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Blind Willow Sleeping Woman Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (12 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844565866
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844565863
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 14.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,632,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An intimate pleasure' (The Times)

'Will undoubtedly confirm his reputation as literature's answer to David Lynch' (Times Literary Supplement)

'Unforgettable' (New Statesman)

'Excellent...always provocative and never less than engaging' (Daily Telegraph)

'By turns disturbing and delightful...every bit as substantial as a novel. They show him at his very best; not as a cult novelist but as a really first-rate writer of short fiction' (Guardian)

Book Description

An eclectic, eccentric and altogether brain-bending new collection of short stories from the bestselling cult Japanese author


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Greshon on 13 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Brookfield on 18 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
I've read numerous Murakami novels but this is my first experience of one of his short story collections. What I have discovered is that whilst his works always touch upon the same themes or preoccupations (jazz music, human sexuality and identity, beer and or whisky, and the preparation and consumption of food) these blend much better within lengthier works. In this short story collection they sometimes become rather repetitive. The foreword by Murakami himself suggests that this collection was not written in any set time frame which perhaps contributed to the repetitive aspects within the stories but I feel that with a writer of this calibre more care should have been taken to prevent this from happening. There are a few standout stories however; Tony Takitani beautifully deals with parental relationships and loss, whilst Firefly is made up of extracts from my favourite Murakami novel, Norwegian Wood. Overall whilst this collection has not diminished my admiration for Murakami's work, I feel that I will be sticking to his novels in future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donna Mcmanus on 29 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
I don't normally like short stories, but this is an excellent collection and a great introduction to people who have never had the pleasure of reading Murakami before. (Athough I have). Nothing is as it seems of course but even the most mundane of events are written and described so well, whether it's a `detective' hanging around an apartments stairwell or a couple eating a delicious crab meal. I found myself wishing my journey to work was longer so I could finish off a story - not something I wish very often! Some of them (no make that all of them) are totally bizarre but each and every one are written in such a way that you can't help becoming engrossed and even spellbound by them. My favourites I think are Hunting Knife, Man Eating Cats, Nausea 1979, Where I'm Likely to Find it and Haneli Bay. Other stories such as Dabchick and A `Poor Aunt' Story left me shaking my head in confusion and laughter. If anyone is interested my favourite Murakami novel is Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy C. on 3 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm not at all sure what to make of these nuggets of literature. It's not that I dislike them, I don't. I like the way they make me ponder them long after I've read them, and I'm firmly of the belief that you don't have to have everything spelled out to you, or indeed understand everything, in order to gain something from this type of literature. BUT, I keep feeling frustrated by them and want to know more, require a bit more solidity. Maybe it's the short story format of them that doesn't allow this - his novels can be equally ethereal, but have more substance to them (inevitably). Think of this collection as leaves being gently buffeted by the breeze in a random fashion, with no real destination and they will probably make more sense. If you want to read his short stories I think After The Quake is much more fulfilling
Not bad, but not great either.....
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By HORAK on 3 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
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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