translation by Alfred Birnbaum was released in 1991 A strange and dreamlike novel, its chapters alternate between two bizarre narratives Hard Boiled Wonderland a cyberpunk like, science fiction part and The End of the World a vi Sekai no owari to h doboirudo wand rando Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world, Haruki Murakami Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Sekai no owari to h do boirudo wand rando is a 1985 novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami The English translation by Alfred Birnbaum was released in 1991 A strange and dreamlike novel, its chapters alternate between two bizarre narratives Hard Boiled Wonderland a cyberpunk like, science fiction part and The End of the World a virtual fantasy like, surreal part 2012 1390 512 9789647253536 20 This is a complex novel, one that required two reads for me It tells two stories in alternating chapters In the first we meet a mild mannered data processor, only all his processing is done inside his head See he can do this thing, or he had this thing done to him that allows him to access both hemispheres of his brain simultaneously yet separately He gets recruited for some top secret government project led by some mad scientist type, who lives holed up in a cave under a waterfall wi This is a complex novel, one that required two reads for me It tells two stories in alternating chapters In the first we meet a mild mannered data processor, only all his processing is done inside his head See he can do this thing, or he had this thing done to him that allows him to access both hemispheres of his brain simultaneously yet separately He gets recruited for some top secret government project led by some mad scientist type, who lives holed up in a cave under a waterfall with his buxom daughter She is curious, virginal and perpetually attired in pink Oh ya, and this mad scientist has this uncanny ability to remove sound All the sound, all the sound in the world.The second story involves another man He has arrived in a new village One entirely surrounded by high walls, really, really high walls Unicorns graze and sleep in this peaceful hamlet But in this town, mysteries abound He is assigned a job He is forced to give up his shadow and is put to work reading the old dreams out of unicorn skulls The town inhabitants alter his eyes and sequester him to the library where all the skulls are kept He meets a lovely assistant, he works hard, long hours in the dark He becomes accustomed to it All the while he is determined to have his shadow returned to him Are these two stories connected And how And these two men, are they the same person, two distinct people, or different aspects of one subconscious Why do these two stories alternate What does the shadow signify And the unicorns Not to mention the skulls All these questions are what keep this novel going And along the way you get the usual delightful Murakami musings And Murakami s words, his prose, his verbage, the way he can turn a phrase it all continues to STUN me, it FLOORS me and fascinates me And this novel is no exception Although I still haven t quite figured it out Yet Whew, blew me away The influences from Orwell and Kafka are clearly here Existential meditations, amazingly imaginative, the multitude of interesting and important thoughts that can sprout from the reader s mind The whole thing is pure geniusThat s the way it is with the mind Nothing is ever equal Like a river, as it flows, the course changes with the terrain Typically, Murakami works his way through your subconscious, toying with recognitions of the past and future, in that magical stat Whew, blew me away The influences from Orwell and Kafka are clearly here Existential meditations, amazingly imaginative, the multitude of interesting and important thoughts that can sprout from the reader s mind The whole thing is pure geniusThat s the way it is with the mind Nothing is ever equal Like a river, as it flows, the course changes with the terrain Typically, Murakami works his way through your subconscious, toying with recognitions of the past and future, in that magical state much like a dream but slightly different , where you lose time, and explore and recognize parts of yourself all while occasionally getting hit with an outburst of powerful consciousness Some of his novels Norwegian Wood andSouth of the Border, West of the Sun, for example , play with thesentimental sections of the subconscious but this, this is an overt exploration of the dreamlike state an ingenious, different world with human beings with human thoughts and emotions like us, yes But really you re thrown into two different surreal lands, both existing simultaneously one world in which life isreal than the other that, we assume as our base, or our reality In that reality, we have our narrator our narrator has run into an amoral, genius scientist, who plays with our narrator s brain In the subconscious of our narrator s brain, we have our other world also known as the end of the world This is the world that seems less real It is a world where people have literally lost their minds No, they aren t crazy in fact, it s just the opposite Without their own minds, they have no meaningful life no strong emotion no music No love Just work In reality our narrator has a limited amount of time before he falls into his subconscious the end of the world and lives there eternally In his subconscious world, he is trying to escape, and has limited amount of time to do so, there, as well.Of course, no plot summary can do this book justice it s full of thought provoking nuance, and is probably best read twiceIt s not so strange that when your memories change, the world changesThere are a number of different theories that come to mind after finishing this Some are still hitting me, and you know what Each theory is fascinating and important in its own way I don t want to put any spoilers in here, but I d love to discuss this novel with anyone else who has read it A Narrative Particle Accelerator That Zooms Between Wild Turkey Whiskey And Bob Dylan, Unicorn Skulls And Voracious Librarians, John Coltrane And Lord Jim Science Fiction, Detective Story And Post Modern Manifesto All Rolled Into One Rip Roaring Novel, Hard Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World Is The Tour De Force That Expanded Haruki Murakami S International Following Tracking One Man S Descent Into The Kafkaesque Underworld Of Contemporary Tokyo, Murakami Unites East And West, Tragedy And Farce, Compassion And Detachment, Slang And Philosophy In the unlikely event that Haruki Murakami s name on the cover is not in some way a quality label to you, guaranteeing profoundly outlandish