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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman [Paperback]

Haruki Murakami
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 July 2007
Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, an ice man, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami's characters confront loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distance between those who ought to be closest of all.

Frequently Bought Together

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman + The Elephant Vanishes + After The Quake
Price For All Three: 18.57

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  • The Elephant Vanishes 6.29
  • After The Quake 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Translated By P. Gabriel & J. Rubin edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099488663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099488668
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"More insights into life, death, memories, love and kangaroos that one has a right to expect in any single volume" (Daily Express)

"An intimate pleasure" (The Times)

"Literature's answer to David Lynch" (Times Literary Supplement)

"These stories are rich in Murakami magic... a collection that all readers will enjoy" (Independent)

"Sharp but humane unforgettable as it is untypical" (New Statesman)

Book Description

An eclectic, eccentiric and altogether brain-bending collection of short stories

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Greshon
This is Murakami's first proper short story collection in English since The Elephant Vanishes. After the Quake, though also a collection of short stories, is more of a coherent work, whereas these two collections draw from stories published from all periods of Murakami's career, and from many different collections in Japanese.

The publication dates of the stories are not given and, as Murakami says in his introduction (a nice touch), many of the stories have been significantly revised since their first publication. Thus, there is little coherence and tracing the author's development of style and themes is almost impossible, even with the aid of the bibliography in translator Jay Rubin's very interesting biography/literary study (also published by Vintage).

Murakami's short stories are very good, sometimes excellent, but it is in the sustained brilliance of his novels where his true value as a writer lies. The stories in here are, on the whole, up to Murakami's usual standard.

As in his novels, truly bizarre and unexplainable occurs in these stories. The most bizarre here is a talking monkey hiding in the sewers of a Tokyo suburb, but this is only one example. The more I read Murakami, the more I think this mystical, seemingly meaningful, content actually means nothing at all. This only marginally lessens its interest and mystery, though. Maybe one day I'll change my mind and be able unlock these conundrums (`like Zen koans', as one of the characters in this collection notes).

Throughout Murakami's work, a regularly re-occurring theme is things going missing without any explanation. It's no different in these stories. Sometimes it's things (name tags), often men (stockbrokers), usually women (girlfriends).
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a meander through a magical world 8 Feb 2006
A writer that expresses perfectly the isolation and loneliness of the modern world, Murakami's short stories are like peering through a dozen windows into a world where fantasy and reality mix, seperate and blend together again. His talent lies in the ability to take the mundane and make it fantastic, offering us a peek into ordinary lives sprinkled with the kind of surreal conversations and events that make you look around you whilst in the street or on the bus and wonder what all these people around you are really like.
I can't read any of his work without seeing the world differently afterwards, and this collection i could read over and over. Impossible to pigeon hole, each story has it's own distinct mood, but in each the atmosphere persists; that the world has a beauty that, if we just scratch the surface off the everyday, will be revealed.
If you're new to Murakami, start here or with The Elephant Vanishes, if you're familiar with his writing you will need no persuasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murakami story collection 29 May 2011
A short story collection from one of my favourite writers. Each of these tales is completely unique and mysterious in its own way. And each one has a brilliant kernel of an idea. As I read more Murakami I think I am starting to get an idea of what I like about him. Firstly there's his imagery. For some reasons he seems to paint pictures in your mind that consist of only primary colours. There are always blue skies and green grass. There is a freshness to his scenery that is absent from other peoples' work. Secondly there is his strange view of the world that has some consistency the more you read. In his fiction there are ideas of metaphysical bonds existing between not only humans but human inventions - things such as buildings, or clothes, or even names themselves. And these bonds seem to open up your mind to the possibility of some strange other world existing just beyond the dimensions of our own.

All of the stories in this collection are excellent and I guess you have to read them to understand why because trying to explain the plots is just too difficult. Suffice to say, if you like Haruki Murakami then you be sure to like this collection.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty-four delightful short stories 3 Sep 2007
This collection of short stories features quite a range of memorable characters and situations. Blind willows have a lot of pollen and tiny flies covered with it crawl inside the ear of a woman and put her asleep. A waitress about to spend her twentieth birthday in a surprising manner. A man who has the astonishing habit of going to the zoo whenever there is a typhoon. The story of a mirror capable of reflecting another self. The strange story of a disabled son and her mother holidaying on an island.
In many of these stories, narrative tension is heightened by a refusal to explain strange events; Murakami's ghosts and mysteries remain what they are. In "Nausea 1979" for example, the reader will never know whether a serial adulterer has been cursed, or whether his nausea has something to do with his predilection for deceptive seduction. Murakami never gives answers to the reader's questions, and the result is memorable if puzzling at times.
The stories in this collection have all of Murakami's characteristic strangeness, but they combine the bizarre with a tight structure. They show the author at his best; not as a cult literary figure but as a really first-rate writer of short fiction. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I think that this author is very interesting. His ...
I think that this author is very interesting.
His short stories are always different and have subtle twists. Ihave read several of his books.
Peter Cathcart.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars not as good as after the quake
Apart from some exceptions I didn't really feel that this collection of short stories by Murakami reached the high water mark of After the Quake. a bit hit and miss
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Robert Marsland
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're bored by some of the early stories go to the last six
An inconsistent collection, with more than its fair share of duds, but the last six stories find Murakami at his best
Published 7 months ago by Terrence O
3.0 out of 5 stars Part magical, part frustrating.
I've read numerous Murakami novels but this is my first experience of one of his short story collections. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Samantha Brookfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Some stories are great, some are a little disappointing.
It feels like it's a rough collection of any literary thought he came up with, so the result is that some are delightful and have the right to be short stories, whereas others... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sade
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the short story
Atmospheric, enigmatic, gentle, seductive, Murakami - what do you say!

I am addicted to his writing - seven books; one after the other - last time I did that was with... Read more
Published 10 months ago by ANTHONY C PLEDGER
4.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get this cheaper anywhere else !!!
Item exactly as described. No issues or problems. Goods received promptly. Would use again. What more do you need ?
Published 11 months ago by Ian Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars Realities Galore
If you like Murakami you are going to enjoy these stories, chock full as they are of classic Murakami elements like talking monkeys, ghosts and alternate reality. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Keizu
5.0 out of 5 stars fragile, magical short stories
This is a wonderful collection of short stories. If, like me, you are a fan of Murakami's writing, there will be much here to enjoy. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2012 by markr
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming
Short stories. Feel like juvenilia: lots of stories based around jazz loving, 20-somethings, drifting through life and trying to work out love and relationships. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2011 by Frootle
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