Saturday, April 23, 2011

Haruki Murakami - South of the Border, West of the Sun

Hajime - "Beginning" in Japanese - was an atypical only child growing up in a conventional middle-class suburb. Shimamoto, herself an only child, was cool and self-possessed, precocious in the extreme. After school these childhood sweethearts would listen to records, hold hands, and talk about their future.

"Then, despite themselves, in the way peculiar to adolescents, they grew apart, seemingly for good. Now, facing middle age, finally content after years of aimlessness, Hajime is a successful nightclub owner, a husband and father, when he suddenly is reunited with Shimamoto, propelled into the mysteries of her life, and confronted by dark secrets she is loath to reveal. "

And so, reckless with enchantment and lust, Hajime prepares to risk everything in order to consummate his first love, and to experience a life he's dreamed of but never had a chance to realize.

Comment: Another new author for me.
I've heard many critics before trying a book by this japanese author. Most of them were prettu negative, especially due to the writing style, something that people found confusing. I was worried I might not liek it, but as in everyhting, nothing like trying for ourselves.
I picked up this book at my local library, so I wasn't too worried if I ended up not liking it. It was also a small book, so, more chances of finishing it faster that if it were a bigger one.

First of all, the style was not as bad as I imagined. Or, perhaps, it was my lucky chance that I chose this book and not the other one there (whose title I now don't remember), but I t sounded fluid and easygoing. I think the fact it had some describing - byt not as much as to make it boring - helped setting up the pace.
Actually I liked the style in the book and the story was interesting, it allowed some inner thoughts about some subjects, and the author put on the page interesting and deep images of life and expectations in the RL.
The characters had flaws and some of them bothered me, they clashed against my own personal values (namely the adultery thing) but at the same time they fit the imaginary of the story, so i can't really say it was badly done. If one reads, one understands.
I was surprised to see I enjoyed reading the book, especially close to its end, where something was about to happen, and I will try to read another one in the near future, in order to have a more final opinion on the author.

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