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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by [Murakami, Haruki]
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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Length: 450 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

wonderfully original stories...whose momentum never slackens, carrying you effortlessly from one improbabl e twist to the next....This is all round audio entertainment at its very best. (Guardian)

'An intimate pleasure' (The Times)

'Will undoubtedly confirm his reputation as literature's answer to David Lynch' (Times Literary Supplement)

'Unforgettable' (New Statesman)

'Excellent...always provocative and never less than engaging' (Daily Telegraph)

'By turns disturbing and delightful...every bit as substantial as a novel. They show him at his very best; not as a cult novelist but as a really first-rate writer of short fiction' (Guardian)

The Sunday Times, 16th July 2006

"Murakami’s fictional world is extraordinary".

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1767 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (10 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005TKBZSC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,094 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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 stories are not given and, as Murakami says in his introduction (a nice touch), many of the stories have been significantly revised since their first publication. Thus, there is little coherence and tracing the author's development of style and themes is almost impossible, even with the aid of the bibliography in translator Jay Rubin's very interesting biography/literary study (also published by Vintage).

Murakami's short stories are very good, sometimes excellent, but it is in the sustained brilliance of his novels where his true value as a writer lies. The stories in here are, on the whole, up to Murakami's usual standard.

As in his novels, truly bizarre and unexplainable occurs in these stories. The most bizarre here is a talking monkey hiding in the sewers of a Tokyo suburb, but this is only one example. The more I read Murakami, the more I think this mystical, seemingly meaningful, content actually means nothing at all. This only marginally lessens its interest and mystery, though. Maybe one day I'll change my mind and be able unlock these conundrums (`like Zen koans', as one of the characters in this collection notes).

Throughout Murakami's work, a regularly re-occurring theme is things going missing without any explanation. It's no different in these stories. Sometimes it's things (name tags), often men (stockbrokers), usually women (girlfriends).
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Format: Hardcover
A writer that expresses perfectly the isolation and loneliness of the modern world, Murakami's short stories are like peering through a dozen windows into a world where fantasy and reality mix, seperate and blend together again. His talent lies in the ability to take the mundane and make it fantastic, offering us a peek into ordinary lives sprinkled with the kind of surreal conversations and events that make you look around you whilst in the street or on the bus and wonder what all these people around you are really like.
I can't read any of his work without seeing the world differently afterwards, and this collection i could read over and over. Impossible to pigeon hole, each story has it's own distinct mood, but in each the atmosphere persists; that the world has a beauty that, if we just scratch the surface off the everyday, will be revealed.
If you're new to Murakami, start here or with The Elephant Vanishes, if you're familiar with his writing you will need no persuasion.
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Format: Paperback
I've read numerous Murakami novels but this is my first experience of one of his short story collections. What I have discovered is that whilst his works always touch upon the same themes or preoccupations (jazz music, human sexuality and identity, beer and or whisky, and the preparation and consumption of food) these blend much better within lengthier works. In this short story collection they sometimes become rather repetitive. The foreword by Murakami himself suggests that this collection was not written in any set time frame which perhaps contributed to the repetitive aspects within the stories but I feel that with a writer of this calibre more care should have been taken to prevent this from happening. There are a few standout stories however; Tony Takitani beautifully deals with parental relationships and loss, whilst Firefly is made up of extracts from my favourite Murakami novel, Norwegian Wood. Overall whilst this collection has not diminished my admiration for Murakami's work, I feel that I will be sticking to his novels in future.
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Format: Paperback
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. The story of a mirror capable of reflecting another self. The strange story of a disabled son and her mother holidaying on an island.
In many of these stories, narrative tension is heightened by a refusal to explain strange events; Murakami's ghosts and mysteries remain what they are. In "Nausea 1979" for example, the reader will never know whether a serial adulterer has been cursed, or whether his nausea has something to do with his predilection for deceptive seduction. Murakami never gives answers to the reader's questions, and the result is memorable if puzzling at times.
The stories in this collection have all of Murakami's characteristic strangeness, but they combine the bizarre with a tight structure. They show the author at his best; not as a cult literary figure but as a really first-rate writer of short fiction. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
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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