„This can’t wait. I am afraid it’s exceedingly urgent.“
“Oh, really?“ she said.“How urgent?“
„It’s a matter of evolution“ I said.
From H. Murakami “Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”
To make it perfectly clear so there would be no misunderstanding, I love most of Haruki Murakamis books I’v ever read (and re-read). His writing in seemingly simple but captivating. The use of mystical elements in a context of our daily world creates a sense of wonder. With a few exceptions (Norwegian woods comes in mind) his genre is a magical realism, if you are into a categories.
His lead characters are dominantly male (with the exception of “1Q84” and arguably “After dark”) and most surely human. They do an everyday stuff like worry about a job (not too much), like cats, cook exquisite meals (usually a girl landed on their doorstep) and think about sex. They mostly suck at keeping a conventional relationship (most are divorced) and have flaws, oh my god, do they have flaws. All in all, they are quite relatable.
My initial disclaimer is not caused by a sudden dislike to any of his works. It’s sole aim is to remedy possible concern, that reader might get, that perhaps I don’t treat his impressive collection of literature with a respect it deserves.
In case you find yourself short of an excuse to consume a (possibly alcoholic) beverage, with all due respect, I present:
A drinking game to go with reading the Haruki Murakami books.
Rules – when reading (or re-reading) any of his books, refill glass (with a beverage of your own choice) when any of the following takes place in the story:
- Protagonist listens to a piece of music, make it double when it’s a symphony and enhance your reading experience by putting on the music in question (Rossinies Thieving magpie to go with “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”). Official Haruki Muracami webpage also have a soundtrack section for iTunes users.
- Somebody mentions, discusses or contemplates over an old movie or a book.
- Somebody is divorced.
- A profession “call girl” is mentioned.
- Protagonist goes to a library or somebody works/worked in a library.
- Cats. Make it double when the cat talks, you are in for a treat.
- Eating or buying a food is mentioned.
- Down your drink when protagonist cooks.
- Mention of an extremely pointless death in the past.
- Girls ears are exposed or described.
- Mention of pubes pressing against protagonist (pleas don’t ask me to elaborate).
- A slip is present or mentioned.
- Person has lost part of their shadow.
Remember to drink plenty of water (as well) to stay hydrated. Let me know what if your favorite Murakami book and what do you think should be added to the list.
A few quotes from my latest Murakami read “Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”
- „Got the whale and elephant in the storeroom downstairs. Take up a lot of space, they do,“ said the old man.
„Well, I guess“ I said. A few whale skulls and there goes the neighborhood.
- Looking around the place, thought, I failed to spot a single customer banging on a tray or complaining to waitress. So I shut up and finished my food. Expect nothing, get nothing.“
- Most human activities are predicated on the assumption that life goes on. If you take that premise away, what is there left.
- „No, I really like his voice,“ she said. „It’s like a kid standing at the window and watching the rain.“ (character describing Bob Dylans voice)