A Guide to the Works of Haruki Murakami

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In summer 2019, When I was searching for some good old music on Youtube, mainly— The Beatles,   I stumbled upon the song Norwegian Wood. I usually scroll down to read comments and found this particular comment — about how Haruki Murakami's book Norwegian wood had drawn them down here. This comment sparked my interest  in Haruki Murakami, and two days later, I found myself reading Norwegian wood. I'm so glad I stumbled across that song , that comment and discovered Haruki Murakami. 

 

Who is Haruki Murakami?

Source: Britannica

 

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author who has sold millions of copies worldwide and his work has been translated into over 50 languages. In addition, he has also received the Franz Kafka Prize, Jerusalem Prize, and Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He is a reclusive person who seldom gives interviews or appears in public.

 

Reasons: why people love his books.

 

 1) He is a literary master of the unexpected. 
 2)You'll be transported to a different world.
 3) His writing is filled with wisdom for living.
 4) His books have strange and wonderful magic to them.
 5) You'll experience a new kind of pleasure and satisfaction.

 

Why read Haruki Murakami? 

Source: goalcast

 

Murakami has an uncanny capacity to combine the banalest aspects of ordinary existence with strange, often gloomy imagination. Isolation, loneliness, death, and the meaninglessness of existence are themes throughout his books and short tales. He begins with one of the most basic of things, and with his words, he transforms what you might consider a normal life into something fascinating and, in some cases, surreal. Murakami's works are about everyday people, and he shows us how beautiful that can be.

 

When you read Haruki Murakami's works, you will be forced to see mountains, trees, and woods in a new light. He uses metaphor and analogy frequently in his writing, which captures the reader's attention and transports him to another realm. After finishing reading every book, you will be drawn to notice things in your life that have been overlooked.

 

 

Few of Haruki Murakami's books:

 

Norwegian wood

 

 

The protagonist Toru Watanabe, a serious young college student, is at the heart of the Norwegian Wood's narrative. He falls in love with Naoko, the girlfriend of Watanabe's best pal Kazuki. When Kazuki dies tragically, Watanabe's life fills with emptiness. Watanabe and Naoko are both heartbroken and in agonizing pain, each in their own way. Haruki Murakami masterfully captures how pain alters these two young people's perspectives on life.  

 

However, while this book has brought widespread attention on part of Murakami's writings, many Harukami fans are yet perplexed by the popularity of Norwegian Wood. Many feel that Haruki Murakami's other works deserve ten times more attention than this particular book. Whatever their reasons are— in reaching that conclusion, but no one can deny the fact that this book certainly grabbed the hearts of many people (including mine). Only through this book, I discovered Harukami's surrealism, and it will remain a special place in my heart for many years.

 

Sputnik Sweetheart 

 

 

I was quickly drawn in by the sensuous words in Sputnik Sweetheart when I first read it.There are also several instances in the novel where Haruki Murakami introduces sensuality, desires, pleasures, in a way you wouldn't have imagined. The way he conveys such subtle tenderness between two individuals is admirable.When I first started reading "Sputnik Sweetheart" I didn't understand why the two characters acted the way they did. What the hell was going on with the narrator's girlfriend, I had no idea. After reading 70 plus pages, it grabbed my complete attention. But it primarily perplexed me. It had to be my first true experience with surrealism. 

 

Sputnik Sweetheart 's main character Sumire, a young college dropout who also happens to be a great writer, encounters her true love Miu, who is a businesswoman and is in her late thirties. After their meeting, Sumire's life takes a turn for the better or for worse, depending on how you interpret the book. Sputnik Sweetheart is about more of a debate over who humans are and what it is that distinguishes and ties mankind from and to itself. Though Haruki Murakami's novels are typically set in Japan, this story takes place in Greece 75% of the time. Murakami's ability to convey surrealism to his works is unfathomable, regardless of where he places the situations. After finishing the novel, you'll see that it wasn't about a guy talking about his love life; it was about a woman who fell in love with another woman.

