Dance Dance Dance (Harvill Panther) Paperback – 7 Feb 2002
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|Paperback, 7 Feb 2002||
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"Loaded with mystery, mysticism, sex and rock'n'roll... Fast-moving and funny... The narrative voice pulls like a diesel" Los Angeles Times; "There are novelists who dare to imagine the future but none are as scrupulously, amusingly up-to-the-minute as Murakami" Newsday
An assault on the senses, part murder mystery, part metaphysical speculation; a fable for our times as catchy as a rock song blasting from the window of a sports car. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It say on the sleeve that Murakami most be one of the greatest novelists in the world - probably true this! A truly original talent.
About four years have passed since "A Wild Sheep Chase" and the events of that book still cast a long shadow over our still-nameless narrator. For about six months after he returned to Tokyo, he tried - and failed - to figure out just what he'd been through. In doing so, he became a virtual recluse - he rarely went out in daylight, lost touch with just about everyone and avoided the real world as far as possible. However, some news did filter through - his ex-partner's new business is doing very well, while his ex-wife has now remarried. Still, it was only when his cat Kipper died that he decided to reconnect with society. Nevertheless, he leads a very solitary existence, is plagued by doubts and it still seems like he's just drifting through life.
During "A Wild Sheep Chase", our hero had stayed in the Dolphin Hotel in Sapporo with his then-girlfriend. Although he knew she'd earned a living as a high class call girl and an ear model, he never actually found out what she was really called. (Since the end of that book, however, he's discovered her name was Kiki). As this book opens, he's been suffering from a recurring dream - he's back in the hotel, and he can hear someone crying. He is now certain that Kiki is calling him back to the Dolphin, and that she's been crying for him in his dream. Although he feels he's now back on `steady ground', he decides there's only way he can move forward with his life : take a month off work, return to the Dolphin and find Kiki again. Unfortunately, he doesn't even get through the front door of the hotel before he gets his first shock : the Dolphin is now 26 stories of fashionably expensive steel and glass and the former owner is nowhere to be seen. The staff all appear charming, though nervous - apart from the goons in the back office - and initially, no-one is willing to talk about the hotel's former incarnation.
Luckily, our hero gets a little help as the book goes on. Yumiyoshi, the receptionist at the Dolphin's front desk, is the first to step forward. Then, there's Ryoichi Gotanda, an actor our narrator had been at school with - Kiki had made a very brief appearance in one of his movies. (In fact, it was Gotanda who was able to supply the name 'Kiki'). The book's most likeable character, however, was Yuki - a 13 year old girl who'd been staying with her mother in the Dolphin. (Yuki also had psychic tendencies, and, is spite of liking Culture Club, was probably the wisest character in the book). The Sheep Man returns briefly, though he's in really bad shape.
"Dance Dance Dance" has a great deal in common with "A Wild Sheep Chase" - occasionally sad and a little surreal in places. However, it's a very enjoyable read at the same time and it lands closer to a happy ending than its predecessor. Totally recommended, but read its predecessor first.
While it isn't my favourite story by this author - that would be a toss-up between Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - it does contain some utterly fantastic characters and typically unusual plotlines that keep you guessing even after you've reached the final page. If you've never read Murakami before, this perhaps isn't the best place to start, but it should on no account be missed.
As has been noted by other reviewers, its not essential that you have read wild sheep before reading this, but the appearance of familiar faces and places throughout the book do add an extra sprinkle of unexpected smiles.
I found the pace varying throughout, with some, traditionally dreamy sections that would take hours to absorb, with other faster paced parts that would keep me up turning the pages long past bed time. The unexpected and frankly bizzare twists and turns are no less than we should expect from Murakami, and the exotic and far flung locations thrown up in this book are a welcome change from the pedestrian places the author's wild adventures occasionally unfold.
Dance Dance Dance is one i would recommend for Murakami fans immediatley, but if you are new to this most amazing of writers, try Norwegian Wood, Kafka On The Shore or Wind Up Bird and fall in love with him first.
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