scenarios and magic, he threw in the term wonderland to make sure everyone knew what to expect Does the story deliver on all the promises this wonderful title embodies Yes.I decided to re visit this book after having read it around 3 years ago before my reviewing habit kicked in because I remembered it being an instant favorite but didn t remember why In the unlikely event that Haruki Murakami s name on the cover is not in some way a quality label to you, guaranteeing profoundly outlandish scenarios and magic, he threw in the term wonderland to make sure everyone knew what to expect Does the story deliver on all the promises this wonderful title embodies Yes.I decided to re visit this book after having read it around 3 years ago before my reviewing habit kicked in because I remembered it being an instant favorite but didn t remember why exactly I had some vague notions of course, but pinpointing the thing that drew me in, really making a case for why others should read it as well, I could not Can I do it now No But I ll try anyway What I can say is that this is a the best Murakami I ve read b a superb introduction to this great author.While in the other books I ve read by him it felt as if all the characters were conspiring to make things as strange as possible for the reader, thinking so far outside of the box the mere notion of a box seemed ludicrous, in this one they seemsympathetic Especially the protagonist He seems like he s a good friend of Murakami, introducing him to you, but regardless of their bond, the main character is on your side When Murakami comes up with something fantastical, he ll go with it, sure, but not without raising his eyebrows to you, signaling I don t know what the hell is going on either, but it s fun, right Yes, yes it is my friend And the complicity between the protagonist and the reader will be the thing holding you in your seat when the Murakami rollercoaster ride gets really wild and upside down I don t want to give away too many details on the story, I think it s best discovered by reading it for yourself in all its glory It deals with one of my favorite topics the mind, its powers, its mysteries, its pitfalls The joys of losing yourself in thought, the dangers of a closed mind, the connections with the heart they re all poured into wonderful metaphors that together make for a great adventure.The novel alternates between two settings the Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Which is real What is their connection Can both exist in harmony Which would you rather live in A place of passions and dangers, but only for a limited time Or a place of peace and tranquility, forever Is an answer even possible Not in my book, maybe in this one The unnamed protagonist in this story tries to answer these questions in the midst of information wars between the System and the Factory, in a village completely surrounded and isolated by an impenetrable Wall, in a race against time, running from sinister enemies in underground tunnels, all the while trying to make sure his shadow can keep up I tried to cover a lot of what s in the story here, but I didn t even come close to getting it all This isn t the kind of story that can be summarized into a blurb It s exciting It s deep It s funny Its settings are mysterious and thought provoking Oh, and there s a map I love stories that come with maps There was a lot of time spent simply gazing at that map, imagining to walk the river shores into the woods, dreaming away In short an all time favorite It also has my favorite quote of all time A quote on how everything is fine And always will be.Take a moment, sit back, relax, and read these words that never fail to impress me, no matter how many times I ve read them The sun sliced through the windshield, sealing me in light I closed my eyes and felt the warmth on my eyelids Sunlight traveled a long distance to reach this planet an infinitesimal portion of that sunlight was enough to warm my eyelids I was moved That something as insignificant as an eyelid had its place in the workings on the universe, that the cosmic order did not overlook this momentary fact Reading this book has been like soft rays of sunshine finding their way to my eyelids, an experience I wish to highly recommend to everyone You re taking a shower Two streams fall onto you at the same time One stream is cold and revitalizing while the other is hot and soothing One s heat fills the room with a foggy mist while the other clears your head driving it awake with its coldness Each one supplements the other and the effect creates an experiencecomplete than had the two not been together An icy torrent showing how crystal clear things are, and a scorching torrent enveloping things with a blanket of moisture, both You re taking a shower Two streams fall onto you at the same time One stream is cold and revitalizing while the other is hot and soothing One s heat fills the room with a foggy mist while the other clears your head driving it awake with its coldness Each one supplements the other and the effect creates an experiencecomplete than had the two not been together An icy torrent showing how crystal clear things are, and a scorching torrent enveloping things with a blanket of moisture, both drive together to reveal you in your truest form and cleanse you of any impurity and grime.In Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Murakami once again presents parallel stories as he d done infamous works like Kafka On The Shore and Sputnik Sweetheart But somehow in this bookthan in any of his other works the relation between the two narrations ispersonal one could even describe it as intimate And as you progress with your reading, you do realize the implications of each story to the other And you start to appreciate the duality that Murakami has created across a single thread of consciousness You nod approvingly and realize what intricate, delicate, fragile string must hold the entire account together Murakami s genius cannot be denied In this novel that moves from beasts to coding to information laundering to anatomy, paperclips and pre 70s pop culture and many other disparate themes one shines a light and sees the conscious self above all only to realize the unconscious self is holding the lantern This book is probably what it d feel like to be in a dark room and then stumble onto a mirror and by moonlight see the reflection of your brain exposed jutting out of a gape in your skull You do not fully know yourself, not even you know who you truly are Your unconscious is some dark place probably filled with unicorns Don t try to understand it Realize the significance that there is some part of you, you don t control Accept