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After The Quake Paperback – 6 Mar 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099448564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099448563
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"In a dance with the delights of Murakami's imagination we experience the limitless possibilities of fiction. With these stories Murakami expands our hearts and minds yet again" (The Times)

"Ushers the reader into a hallucinatory world where the real and surreal merge and overlap, where dreams and real-life nightmares are impossible to tell apart...this slender volume, deftly translated by Jay Rubin, may serve as a succinct introduction to his imaginative world...Lewis Carroll meets Kafka with a touch of Philip K. Dick" (New York Times)

"Dazzlingly elegant...In a world where even the ground beneath our feet can't be relied on, imagination becomes less of a luxury and more of a duty. It's an obligation that Murakami is busily making his raison d'etre, to our very great advantage" (Guardian)

"In the world of literary fiction, Haruki Murakami is unquestionably a superstar...Many critics have touted Murakami for the Nobel Prize. If he can stay on this kind of form, he could be in with a chance" (Scotland on Sunday)

"Murakami is a unique writer, at once restrained and raw, plainspoken and poetic" (Washington Post)

Book Description

Tales of upheaval and confusion, longing and love in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a simple, unpretentious, and totally accessible style, Murakami tells six tales, each with a message about life and death and love and loss. Simple, straightforward stories, haunting and hypnotic in tone, belie a complexity of themes and thought-provoking observations about the importance of creating your own identity, building relationships, sharing, and avoiding the emptiness of the bogeyman's box, "ready for everybody...[and] waiting with the lid open."
All the main characters are single or separated, and all feel isolated and empty, naïve in matters of love and life. In "UFO in Kashiro," an abandoned husband agrees to help a friend by delivering a box to Hokkaido, only to discover that the box "contains the something that was inside you. You'll never get it back." In "Landscape in Flatiron," a 40-ish artist and a young girl meet and build a bonfire. "The fire itself has to be free," he remarks, while the young girl comments on the emptiness of her life, and they make plans for the rest of the evening. In "All God's Children Can Dance," a young man pursues the man he believes to be his father to an abandoned baseball field, "chasing the tail of the darkness inside [him]." "Thailand" features a doctor in her 40's who is told that she must get rid of the stone inside her and that "living and dying are, in a sense, of equal value."
In the last two stories, "Superfrog Saves Tokyo," and "Honey Pie," Murakami begins to offer more hope and direction to his characters. Superfrog, a 6' tall frog who needs a plodding banker to help him fight the Worm and save Tokyo from an earthquake, due to strike soon, teaches that "the ultimate value of our lives is decided not by how we win but by how we lose.
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By A Customer on 30 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
It has been a couple of weeks since I finished this slim book of stories by Murakami. I had read “Norwegian Wood” and “South of the Border, West of the Sun” and loved both.
Now, characters and incidents keep coming to mind for no apparent reason, and they seem so familiar that I try and dig back in my memory to find out where they come from…and it turns out they’re from “After the Quake”. There are so many characters and moments that have stayed with me after having read these stories, though I didn’t necessarily expect them to. For so short a book, Murakami certainly manages impact.
The Kobe earthquake as the common character to the stories works very well. It provides a sense of community that the individual stories don’t radiate, with their fractured relationships, drifters and people uncertain of their place. The earthquake presents a common timeframe, which unifies the other characters for the reader, in a way we feel couldn’t happen in their reality.
I noted with interest that Murakami has translated Raymond Carver’s work into English. This made me smile, as his stories to me resemble Carver’s in many ways. They are quite unsensational in their telling, concerned with the detail, the characters, as much as by events. But just as I felt comfortable in this world, Murakami packs a punch with “Super Frog Saves Tokyo” – certainly surreal! But even then, sensationalism doesn’t get in the way, and you find yourself half believing, if you read the story literally, that a giant frog saving Tokyo from an earthquake isn’t so strange!
I note the recommendation in another review here that a second reading ensures these stories have their full impact, and I can well believe it.
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Format: Paperback
Each of the short stories in the excellent "After the Quake" is linked to the terrible earthquake that shook Kobe in 1995. Although none are actually set in Kobe, the epicentre of the devastation, allusions to the disaster flit briefly into the radar of each story before quickly dipping out of sight again. Though the characters in these haunting stories are far removed from the scene of the earthquake tragedy, the earthquake nonetheless reverberates in subtle ways deep into their troubled lives. If you enjoy these unconventional short stories, often containing elements both of realism and surrealism, and often with no neatly wrapped-up endings, then you may wish to try another Murakami short story collection, "The Elephant Vanishes."
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By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this collection of six short stories, which he make up my favourite of Murakami's short story books. Each of the stories touches on the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, although only gently- none of the stories are based there and none of them feature the earthquake as a main part of the tale.

As always with Murakami there are themes of love and loss, solitude and friendship and some of the stories include surreal moments which seem entirely believable when you are reading them.

This is a short book - only 132 pages - but if you enjoy Murakami's novels you will surely love this little collection of short tales too
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Despite my addiction to Murakami, this is actually a collection of unrelated short stories linked - somewhat tenuously sometimes- to the Kobe earthquake. Short stories are not my favourite form of the writer's art, I have to be hones. but not bad.
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