After The Quake Paperback – 6 Mar 2003
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"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)
Tales of upheaval and confusion, longing and love in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquakeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Definitely a book to give to a bookworm. Great stuff.... and arrived on time. ThanksPublished 11 months ago by MR P D ZAPPA
Murakami is a sublime writer and this book of short stories is no exception.Published 13 months ago by Basko
I love Murakami H. books however I prefer the novels than his stories, maybe because I read most of his long books and many of the shorts stories are part of his bigger novel. Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2013 by not happy ome
I think this author is brilliant. All his books are interesting and I find that I learn more and more about Japan every time I read one of his books.Published on 29 Aug. 2013 by smilerbright
Excellent read, Murakami is one of the best modern day writers. This is a must read! His power to hold the reader's attention is very powerful.Published on 28 July 2013 by Ann Watkins
As Murakami ironically notes himself: The short story seems to have died some time ago, however this selection of tales combining the surreal and the mundane in true Murakami style... Read morePublished on 13 Jun. 2013 by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth