A Wild Sheep Chase
Murakami's third novel, published in Japan in 1982, was the first to be translated into English in 1989. The nameless narrator, an ordinary fellow who runs a small advertising firm, suddenly runs into trouble with a powerful criminal element which takes an inordinate amount of interest in an undistinguished photo of a moutain pasture scene with sheep which a friend sent him and he used in an ad. The representative of the Big Boss sends him to cold, mount... Dance Dance Dance
In this sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, which can however be read as a stand-alone novel, the unnamed narrator returns to the Dolphin Hotel of the former book. He is searching for his ex-girlfriend who brought him psychically to the hotel in the first place. At the hotel a series of bizarre encounters occurs. The narrator is confided in by a receptionist who claims to have had a strange ghoulish experience on the 16th floor of the hotel. It turns out... Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
It all starts in an elevator, as the unnamed narrator - a professional data-cruncher in Tokyo called a "Calcutec" - finds himself called in for an assignment. The elevator, our hero notes, is moving so slowly that he cannot tell whether his is rising or ascending. It's the perfect opening to this unpredictable tale in two parts, told through alternating chapters. One storyline follows the Calcutec as his job, past and future turn out to be far more compl... Kafka on the Shore
The story is about Kafka Tamura, a teenage boy who leaves his father's house and goes looking for his mother and sister. Kafka Tamura is 15 years old. He decides to move away from his father's house because he was a cold, distant man who made a strange prophecy about the future of his own son. He wants to find his mother and his sister. He takes a bus and during his trip he meets a strange girl that he thinks might be his sister.
He arrives in a smal...
Norwegian Wood (Romance)
Music brings about nostalgia. Toru Watanabe is on a plane when he hears the song Norwegian Wood which reminds him of when he was 20 years old. It was the year 1969 in Japan. Toru met Naoko, the girlfriend of his dead best (and only) friend Kizuki, and rekindles their friendship. He eventually discovers that he has fallen in love with her. But Naoko is mentally unstable, traumatized by the suicides of her older sister and her boyfriend, and went to a spec... Norwegian Wood (Literature)
Naoko and Kizuki were a lifelong couple but their romance ended with Kizuki's inexplicable, tragic suicide shortly before high school graduation. Serious and quiet Toru, Kizuki's friend and enforcer, meets cute Naoko in Tokyo when they are entering college in the late 60's and falls in love with her. Nonetheless, Naoko finds it impossible to love anyone else, and as Toru struggles on his own to make new friends and break ground for his life, Naoko withdr... South of the Border, West of the Sun
Hajime (which means "beginning") was born in 1951. An unusual only child and a loner in elementary school, he gravitated to Shimamoto, a girl with a bad leg and a limp from polio. They became very close friends but circumstances separated them at age 12. Hajime drifts through relationships and a boring editing job in his 20s, then marries Yukiko and opens a pair of jazz bars with the financial backing of her contractor father. He has a good life -- plent... Sputnik Sweetheart
In this novel K, a primary school teacher is in love with his friend Sumire. Quirky Sumire regularly calls K at 3 in the morning to discuss life and receive advice from K but she has no sexual feelings for K. K has an affair with the mother of one of his pupils to placate his lust for Sumire. Sumire is an aspiring writer who lives on a small stipend from her parents until one day she meets Miu a woman 17 years her senior who runs a business importing ... The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
The story starts off simply enough about Mr. Okada losing his cat, then his wife, and then finally his own mind. In a bizarre fashion all of the odd characters and situations that Okada finds himself in are all related in some way which is eventually summed together at the end. What was most fascinating is the elements of Buddhism, the search for nothingness to really get in touch with one's consciousness. Okada finds the strength and ability to achieve...