I discovered this challenge on Dolce Belezza and considering that I had a book in my bookshelf that needed to be read, it made perfect sense to participate.
I am a huge fan of Haruki Murakami. I was introduced to him by a friend of mine with ‘A wild sheep chase’. I enjoyed it so much, I went off and read most of his other works, not all of them, but def most of them. My favourite by far is ‘Kafka on the Shore’. But for this challenge, I chose ‘Blind Willow Sleeping Woman’.
I bought this book on my return from the UK purely because it was a Murakami book. It is a short story book and I have never really been a fan of short stories. I have always liked getting stuck into a story and the characters knowing that they are not going to be short lived. (And I liked the name of the book…) I wasn’t too impressed with his last novel ‘After Dark’, I was expecting more, but I think that was because of ‘Kafka’.
So, what did I think of this one? Read on and I shall tell you.
‘Blind Willow Sleeping Woman’ is a rich tapestry of stories. Ranging from the macabre to the downright bizarre, but would we have it any other way?
Murakami has the ability to bring an other worldly presence to his characters day to day lives. His stories are rich, and full and if you read too many of his stories in one day, can result in an overload, not dissimilar to gorging on a decadent box of chocolates. Preferably the types that come from a chocolatier, you know the ones? Where you promise yourself only one or two, then get a little more greedy and eat more, knowing that the delight and pure indulgence will make you feel a little ill if you ‘have just one more’. That is how I felt with reading this selection of short stories.
Slivers of oddities, with a magical resonance that echos long after you have finished reading. But isn’t that typical of Murakami?
They need to be savoured. One story at a time, to allow the senses to take part, to not rush through them. I enjoyed this book, but still have to go with my original opinion that short stories are not my cup of tea. (or type of chocolate).
26 tales, a handsome volume of prose which proves that Murakami is versed in the art of both novels and first rate short fiction. For those of you who enjoy rather odd narrating and short stories, I would recommend this book. But, if like me, you prefer novels, I recommend ‘Kafka on the shore’, ‘The wind-up bird chronicle’ or even ‘Norwegian Wood’ if you haven’t had a taste of his style of writing yet.
And if you have read him before, or even read this one,I would love to know what you thought? Just leave a comment so we can compare notes.