Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here are the books by Haruki Murakami that I have read in the past few weeks:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (for the second time)
Kafka by the Shore
Sputnik Sweetheart
South of the Border, West of the Sun.
I am addicted to him. The last time I went this mad about an author and had to read everything s/he ever wrote it was Don De Lillo. I remember writing to Dermot Healy (oops, dropped a name there) when I heard he had a copy of De Lillo's The Names which I could NOT find anywhere (this was before computers, etc) and I begged him to loan it to me and to please post it to me and he did. Anyway, I am now going through Murakami's list. One of the things I love about his books is that his main characters are always reading books, in fact they are usually lying around on a sofa reading library books, which is what I am usually doing when I am reading him. The Bray Library has ordered three more of his works for me from Greystones and Carnew, even as I borrowed the last one they had, today: Underground, a non-fiction work about 'the Tokyo gas attack and the Japanese psyche.' He is a master of magic realism. As one critic says, he takes a baseball bat to the inside of your brain. Now my excuse for reading him is that this is research because he is the favourite writer of one of my characters, Suzume, a Japanese student; but of course the real reason I am reading him is that he is a genius.

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