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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murakami's well-known simple but beautifully warm writing that awakens feelings of loneliness
"Sputnik Sweetheart" by Haruki Murakami is book that speaks about loneliness, about the sense of inevitability when love decays and we are unable to do anything about it.

The book has three main characters - a college student, who is called K. is in love with his best friend Sumire. Sumire is an ambitious writer who sees K. as close friend, but nothing...
Published 6 months ago by Denis Vukosav

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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Laika Prayer
Murakami picks up the themes from Wild Sheep/DanceDanceDance/Wind-Up Bird once more, with, in this case, the title referring to the lonely isolation of typical human existence, rather like satellites drifting around in the void, only rarely encountering fellow travellers. Once again, there's a reality/dreamworld duality, an attempt to explore the subconscious, a sense of...
Published on 18 Oct 2002 by Daniel Sladen


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murakami's well-known simple but beautifully warm writing that awakens feelings of loneliness, 6 April 2014
This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
"Sputnik Sweetheart" by Haruki Murakami is book that speaks about loneliness, about the sense of inevitability when love decays and we are unable to do anything about it.

The book has three main characters - a college student, who is called K. is in love with his best friend Sumire. Sumire is an ambitious writer who sees K. as close friend, but nothing more. On the other hand, Sumire is crazy in love with Miu, who is married and can't longer love anyone due to her difficult and traumatic experience back in student time. Sumire will give up her writing to be able to work as Miu's assistant and they will depart to Greece for a business trip. When Sumire will mysteriously vanish without any trace, Miu will ask K. to help search for her...

With its theme of loneliness and isolation, this book by Haruki Murakami is similar to his some other works.
Due to that, he choose Sputnik motive for its title that is in same sense isolated from the world like this book's characters.

Additionally, through this book the author is asking questions of human identity and sexuality, conscious and unconscious world, but it's also full of mystery in the literal and figurative sense.

This book is an excellent choice for first book you'll read from Murakami, it will introduce you to his world, his beautiful literary style and for sure you'll be eager to read some other of his works (my first suggestions would be "Kafka on the Shore" and "Wind-Up Bird Chronicle").

For all his existing fans, inside you'll find his well-known simple but beautifully warm writing that awakens feelings of loneliness and makes you hug your loved one beside you, happy you're not alone as his characters are.

