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4.2 out of 5 stars103
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 June 2012
This book is really sublime and captures the essence of yearning for your first love and love lost. Wondering what could have been. Lyrical writing makes this a majestic read.
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on 26 November 2014
Couldn't stop reading this once I had unleashed it. The exploration of magnetism and its uncontrollable effects on the main character were truly enlightening.
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on 8 April 2014
This was my first foray into Haruki Murakami's books and I loved it.

A beautiful story of missed opportunities and reconciliation with the present.
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on 17 July 2013
Perhaps my favourite Murakami to date. Beautiful,concise,crafted. Unsure how this could have made more impact on me,really.Totally wonderful. Too short.
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on 23 February 2014
Easy to read, with interesting subjects. Another book that enters the possibilities of how we interact with the world via some interesting metaphors
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on 4 October 2007
Just finished this book, and while I was very sceptical (and rightly so) about the translation by Philip Gabriel, I found the book very well structured, and I'm a sucker for well-crafted books, even if they are fairly traditional, with classic subject matter.

First, about the translation. I only read 2 other books by Murakami, Wind-Up Bird translated by Jay Rubin, and Kafka on the Shore, also translated by Philip Gabriel. And, however colloquial the original Japanese by Murakami may be, Gabriel lacks the poetics to make the story really stick by any other means than the story itself. Once in a while a poetic line, sometimes awkward prose, and a bucket of American expressions that leave you wondering how much of the story's content has been "translated" - or rather "transformed" to set up a well-known American context.

As for the story. Like the other books of Murakami I've read, it's about a rite of passage of a single individual. It's more conscise than Wind-Up Bird, more focused and better structured than Kafka. And there's not too much of the forced surreality of Kafka. On the other hand, the story is not that original, even to the point of getting very close to the cliché, like the chapter where the main characters disappear to the other end of the country to the river with the... crows - premonitions of doom! Yeah, what subtle symbolism! But all good stories need to be re-told every couple of years, and Murakami does a very nicely restrained job. It's straightforward without too much sidetracking (none, actually), and I like that. Unfortunately, with a rather bland translation, this leaves you with something that doesn't quite live up to the expectations. The translated language prevents the story from sticking to you. Still, there are plenty of poetic moments.

I can recommend this story. As for the book, why not try it in another language if possible?

Tip: If you like this, definitely grab a copy of the novella Mokusei! by Cees Nooteboom, which part of this story certainly resembles closely, at least in atmosphere and general theme. Don't know about the English version, but Dutch original and French translation were both superb. Which makes that, even though the story might have slightly less depth than South of the Border (it's limited to an aspect of it), it sticks more.
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on 20 July 1999
How many of us would not like to change a past decision? The problem is that where relationships are concerned it is not only impossible but is usually complicated by subsequent events. Here Murakami explores such issues and the dilemmas faced when against the odds an opportunity to rekindle a past relationship is presented. But what to do when time has moved on, you are now very happily married and yet have never forgotten your first true love. Anyone more familiar with the author's more recent works will find this a different style of novel, closer to "Norwegian Wood" than, for example the excellent "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle". In some ways it is not so satisfying as either of the above two works - there is not the same interest in the characters; we do not truly identify with any of them and we find out too little about the principle players ... maybe the book is just too short! It is easily readable in one session. Where the novel does succeed though (and maybe this is the intention) is to force you to think about yourself rather than about the characters. What would I do in that situation? What have I done previously in similar situations? I have no hesitation in strongly recommending "South of the Border..."; but if you like this you'll enjoy "Norwegian Wood" better.
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on 4 September 2014
I was caught at first but then was disappointing for me. I am not sure anymore about reading another one from the same author.
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on 17 April 2015
First 5 chapters promised a deep exciting read. Chapter 6 came up with unexpected nonsense. I closed the book. That was it.
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on 27 October 2012
Good book, another great little from Haruki Murakami and I great scape from the everyday would with his books, worth a read
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