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After the Quake: Unabridged Audio CD – Audiobook, 2 Jan 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; Unabridged edition (2 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626344326
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626344323
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,844,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Murakami's storytelling inspires intimacy. It's the particular kind of intimacy that can evolve between a reader and a book, unspoken and unexpected, familiar, satisfying, strange. --JANE MENDELSOHN, Village Voice

Western critics searching for parallels have variously likened him to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon - a roster so ill assorted as to suggest that Murakami may in fact be an original. --JAMIE JAMES, New York Times

The menacing little seismographic printout on the translucent dustjacket of this stylishly produced book says it all. This short collection of six stories - few of them taking more than 15 minutes to read - take their origin from the devastating earthquake that hit Kobe in Japan not long ago. None of the stories in this collection are directly connected with the disaster, though all of them are touched by it in one way or another. Each is set in its own odd little world. The opening story deals with an unhappily divorced man who goes on an enforced holiday only to develop sexual problems due to a mysterious wooden cube in his airplane luggage. Then there follows a short tale about a disaffected family man who likes to build bonfires on the beach at midnight. Best of all is the story of Mr Katagiri, who comes home one evening to find a giant frog in his apartment, intent upon having the poor chap help him save all Tokyo from disaster by burrowing down into the earth and confronting an immense and angry worm. Murakami is a world-renowned writer, a master of alienated characters in a disturbing world. --Kirkus UK

Book Description

Tales of upheaval and confusion, longing and love in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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Format: Paperback
This is the best Murakami short story collection available in English, as this is actually a direct translation of an existing volume. The other collections - The Elephant Vanishes and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - are hotch-potch compilations of stories originally published in lots of different collections. Additionally, the stories here are linked by the 1995 Kobe earthquake of the title, which makes this more than just a collection of short stories.
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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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