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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty-four delightful short stories
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...
Published on 3 Sep 2007 by HORAK

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short story collection up to Murakami's usual standard
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...
Published on 13 Dec 2007 by Greshon


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet, 10 May 2009
This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
Murakami's signature blend of surrealism, whimsy, and reality, are to the fore in this collection of short stories by the Japanese master of the literary style known as 'Magic Realism' - or 'Fantasy writing for grown-ups', as Terry Pratchett is said to have remarked. The everyday scenarios that Murakami presents have strange and puzzling things occur within them, and this is what gives the writer's novels and other writings their unique charm. I love the way that he will mention a specific band that are playing on a juke box, or the minutiae of a meal in a restaurant; he will then turn this around by introducing a talking cat or a television switching on by itself.

As much as I love Murakami's prose, I struggled a little with his short stories, as I think that the way he develops a story and spins all the disparate elements together is the part of his writing that most appeals to me. With these short stories I found that there was an abruptness and a lack of depth that took something special away from them. Having said that, this collection is still well crafted and a must have for those who enjoy their Murakami.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant as usual..., 10 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
After reading 'Norwegian Wood' I became an avid Murakami fan. This book is lots of fun. Various short stories that all tell a complete tale in their own right. The characters are typical Murakami, and the stories told with his usual flair. An imperative for any fan.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing, 19 Aug 2006
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I wonder if these stories would ever have been published if Murakami was not already a famous writer. I've read all of his books translated into English and this is really pretty mediocre compared to most of his other work. One or two stories are vintage Murakami but the majority read like very average school essays. I don't think I would have bothered reading any of his other books if this was the first one I read - which would have been my loss as he has written some marvelous novels, my favourite still being "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking: I'm speechless., 14 Jan 2009
This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
Flawless in almost every sense. After every tale of this wonderful collection I was left in awe. Murakami is able to somehow create another world in which the reader finds themselves lost, with situations that seem absurd and some that are just...strange. I'm struggling to put Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman into words. All I know is that I felt compelled to keep reading and even now I recall the book with the same wondrous feeling. Absolutely breathtaking.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 'B Sides' just about sums it up., 11 Oct 2007
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John Gimblett (Newport, South Wales United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Some of the other reviews here are spot on. Murakami has written a highly impressive collection of novels and short stories, but Blind Woman... isn't one of them.
The reviewer who said they're 'thin' is right; there is very little substance to these stories and none of them even exhibit Murakami's usual themes and trademark genius touches.
A couple of the stories hint at his (usual) greatness, but many of the stories left me wondering what the point was. I can't blame the translation as both translators of this book have a long history of working with Murakami and have done an exemplary job in the past.
Basically, it seems as if Murakami couldn't be bothered. The only book of his I've yet to read is the latest novel; I was put off buying this due to the poor reviews of it on Amazon.
Hopefully Murakami will regain his skills. I truly hope that this isn't the end of his stunning, atmospheric and superbly crafted fiction. That would be a huge loss of a great talent.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The monkey of our soul, 23 May 2010
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This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
Those are short stories, real short stories all built on one metaphor that is the inner meaning and the style of Murakami. He tries, every single time, to discover some strange bizarre element in the deepest depth of our souls or selves. I mean the souls and selves of his characters who are nothing but doppelgangers of us, the strange element that can block us, move us, inspire us, or ruin us. He is looking for a twist in the fabric of fate that may explain what we are and what we do. That shady deep anti-self is like a monkey hiding in us and pulling our strings. You will only understand that metaphor, that monkey metaphor when you reach the end of the last short story in this collection. It is also the style of Murakami. The story telling shifts from the most realistic description of things and feelings to an inner deeper voice taking over the story just as fi nothing had happened. The monkey of our fathomless fears, anxiety or joys can actually speak to us and Murakami is only its tuner or amplifier, the interpreter of this human translation of this breast-like soulless ghost which can be saved in the end into anepiphany that sends him back to the mountains where it belongs.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, 14 Sep 2011
By 
Frootle (Canterbury, Kent) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
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. Some weirdly surreal ones thrown in for good measure. Underwhelming.
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Collected B-sides, 31 Jan 2007
By 
Yang Shu Chuan (Taipei, Taiwan) - See all my reviews
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These stories are, in the main, gossamer thin. 'Mirror' is, I think , one of the most feeble published stories I have read by ANYONE. Some of the others are OK but one more cryptic story about a late twenties, beer-drinking, jazz-loving guy and I might have flung the book from me instead of putting it down gently. Riffing on bizarre coincidences and strange newspaper reports does not great stories make.

Hard Boiled Wonderland and Wind Up Bird are fantastic books; this is just the latest, and worst, in a series of partial failures from Murakami. Maybe, like bands, authors have their day, and Murakami at 57 simply has nothing new to say.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGICAL, 19 July 2006
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lovemurakami "tooty2" (uk) - See all my reviews
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I HAVE JUST FINISHED BLIND WILLOW, SLEEPING WOMAN. I HAVE NEVER READ MURAKAMI BEFORE BUT WILL NOW BE DIPPING INTO HIS WORK WITH PLEASURE. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PIGEON-HOLE THIS COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES. YOU MEANDER GENTLY THROUGH THIS WORK ENTERING PEOPLES' LIVES, HEARING SNIPPETS OF CONVERSATION, MURAKAMI HIMSELF MAKES AN APPEARANCE. THIS IS PROSE WRITING AT ITS' FINEST. WE ALL WISH THAT WE COULD PRODUCE ONE SHORT STORY OF THIS CALIBRE! PLEASE GIVE THIS A TRY.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blind Willow, what is it all about., 27 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Paperback)
I received this book for xmas 07, and from reading the reviews on the cover couldn't wait to start reading it. I have read three of the stories so far and am so miffed I thought I would search for online reviews. I think the stories are awful, and am left thinking what is it I don't get. What is the hidden meaning, it really can't be just that. Other people say they like it, why? there is just nothing there, I say avoid it. Maybe try one of his novels instead.
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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami (Paperback - 5 July 2007)
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