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South Of The Border, West Of The Sun Paperback – 1 Jul 1999
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|Paperback, 1 Jul 1999||
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In South of the Border, West of the Sun the arc of an average man's life from childhood to middle age with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment becomes the kind of exquisite literary conundrum that is Haruki Murakami's trademark. The plot is simple: Hajime meets and falls in love with a girl in elementary school but loses touch with her when his family moves to another town. He drifts through high school, college and his 20s before marrying and settling into a career as a successful bar owner. Then his childhood sweetheart returns weighed down with secrets:
"When I went back into the bar, a glass and ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound".Murakami eschews the fantastic elements that appear in many of his other novels and stories, and readers hoping for a glimpse of the "Sheep Man" will be disappointed. Yet South of the Border, West of the Sun is as rich and mysterious as anything he has written. It is above all a complex, moving and honest meditation on the nature of love distilled into a work with the crystal clarity of a short story. A Nat King Cole song, a figure on a crowded street, a face pressed against a car window, a handful of ashes drifting down a river to the sea are woven together into a story that refuses to arrive at a simple conclusion. The classic love triangle may seem like a hackneyed theme for a writer as talented as Murakami but in his quietly dazzling way he bends us to his own unique geometry. --Simon Leake, Amazon.com
"A story of love in a cool climate, intensely romantic and weepily beautiful...it is startlingly different: a true original" (Guardian)
"Casablanca remade Japanese style...It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem" (The Times)
"This wise and beautiful book is full of hidden truths" (New York Times)
"This book aches...an eloquent treatise on the vertiginous, irrational powers of love and desire" (Independent on Sunday)
"Impressively written and structured... Above all, the novel is memorable for its unflinchingly extreme treatment of romantic love" (Times Literary Supplement) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
would really recommend anyone to read this I didn't want it to finish !
Only 200 or so pages, this book is one of the most touching love stories I have ever read, although at no point does it become overly sentimental.It mixes together fate, love, duty and choice and one man's dilemma between the life he knows and the love he longs for since his childhood.
Enigmatic, beautifully written and utterly brilliant.
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