Due to that, I can strongly recommend you to read this as well as his other books to see that the loneliness is still one of the hardest things that a human being could suffer.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, makes you consider other ways of living, 29 Feb 2004
By 
Dinah85 "Dinah93" (Cleveland,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
This book is one of my favourites ever. I had always been meaning to read it, but never gotten around to it, and I'm so glad I finally did!
The story focusses on misplaced love, love without desire, and desire without love. The unusual circumstances into which the characters are thrown forces them to evaluate their lives, and the magic that has interspersed at crucial periods to make them who they are today.
This is not a 'pretty' story but neither is it like 'grity reality' modern fiction, the words carry you along and force you to consder the deeper underlying factors in your own life.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Laika Prayer, 18 Oct 2002
By 
Daniel Sladen (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
Murakami picks up the themes from Wild Sheep/DanceDanceDance/Wind-Up Bird once more, with, in this case, the title referring to the lonely isolation of typical human existence, rather like satellites drifting around in the void, only rarely encountering fellow travellers. Once again, there's a reality/dreamworld duality, an attempt to explore the subconscious, a sense of alienation from self and others, and a search for the forms and ideas that we somehow feel must exist somewhere, but definitely aren't knocking around in the real world.
Which is fine as far as it goes - and Murakami pulls this trick off better than anyone else - but it was done a lot better in the books mentioned above. Not only does this book feel lightweight in comparison (although it runs to 220 pages, it has that existentialist short story feeling), it simply leaves too many holes in the narrative. If anything, it reads as a defeated attempt to understand the problems he's been attacking in his earlier work: "well, I'm not even going to try and guess what's in the gaps in reality this time - you figure it out. I'm off to the pub".
If you've stayed with me this far, I should, in fairness, point out that he still writes brilliantly. The language and imagery is as great as ever; the characters do, by and large, convince, seduce and entertain; the dialogue conjures up a field of human interaction that's uncomfortably realistic in its sense of isolation.
But we've been led to expect more than this... more story, more answers, or at the very least, some different questions. Beautiful prose and "deep" characters don't on their own make a great novel - if you don't believe me, try and read Anil's Ghost all the way through.
Haruki Murakami is one of the greatest novellists you can get at in English today, so please read him. But if this is your first experience, please read one of his other books. They're better.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why do people have to be this lonely?, 7 Mar 2003
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This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
This is the question asked by the narrator of Sputnik Sweetheart. "What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the Earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?"
Sputnik Sweetheart doesn't answer this question; it only asks it through the story of Sumire, a 22-year-old girl who fall in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. The narrator, K, who is also the "narratee" because he is Sumire's confidant, recounts the complexes and sometimes surreal lives of Sputnik Sweetheart's characters. Sumire, who dreams of being a writer until she meets Miu. Miu, a rich wine dealer whose hairs turned all white in one night some forty years ago, and himself, a teacher who is having an affair with the mother of one of his pupils.
In some respects it's a Japanese "Jules et Jim". Despite his affair, K is in love with Sumire; Sumire realises one day that she is in love with a woman, Miu, but the latter can't love anyone anymore. This impossible love triangle could have stood still for a long time if one day, whilst Miu and Sumire were on holiday on a Greek island, Sumire hadn't suddenly disappeared. This disappearance is the cathartic event that will expose the loneliness of Murakami's characters and by extension our loneliness.
Murakami is my second attempt at Japanese literature. I started with Mishima's Golden Pavilion some years ago, and that definitely wasn't an easy read. Murakami's style is much easier, more "modern", and the narrative more straightforward. Every sentence seems to be constructed with the optimal number of words, like Sumire's writing. The different parts of the novel feel exactly the right length, and the action progresses just when you feel it should progress. Somehow, it feels as if it were mathematically constructed, and that this is a choice to epitomize the way we live, mechanically, without really thinking about the root of our passion (and our actions) until we are confronted with them or they are challenged.
Sputnik Sweetheart is a story of love, of loneliness, and of a friendship that love reveals but could also destroy. It is an emotional journey that makes us thinks about our relations with our friends and loved ones. Why do we love them, why do we came to love them, why do we need them, and what would happen if they were to disappear from our life?
A very simple story that succeeds where long and heavy ones have failed
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sputnik Sweetheart, 4 Aug 2014
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This is the first Murakami book I've read, and honestly, I liked it. Really enjoyed it. I've read some samples of his other work and they seem, oh I don't know... vast? Grand, drenched in mystery and somewhat intimidating. So I started off small, light... easy.

This book I really enjoyed. I very much enjoyed the three main characters this book follows. The writing and feel of the book are like hooks with lots of little hooks that once get you, will not let go.

Loneliness looms over these characters throughout the story, and I was left to wonder if happiness would grace them. It is quite a real setting that dips its toe into the supernatural at times.

very much enjoyed this book, and have bought a few other books of Murakami to lose myself in.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but lacking originality and depth, 19 Jun 2001
By A Customer
After reading several Murakami books over the last few months, I felt this lacked originality over his previous works - the same themes of unreturned love, lack of sexual passion, hair colour changes, wells (only make a brief appearance in this one) and male lack of ambition are there. Only this time there is even less plot and you finish the book wondering what the point was. Get it to complete your collection but I recommend reading Norwegian Wood (similar in scope and approach) and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (wider plot and better characterisation) in preference. Still rates 4 stars because Murakami writes well but this is not his best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars unrequited love with cats, the moon and music, 9 July 2014
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markr - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
An excellent, though quite short story of just over 200 ages, about the love of a young man for a young woman who is in turn wildly in love with a much older woman.

