Tag Archives: Murakami

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (review by Andrew R. ’17)

South of the Border, West of the SunSouth of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

South of the Border, West of the Sun is infuriating—not in the manner of books that disappoint and disgust from beginning to end, but in the way of plots that, after a few failed early chapters, reward readers with tantalizing tastes of undeniable brilliance. If only Haruki Murakami had seen fit to split the first half of the book, which chronicles the narrator’s over dramatic childhood in a wearyingly trite style, from the second half… Then I could assign a one-star rating to the first segment and forget about it, focusing instead on the simple, understated beauty that underlines the later chapters as they trace the protagonist Hajime’s relationships, past and present, with other characters. But, alas, the tale of Hajime’s later life is tainted by the cringe-worthy opening chapters; there’s no way to get the best parts of the novel without the worst. If there were, though, I would recommend the second half of South of the Border, West of the Sun to anyone and everyone who’s ever laid hands on a book. – Andrew R. ’17

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (review by Elisabeth S. ’16)

1Q84 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Murakami may be one of the most talented storytellers alive today, and his genius manifests once again in this ethereal, lyrical magnum opus. The main stories are interwoven effortlessly; the novel details the life of aspiring novelist and math teacher Tengo, and Aomame, the secretive, justice-bent martial artist masquerading as a simple yoga instructor. Tengo assists a young girl named Fuka-Eri in the creation of his own literary masterpiece that will change both of their lives forever while also involving him in a bizarre religious cult that puts him in mortal danger. Aomame works for a dowager countess in eliminating perpetrators of domestic violence. The love story is touching and the entire novel surreal. Murakami’s prose is truly poignant and unforgettable. 1Q84 is a novel that will linger in the minds of readers for hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Highly recommended to bibliophiles who do not mind a tour de force that tops out at 1,184 pages. – Elisabeth S. ‘16

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