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New Murakami Book Published in English

For those who are interested in such things. Norwegian Wood was his first book that I read, and the only one I've ever read in the native Japanese. Probably at the top of my list of his is The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I was there for his reading at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle when it was released, and to this day it is my regret that I did not wait in line to have him sign my copy. The line was so long.

Any other Murakami fans here? But without further ado:

Haruki Murakami’s new book peels back the layers of friendship
By Daniel Morales | Special to the Japan Times
August 9, 2014

Haruki Murakami has made his name in the West with the translations of his tome-like novels, but it was 1987′s relatively slim Norwegian Wood that made him famous in Japan. And his latest big hit here is similarly slender.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage,” which is released in English this week, sold a million copies in its first week when it was released in Japan last year, but it is a short book that favors the realism of “Norwegian Wood” over the lengthy metaphysical adventures of his other novels. Almost as if to disguise this fact, publisher Knopf has released the translation in a short, squat format that draws out the page count to nearly 400 pages. First editions will also include stickers that readers can use to decorate the cover.

Despite these tricks, the novel is one of Murakami’s better works of recent years. He succeeds in conveying the intense emotional landscape of the titular Tsukuru, a Nagoya-born “millennial” whose given name — a homophone for “to build” or “to construct” — corresponds with his work as a train-station designer.

Tsukuru grows up with four close, “colorful” friends: two men and two women who all have kanji for colors in their surnames and who refer to themselves by those colors. Aka (Red) and Ao (Blue) are the men, respectively a sharp intellect and the rugby captain, and Shiro (White) and Kuro (Black) are the women, the former willowy and quiet, the latter more full-figured and quick-witted.

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terrific writer

and don't forget the other Murakami, Ryu

Speaking of Ryu...

Another Ryu of Street Fighter acclaim is featured in a new live-action web series from Machinima. Very well done with a high production value, if you're a fan of this old Japanese arcade franchise, no doubt you'll enjoy this two hour long set of short ten to fifteen minute episodes.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist Trailer


An interesting interview with the actors


Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist series


Norwegian Wood Film

Just a little fyi for anyone who might be inclined to watch instead of read.

I heard about the movie last year at my local film festival. At the time, I was watching another slice of life indie film, "The Crumbles," a story about the making of a band based loosely on the experiences of the director, self-avowed slacker Akira Boch.

Norwegian Wood Film Trailer


For now, the movie in the original Japanese with English and Vietnamese subtitles is available to watch:


I loved Wind Up Bird Chronicle

Deep down, we all struggle with loneliness on some level, and Murakami's books capture this feeling well. They capture this feeling and, ironically, at the same time, make you feel that 'hey, i am not alone in this.'

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

jrd3820's picture


I read Dance Dance Dance by the suggestion of someone around here.

It kinda had a Palahniuk,Tom Robbins,Christopher Moore feel to it. It was very well done. I enjoyed it muchly.

I have not yet read anything else by him, but not because I didn't enjoy what I did read, just 'cuz I guess.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Michael Nystrom's picture

Still Life With Woodpecker

Is probably my favorite Tom Robbins book, if you don't count Funk Yes! (without the n), which everyone says is by him. I don't know anything about Christopher Moore. This is the first time I've heard his name mentioned. I'll have to put him on my ever growing list of books to read.

I need a vacation. I read much better on vacation.


He's the man.
jrd3820's picture

If you read Christopher Moore

read the book Lamb, in fact, don't worry 'bout it right now, I know someone who has a copy or so laying around and will send it your way later when ya get settled. He does make for a quick read, it is light hearted and funny. I'm going add my July list of books to this thread soon, I did make it through 6, but I barely scrapped by. This is my April May and June lists though.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

The Gospel According to Biff

This is a legitimate contribution to that grand judeo-christo saga begun in Ye Olde Testament and continued into The New Improved Testament. Biff doesn't contradict any of the previous gospels any more than they contradict each other already, and it is far far more entertaining, and presents a much more sympathetic Rabbi Josh. Not to be missed.

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a novel of another america