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on 7 May 2017
Although this book follows 'The Rat' trilogy, it really isn't necessary to read those first to fully appreciate Dance Dance Dance. I read The Wild Sheep Chase (the third of the trilogy) after this and it was more like a prequel, just filling in a few blanks. Dance Dance Dance will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has read Murakami before, and is a great introduction for those who haven't. Many others have described the storylines so I won't repeat any of that - suffice to say, it's a really engaging story of murder, mystery, intrigue, dreamlike or supernatural happenings depending on your interpretation, a rather hapless protangonist, a sullen teenaged girl, a one-armed poet, and of course, a dead cat. All delivered through Murakami's exquisite writing.
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on 20 June 2004
With 'Dance, Dance, Dance' Murakami has scored another major hit. Here we have a typical Murakami anti hero, a journalist who specialises in magazine articles of the most un-inspiring variety. He is fascinated by an old relationship and by the hotel in which this came to an end. he re-traces his steps back to the hotel which is no more and that has been replaced by a stylish and modern hotel. But something is not right. The resulting quest to find out the truth about his past lover, the hotel and the other characters he meets takes us into the usual Murakami world, part urban realism and part magical realism.
It say on the sleeve that Murakami most be one of the greatest novelists in the world - probably true this! A truly original talent.
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on 10 September 2017
One of the great writers of our time. So deceptively simple is his writing that you almost forget it is literature and then just when you and completely absorbed, something magical happens. Deeply affecting
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on 2 August 2017
one of my absolute favorite books.. the great japanese master in one of his best novels.. something that everyone should read at least once in their lives..
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on 12 May 2017
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VINE VOICEon 22 November 2010
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949, and is one of Japan's most famous authors. He started writing at twenty-nine - the inspiration, apparently, appearing out of nowhere at a baseball game. "Dance Dance Dance" is his sixth novel, was first published in 1988 and is a follow-up to "A Wild Sheep Chase".

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.
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on 27 March 2005
I've been aware of Murakami as a writer for a couple of years now, but it wasn't until last year that I finally bought a couple of his books (needless to say, very soon afterwards I bought the rest and devoured them one after the other). Dance Dance Dance is very much in the vein of Hard Boiled Wonderland & The End Of The World, and A Wild Sheep Chase (to which this book is a sequel, though it doesn't matter too much if you haven't read it) - in turns surreal, scary, funny, romantic and moving.
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.
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on 19 July 2008
An unorthadox sequel to a wild sheep chase, dance dance dance is in my opinion one of Murakami's less life changing books. Its still a rip roaring read at times, but lacks some of the magic that we have been spoiled with in books like norwegian wood and of course, wind up bird.

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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on 21 October 2010
Like the hiss and crackle of vinyl, there is an almost palpable darkness between the lines of this heavily symbolic, intermittently surreal, introspective mystery story. Effectively a fourth instalment in Murakami's Trilogy of the Rat, Dance Dance Dance is also a self-contained novel.

The story is told by a nameless narrator as he recalls his search for his former girlfriend, an enigmatic part-time call girl whose sudden disappearance had abruptly ended their brief romance. When he sets out to find her it is the beginning of a distinctly modern, low-key adventure.

Adrift in a society driven by consumerism and corporate sponsored desires, with his only social reference points buried in out of date popular culture, he embarks on a journey around Japan and outside it that is continually engaging and funny.

Gradually, his idiosyncratic commentary reveals the feelings of loss, alienation and loneliness he struggles with, and the growing difficulty he faces understanding his identity as his connections to the past are severed.

Murakami himself has described Dance Dance Dance as a novel that he wrote to heal after a strenuous project and it has been criticised as a weak example of his work. It is less popular than Norwegian Wood and less highly praised than either The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

There are, as ever, many memorable characters, especially the schoolgirl he befriends, her interesting family and the prostitute he enjoys a brief liaison with.

Named after a song by the Dells, this was my favourite book for a long time.
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on 8 October 2007
Murakami in my opinion is one of the greatest living writers and Dance Dance Dance is no exception. In a similair fashion to a lot of his books we are on a journey of self discovery with the main character. There is philosophy, mystery, comedy, surrealism, and a the heart a great story (that I do not want to spoil). This is a follow up to "A Wild Sheep Chase" however it really isn't important what you read first. I would say that this is a much better novel that "Sheep Chase". Somehow Murakami is able to pull you into his stories with such a spell, that you feel everything is happening to you.
His books also inspire me to enjoy all the details of life.
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