 

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

 

 

 

In the frigid winters, I can still recall rising at 5 a.m. everyday to run a mile because I was so inspired by Haruki Murakami's non-fiction book "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". Although Haruki Murakami is best known for his fictional novels, I loved his non-fiction work as well. This book definetly inspires anybody who reads it. Haruki Murakami, have been running everyday for 3 hours over 30 years now. He always take part in one marathon every year. He continues to do even at the  age of 72. Isn't that inspiring already? If not, let me tell you this. I ask for a lot of things, and the fact that I want my aspirations to come true both stresses and worries me. I know everyone is anxious about the future, and perhaps Murakami was as well, but in his book - "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" - he informed readers that he used to operate a bar downtown and never considered writing until he was in his late twenties, despite having a talent for it (which he discovered later).

 

Around the age of 30, he penned his first novel. He'd never contemplated becoming a writer or even tried his hand at it. He'd never even attempted writing until committing to it. Even though he had never asked for any of these things (popularity, recognition), he recieved it. Only "life occurs" can be the explanation in this case. That's the way he lives. No expectations and nothin . Haruki Murakami is that one author who silently encourages you to try new things and asks to pay attention to what you see every day,  because your life will be over before you realise it. 

 

 

Kafka on the Shore

 

 

 

Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore was my third Murakami novel, and I must say I liked the book but this isn't in my favourites list of Murakami's works. The plot revolves around a little kid named Kafka Tamura, who is starting school for the first time. This fourteen-year-old boy sometimes quickly becomes engrossed in a sequence of events that appear to be occurring in his head. But whether the events are happening or is it just his imagination, is made clearer when you complete reading the book. Kafka on the Shore has the allure of a fairy tale, but with some postmodern twists. Kafka is forced to confront his demons, his memories, and reality. To be honest, many people see this as a masterpiece. People have stated unequivocally that this book altered their lives.

 

 

However, I did not understand 'Kafka on the shore' completely.T here was a lot of stuff I didn't get. I liked how the author incorporated implausible aspects like mackerel dropping and cats chatting to each other, but the narrative as a whole did not appeal to me. I believe that this book has been overhyped, but I am not jumping to conclusions. A writer produces one narrative, but it is interpreted in a thousand different ways by so many people. As a result, a single narrative is unique to each reader.

 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

 

 

 

Haruki Murakami's description of Japan in his works will make you fall in love with the country's splendour. Your heart will long to see Japan, so does mine. You'd be familiar with places like Nagoya, Fukuyama, Kobe, Osaka, etc by the time you finished reading his works. If you haven't already received the impression about how much I admire Murakami's work, then let me tell you about this book - colourless tsukuru and his trip. 

 

 

A novel about a man(Tsukuru Tazaki) who takes a blow in his life and spends the rest of his life attempting to recover. Tsukuru Tazaki, 35, is about to quit his work when he discovers that his closest friends has deceived him. Tsukuru was never particularly gregarious, but he'd always had a close circle of friends—until he didn't. Tsukuru embarks on a quest to discover the cause of this treachery, which leads him through Japan and Finland. His journey begins in the book Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. It is not your average narrative, and it is a work that will strike a deep chord with readers. It's tough for me to write a review for this book because it's so different from what I normally read. I'm not going to say much more since I don't want to give anything away about the plot. I will add, however, that the book is well worth reading.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Finally, when it comes to magical realism, Haruki Murakami is the only name that comes to mind. Though there may be authors who specialize in magical realism, I need to discover them yet. Even if I come across writers whose work is solely focused on magical realism, I believe Haruki Murakami will always hold a special place in my heart. Loneliness is a recurring topic in his work. It's a sensation to which we can all relate. However, he digs deeper to find a more profound meaning. Murakami explores not only the misery of loneliness but also its beauty and strength. In his novels, you will discover a universe that lies between reality and your imagination.

 

 

The subtleness in his words, deep symbolism, analogies, and many more things have pierced my heart a thousand times. There is no turning back once you start reading Murakami's books. No matter how dissatisfied you are after reading your first Murakami novel, you will pick up at least two more works by the same author.

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