Set partly in Japan, partly on a Greek island, this is a slighly sad, rather fragile tale of unrequited love. Full of Marakami regulars - cats, earlobes, music, brand names, and the moon all appear, this still has a fresh feel, and is a fascinating mixture of the slightly surreal, and page turning compulsive reading. I loved reading this and was sad when it was finished - especially as so much remains unresolved at the final page
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, 3 July 2007
By 
Gemma (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sputnik Sweetheart (Paperback)
Murakami's description does not falter, but I found this book more disjointed than 'Norwegian Wood' or 'South of the Border, West of the Sun'. It is gripping and beautiful and well worth a read, but make 'Norwegian Wood' your first if you've never before read Murakami.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treasure, 3 Jun 2001
By A Customer
When I first finished this book three weeks ago, my knee-jerk reaction was that Haruki Murakami must be the world's greatest living author.
Well, I've had time to calm down a little, but that still doesn't change the fact that this is a amzing book by a writing genius.
The narrotor, K, is in love with Sumire, but she has secretly fallen in love with Miu, an intriguing, elegant older woman with a mysterious past. Sumire and Miu go on a business trip to Europe, where Sumire vanishes 'like smoke'. K travels to Greece to help Miu search, but she remains nowhere to be found.
Just why this book is so unbelievably good is beyond me. The plot is relatively straightforward. The language is fairly commonplace. But there is something about this novel that makes it breathe with life.
I think it has something to do with the particular window on the world that Murakami gives us. Through his protagonist, a straight-up good guy, as reader I look out on a world that I recognise, but with heightened tones of beauty and sadness and the fragility of happiness and the relationships between people, the past and future.
Murakami writes utterly convincing dialogue, and has also the rare ability to capture the most fleeting, inarticulable moments. His arts are so subtle but so devastatingly affective - Philip Gabriel must have done a fantastic job in translating this book.
Since then I've read The Wild Sheep Chase, and Norwegian Wood. The former is one of his early novels, and was a little too disjointed and digressive for my tastes; but if anything Norwegian Wood is even better than Sputnik Sweetheart.
The one criticism I would hesitatingly make is that Murakami tends to make his narrators too nice - they're all sensitive, perceptive, unassuming - I'd like to meet one with a great flaw, or point of conflict. And I do not share the author's fetish for women's ears - along with the moon, and cats, uncovered ears seem to be a Murakami trademark.
Overall, though, I'm happy to find that the newest of my favourite authors (whom I discovered because Murakami came before Nabokov on the bookshop shelf) has another four or five books for me to read.
I highly recommend this novel.
(F, 26)
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissociated even for a Murakami., 4 May 2004
By A Customer
If you're looking for a novel that hinges on the unbridgeable spaces between people, that encompasses different types of isolation and loneliness then this is definitely worth a try.
However for me the idea of it being a "love" story is definitely misleading. K, the main narrator, is a mildly interesting voice at his best when dwelling on his unrequited feelings and observations of Samire at the start of the book. And yet the overwhelming impression through 90% of the novel is not of love but more an idealised sexual obsession.
This is definitely how I came to view the relationship between Samire and her object of desire, the mysterious Miu. And that's where it all went a bit muddled. Once Samire meets Miu and starts to obsess over her she seems to lose dimension as a character. In fact, both Samire and Miu appear to become very one dimensional the more time they spend in each other's company. Whether this is a deliberate effect of implying how a lover can become so single-minded that they willingly submerge and tailor their personality, or just an outbreak of some rather dull writing is down to an individual's view.
Samire, Miu and K are all rather coldly isolated characters for different reasons but they just didn't inspire interest or empathy to draw me into their self-contained existences. A melange of ideas and recognisable traits run through the novel but in comparison to his other books this just doesn't have enough to it to be truly memorable.
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Sputnik Sweetheart
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (Paperback - 3 Oct 2002)
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