Home » All Haruki Murakami Books Synopsis and Best Quotes

All Haruki Murakami Books Synopsis and Best Quotes

Want to start reading Haruki Murakami but don’t know where to start? Guess what… we’re not going to tell you! Here are all of Haruki Murakami’s books synopsis and best quotes from those books so that you can decide for yourself.

About Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949. He grew up in Kobe and then moved to Tokyo, where he attended Waseda University. After college, Murakami opened a small jazz bar, which he and his wife ran for seven years.

His first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. He followed this success with two sequels, Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form “The Trilogy of the Rat.”

Murakami is also the author of the novels Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; Norwegian Wood; Dance Dance Dance; South of the Border, West of the Sun; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Sputnik Sweetheart; Kafka on the Shore; After Dark; 1Q84; and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. He has written three short story collections: The Elephant Vanishes; After the Quake; and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman; and an illustrated novella, The Strange Library.

Additionally, Murakami has written several works of nonfiction. After the Hanshin earthquake and the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995, he interviewed surviving victims, as well as members of the religious cult responsible. From these interviews, he published two nonfiction books in Japan, which were selectively combined to form Underground. He also wrote a series of personal essays on running, entitled What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

The most recent of his many international literary honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul. Murakami’s work has been translated into more than fifty languages.

First Person Singular

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Quotes from the book

“A minute is a minute, an hour is an hour. We need to cherish it. We need to deftly reconcile ourselves with time, and leave behind as many precious memories as we can – that’s what’s valuable, above all else.”

“No matter how vivid memories may be, they can’t win out against the power of time.”

“If you have a chart of historical chronology of the time I’d like you to write, in small letters, in one corner, the following: 1968. This was the year that Haruki Murakami became a Sankei Atoms fan.”

Synopsis of the book

A mind-bending new collection of short stories from the internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami.

The eight stories in this new book are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From memories of youth, meditations on music, and an ardent love of baseball, to dreamlike scenarios and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world. Occasionally, a narrator may or may not be Murakami himself. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides.

Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory… all with a signature Murakami twist.

Killing Commendatore

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Quotes from the book

 “Look deep enough into any person and you will find something shining within.”

“We all live our lives carrying secrets we cannot disclose.”

“None of us are ever finished. Everyone is always a work in progress.”

“Today when I awoke from a nap the faceless man was there with me. He was seated on the chair across from the sofa I’d been sleeping on, staring straight at me with a pair of imaginary eyes in a face that wasn’t.”

“From a distance, most things look beautiful.”

“Instead of a stable truth, I choose unstable possibilities.”

Synopsis of the book

When a thirty-something portrait painter is abandoned by his wife, he secludes himself in the mountain home of a world famous artist. One day, the young painter hears a noise from the attic, and upon investigation, he discovers a previously unseen painting. 

By unearthing this hidden work of art, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances; and to close it, he must undertake a perilous journey into a netherworld that only Haruki Murakami could conjure. 

A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art, Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

Men Without Women

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Quotes from the book

“Dreams are the kind of things you can – when you need to – borrow and lend out.”

“It was as if he felt that the black symbols flowing from his brush onto the pure white paper could somehow lay bare the workings of his heart.”

“But Mr. Kafuku, can any of us ever perfectly understand another person? However much we may love them?”

“The scene seemed somehow divorced from reality, although reality, he knew, could at times be terribly unreal.”

Synopsis of the book

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are lovesick doctors, students, ex-boyfriends, actors, bartenders, and even Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, brought together to tell stories that speak to us all.

In Men Without Women Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic, marked by the same wry humor and pathos that have defined his entire body of work.

Absolutely On Music

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Quotes from the book

“Like love, there can never be too much ‘good music.’”

“Basically, I believe that music exists to make people happy. In order to do so, those who make music use a wide range of techniques and methods which, in all their complexity, fascinate me in the simplest possible way.”

“The pure joy one experiences listening to ‘good’ music transcends questions of genre.”

Synopsis of the book

A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author and the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In Absolutely on Music, internationally Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music. Over the course of two years, Murakami and Ozawa discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from Bartók to Mahler, and from pop-up orchestras to opera. 

They listen to and dissect recordings of some of their favorite performances, and Murakami questions Ozawa about his career conducting orchestras around the world. Culminating in Murakami’s ten-day visit to the banks of Lake Geneva to observe Ozawa’s retreat for young musicians, the book is interspersed with ruminations on record collecting, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, film scores, and much more. 

A deep reflection on the essential nature of both music and writing, Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Hear the Wind Sing

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Quotes from the book

“There are wells, deep wells, dug in our hearts.”

“Looking at the ocean makes me miss people, and hanging out with people makes me miss the ocean.”

“However miserable your situation, there is always something to learn.”

Synopsis of the book

In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels — Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973 — that launched the career of one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.

These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age — the unnamed narrator and his friend the Rat — are stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism. They bear all the hallmarks of Murakami’s later books, and form the first two-thirds, with A Wild Sheep Chase, of the trilogy of the Rat.

Widely available in English for the first time ever, newly translated, and featuring a new introduction by Murakami himself, Wind/Pinball gives us a fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings.

The trade paperback edition of Wind/Pinball, a unique two-in-one volume, includes, on one side, Murakami’s first novel Hear the Wind Sing. When you flip the book over, you can read his second novel, Pinball, 1973. Each book has its own stunning cover.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

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Quotes from the book

“You can hide memories, but you can’t erase history.”

“‘The truth sometimes reminds me of a city buried in sand,’ Aka said. ‘As time passes, the sand piles up even thicker, and occasionally it’s blown away and what’s below is revealed.’”

“No matter how honestly you open up to someone, there are still things you cannot reveal.”

Synopsis of the book

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the #1 New York Times bestselling new novel — a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan — from the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami.

Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.


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Quotes from the book

“I’m like someone who’s been thrown into the ocean at night, floating all alone. I reach out, but no one is there. I call out, but no one answers. I have no connection to anything.”

“A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else.”

“It is not that the meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words.”

Synopsis of the book

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 “Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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Quotes from the book

“So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.”

“Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as well.”

Synopsis of the book

An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami.

While simply training for the New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Haruki Murakami decided to write about it as well. The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. 

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in athletic pursuit.

After Dark

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Quotes from the book

“In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”

“Time moves in its own special way in the middle of the night.”

“The ground we stand on looks solid enough, but if something happens it can drop right out from under you. And once that happens, you’ve had it: things’ll never be the same. All you can do is go on, living alone down there in the darkness.”

Synopsis of the book

A gripping novel of encounters set in Tokyo during the spooky hours between midnight and dawn, by an internationally renowned literary phenomenon.

Murakami’s trademark humor, psychological insight, and grasp of spirit and morality are here distilled with an extraordinary, harmonious mastery. Combining the pyrotechnical genius that made Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle international bestsellers, with a surprising infusion of heart, Murakami has produced one of his most enchanting fictions yet.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

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Quotes from the book

“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”

“No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That’s all.”

“I uncrossed my legs under the table and wondered if this was the right moment to leave. It was as if my whole life revolved around trying to judge the right point in a conversation to say goodbye.”

Synopsis of the book

24 Stories with an Introduction by the Author

From the bestselling author of Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle comes this superb collection of twenty-four stories that generously expresses Murakami’s mastery of the form. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining.

Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami’s characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distances between those who ought to be closest of all.

Kafka On The Shore

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Quotes from the book

“Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on… Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes.”

“Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me.”

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You can change direction but the sandstorm chases you. This storm is you. Something inside of you.”

Synopsis of the book

Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.

As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder. Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.

After The Quake 

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Quotes from the book

“What I was chasing in circles must have been the tail of the darkness inside of me.  — ‘All God’s Children Can Dance’”

“I want to write stories that are different from the ones I’ve written so far…I want to write about people who dream and wait for the night to end, who long for the light so they can hold the ones they love.  — ‘Honey Pie’”

“Hearing the same music over and over, I learned to listen closely, to hear the sound of the spirit. — ‘Thailand’”

Synopsis of the book

The six stories in Haruki Murakami’s mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakami’s characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman.

An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package — and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or may not be his human father. 

A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. As haunting as dreams, as potent as oracles, the stories in After the Quake are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

Sputnik Sweetheart

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Quotes from the book

“Sometimes I feel so — I don’t know — lonely. The kind of helpless feeling when everything you’re used to has been ripped away. Like there’s no more gravity, and I’m left to drift in outer space.”

“I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put it into words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and some-one came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back to-gether again. That sort of feeling.”

“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”

Synopsis of the book

Haruki Murakami, the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, plunges us into an urbane Japan of jazz bars, coffee shops, Jack Kerouac, and the Beatles to tell this story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited loves.

A college student, identified only as “K,” falls in love with his classmate, Sumire. But devotion to an untidy writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments-until she meets Miu, an older and much more sophisticated business woman. 

When Sumire disappears from an island off the coast of Greece, “K” is solicited to join the search party and finds himself drawn back into her world and beset by ominous, haunting visions. A love story combined with a detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart ultimately lingers in the mind as a profound meditation on human longing.

A Wild Sheep Chase

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Quotes from the book

“Humans by necessity must have a midway point between their desires and their pride. Just as all objects must have a center of gravity…. Only when it is gone do people realize it even existed.”

“As long as I stared at the clock, at least the world remained in motion…. And as long as I knew the world was still in motion, I knew I existed.”

Synopsis of the book

A marvelous hybrid of mythology and mystery, A Wild Sheep Chase is the extraordinary literary thriller that launched Haruki Murakami’s international reputation.

It begins simply enough: A twenty-something advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend, and casually appropriates the image for an insurance company’s advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the pastoral scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man in black who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. 

Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes our hero from the urban haunts of Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of northern Japan, where he confronts not only the mythological sheep, but the confines of tradition and the demons deep within himself. Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

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Quotes from the book

“I have no physical symptoms, but psychologically there’s this burden…. It takes positive thinking to overcome fear, otherwise you’ll carry around this victim mentality forever.”

“So then, what about you?… Haven’t you offered up some part of your Self to someone (or something), and taken on a “narrative” in return?”

Synopsis of the book

It was a clear spring day, Monday, March 20, 1995, when five members of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo conducted chemical warfare on the Tokyo subway system using sarin, a poison gas twenty-six times as deadly as cyanide. The unthinkable had happened, a major urban transit system had become the target of a terrorist attack.

In an attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakami, internationally acclaimed author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and arguably Japan’s most important contemporary novelist, talked to the people who lived through the catastrophe — from a Subway Authority employee with survivor guilt, to a fashion salesman with more venom for the media than for the perpetrators, to a young cult member who vehemently condemns the attack though he has not quit Aum. 

Through these and many other voices, Murakami exposes intriguing aspects of the Japanese psyche. And as he discerns the fundamental issues leading to the attack, we achieve a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere. Hauntingly compelling and inescapably important, Underground is a powerful work of journalistic literature from one of the world’s most perceptive writers.

Norwegian Wood

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Quotes from the book

“I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it — to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more.”

“With my eyes closed, I would touch a familiar book and draw its fragrance deep inside me. This was enough to make me happy.”

“I want you always to remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?”

Synopsis of the book

This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event.

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. 

Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

South of the Border, West of the Sun

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Quotes from the book

“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star…. Maybe the star doesn’t even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.”

“But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.”

“We were, the two of us, still fragmentary beings, just beginning to sense the presence of an unexpected, to-be-acquired reality that would fill us and make us whole.”

Synopsis of the book

Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime — beginning in Japanese — has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime’s happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart.

In South of the Border, West of the Sun, the simple arc of a man’s life — with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment — becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Haruki Murakami’s most haunting work. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, now a breathtaking beauty with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime’s quotidian existence begin to give way. 

And the details of stolen moments past and present — a Nat King Cole melody, a face pressed against a window, a handful of ashes drifting downriver to the sea — threaten to undo him completely. Rich, mysterious, quietly dazzling, South of the Border, West of the Sun is Haruki Murakami’s wisest and most compelling work.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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Quotes from the book

“I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for.”

“But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles…. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.”

“Have you ever had that feeling — that you’d like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?”

Synopsis of the book

Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. 

As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

Dance Dance Dance

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Quotes from the book

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.”

“As time goes on, you’ll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn’t, doesn’t. Time solves most things. And what time can’t solve, you have to solve yourself.”

“Dance…. Yougottadance. Aslongasthemusicplays…. Yougottalimberup. Yougottaloosenwhatyoubolteddown. Yougottauseallyougot. Weknowyou’re tired, tiredandscared. Happenstoeveryone, okay? Justdon’tletyourfeetstop.”

Synopsis of the book

In this propulsive novel, one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant writers at work in any language fuses science fiction, the hard-boiled thriller, and white-hot satire into a new element of the literary periodic table.

As he searches for a mysteriously vanished girlfriend, Haruki Murakami’s protagonist plunges into a wind tunnel of sexual violence and metaphysical dread in which he collides with call girls; plays chaperone to a lovely teenaged psychic; and receives cryptic instructions from a shabby but oracular Sheep Man. 

Dance Dance Dance is a tense, poignant, and often hilarious ride through the cultural Cuisinart that is contemporary Japan, a place where everything that is not up for sale is up for grabs.

The Elephant Vanishes

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Quotes from the book

“There are some things about myself I can’t explain to anyone. There are some things I don’t understand at all.”

“Memory is like fiction; or else it’s fiction that’s like memory.”

“And everywhere, infinite options, infinite possibilities. An infinity, and at the same time, zero. We try to scoop it all up in our hands, and what we get is a handful of zero.”

Synopsis of the book

With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. 

A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.

By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami’s ability to cross the border between separate realities  —  and to come back bearing treasure.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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Quotes from the book

“Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else…. But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place. I wasn’t going anywhere. I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return.”

“Only where there is disillusionment and depression and sorrow does happiness arise; without the despair of loss, there is no hope.”

“Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.”

Synopsis of the book

In this hyperkinetic and relentlessly inventive novel, Japan’s most popular (and controversial) fiction writer hurtles into the consciousness of the West. 

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World draws readers into a narrative particle accelerator in which a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters collide to dazzling effect. 

What emerges is simultaneously cooler than zero and unaffectedly affecting, a hilariously funny and deeply serious meditation on the nature and uses of the mind.