that life is mysterious and so are you But hey I ve never really been a connoisseur of the subconscious I ve got no solid background aside from the standard Freud and Jung Who am I to tell you who you are I m here just urging you maybe get to know yourself a little better You d be surprised You rethan a just a box of chocolates, as our friend Forrest would put it Hey you re another world entirely You re like the cross between Stendhal, Dylan, and that attractive person from the gym You re the man in black, the woman in pink, that dude that shocked the world You re whatever you want to be and something else entirely Appreciate yourself, what you know, what you don t Sometimes I come across people who try to read Murakami because they think his books are Instagram worthy They say he s deep and aesthetic and he writes relatable things and he s famous so he has to be good But these readers often end up confusedthan anything There s nothing sadder than someone being forced to read a book maybe because of pretensions or maybe because of peer pressure Who knows But if I know anything, and I m not sure I do, literature should be happily undertaken and seen as some sort of reprieve from our taxing world and not as some sort of chore to sink your teeth into and forcefully finish Reading an unwanted book probably does your unconsciousharm than it does your conscious good But consider reading this book You ll probably enjoy yourself If you didn t, well, at least you tried But remember to read for yourself, because you want to Don t read because I told you or somebody else did, or because you want to look good in the eyes of other people There s nothingunfitting than reading this book because of anybody else At some part of the book Murakami writes I am here alone at the furthest periphery of existence Here the world expires and is still This offers us a certain sort of clarity A lot of the things we do, we do because others expect from us Because we have responsibilities to family, to friends, to loved ones We do because we don t want to hurt others But when all of that is cleared away, sometimes the things we do for others hurt the self we ve hidden away There are times the self is harmed by what s good for everyone else But not only that, it can be that the self is dictated by those around it Maybe you do not realize but you like what you like because your friends like it too Maybe your favorite book is only your favorite because your partner likes it as well Maybe who you are is entirely based on who your friends and family are The identity you ve built dependent and patterned to those around you And so when the world is stripped off, when you are alone far from everyone else, who are you What is it that you like What makes you happy What drives you Do you know This is a novel that stirs the depths of consciousness and looks into the self unlike any other It s a rewarding experience that unmasks a man and his daily repetitive activities to show the depths of who we are and the gravity of balance between our many facets Get in touch with yourself, with the truest self you can access and discover Spend some time alone Figure out what you want Learn to love and appreciate who you are You might be surprised The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World gets my vote the most unique and frustrating book in the Murakami catalog I got the feeling that there s a little bit of the fan in Murakami in this text his love of PK Dick, Vonnegut, etc seems present, and I imagine passages of the book were great fun to write as a tribute, if you will, to his influences However, the cold, metallic neurophysiology, whether accurate or not I don t know much about brain chemistry, so I can t say one way or The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World gets my vote the most unique and frustrating book in the Murakami catalog I got the feeling that there s a little bit of the fan in Murakami in this text his love of PK Dick, Vonnegut, etc seems present, and I imagine passages of the book were great fun to write as a tribute, if you will, to his influences However, the cold, metallic neurophysiology, whether accurate or not I don t know much about brain chemistry, so I can t say one way or the other left me, for the first time in my long history with the author, hoping a long, clinical section near the middle of the book would end quickly Luckily, the material bracketing that extended passage was strong although perhaps not coherent enough to place this book amongst Murakami s best.The book focuses in some ways on the conscious unconscious reality perceptual ground familiar to readers of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and After Dark Murakami changes the context from the isolation of the well or mysterious rooms one can only sometimes enter to a place where brains are modified in ways that bridge or fail to bridge the conscious and unconscious minds for strategic purposes In other words, Murakami places this book s world, for better or for worse, firmly in the land of science fiction The other realm, full of unicorns, retired generals, and demure librarians, is a rich, thoughtful meditation on the ways in which different parts of our consciousness interact College students looking for term paper fodder related to fiction and Jung Campbell would have a field day with this book.But does that make for a great Murakami novel No While in my eyes, and I know Murakami is one of those love hate goodreads authors most of the author s work is transcendent and inspiring, The Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World earns those descriptors on rare and brief occasions The book is good, interesting, even, but servesas an intellectual exercise than a fun, this is why I love books read For fans only


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About the Author: Haruki Murakami

Murakami Haruki Japanese is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator His work has been described aseasily accessible, yet profoundly complexHe can be located on Facebook at childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehousePeter Catwhich was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind Up Bird Chronicle The Thieving Magpie after Rossini s opera , Bird as Prophet after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird , and The Bird Catcher a character in Mozart s opera The Magic Flute Some of his novels take their titles from songs Dance, Dance, Dance after The Dells song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune , Norwegian Wood after The Beatles song and South of the Border, West of the Sun the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole.