#16 Dance Dance Dance – Haruki Murakami

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Haruki Murakami… Pretty sure you guys know I’m a big fan of his writing already; idiosyncratic prose where no word is unnecessary, sentences and story lines that leave you disjointed at the end of the chapter. I have to admit, after reading Sputnik Sweetheart, I was a little disappointed, so I avoided picking up his books again. It’s probably my least favourite of his that I’ve read so far, and for some reason that prejudice prevented me from picking up old favourites like Kafka on the Shore because I just couldn’t get back into reading them.

Dance Dance Dance changed all that.

This. This is a book I can quite easily fall in love with. It is deceptively dark and sinister, something you only realise as the novel peaks and falls. The unnamed narrator is as rich and interesting a character as After Dark‘s Takahashi; there is something charismatic about their plainness. Murakami’s female characters are often striking – they have a strangely attractive physical feature or mental lure to them, whilst the men are usually without these particular characterisations.

I don’t want to go into too much depth about the plot because the whole ‘spoiler alert’ system sometimes grates on my nerves and I don’t know how you guys will perceive that. Basics of the basic, a commercial journalist sets out to find someone who he thinks is crying for him and ends up on a journey looking for an ex-girlfriend with beautiful ears, befriending an old high-school friend turned popular actor and a snappish psychic 13 year old.

Apparently this is the final in a trilogy (preceded by Pinabll, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase); I would have picked up copies if my local bookstore stocked more than the keystones of Murakami (it’s a tiny, tiny place. The local McDonalds and chip shop are actually bigger than the bookstore…). Maybe next time!

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