Childhood sweethearts, Hajime and Shimamoto, would meet after school to listen to records, hold hands and talk about their future. Now in his late 30s, Hajime is reunited with Shimamoto. As adolescent feelings of enchantment re-emerge, Hajime will risk everything to consummate his first love.
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In South of the Border, West of the Sun, the arc of an average man's life from childhood to middle age, with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment, becomes the kind of exquisite literary conundrum that is Haruki Murakami's trademark. The plot is simple: Hajime meets and falls in love with a girl in elementary school, but he loses touch with her when his family moves to another town. He drifts through high school, college, and his 20s, before marrying and settling into a career as a successful bar owner. Then his childhood sweetheart returns, weighed down with secrets:
When I went back into the bar, a glass and ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound.Murakami eschews the fantastic elements that appear in many of his other novels and stories, and readers hoping for a glimpse of the Sheep Man will be disappointed. Yet South of the Border, West of the Sun is as rich and mysterious as anything he has written. It is above all a complex, moving, and honest meditation on the nature of love, distilled into a work with the crystal clarity of a short story. A Nat "King" Cole song, a figure on a crowded street, a face pressed against a car window, a handful of ashes drifting down a river to the sea are woven together into a story that refuses to arrive at a simple conclusion. The classic love triangle may seem like a hackneyed theme for a writer as talented as Murakami, but in his quietly dazzling way, he bends us to his own unique geometry. --Simon Leake From the Back Cover:
Praise for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle:
"A labyrinth designed by a master, at once familiar and irresistibly strange."--Janice P. Nimura, San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle
Murakami [is] some kind of wizard...The apparent simplicity of his expression... nearly disguises the fact that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is, in the most time-honored sense, an epic...Every character, every story, nearly every circumstantial detail, appears to connect with every other in some ectoplasmic cat's cradle."--Luc Sante, New York
Mesmerizing...A major work...A love story one minute, a detective story the next, a psychological thriller, a New Age--ish bildungsroman, a sober chronicle of wartime atrocities, a meditation on historical guilt, and more, in dizzying succession...Murakami's most ambitious attempt yet to stuff all of modern Japan into a single fictional edifice." --Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World
A postwar successor [to] the Big Three of modern Japanese literature--Mishima, Kawabata, and Tanizaki...A cool forty-eight-year-old who once ran a jazz bar [and] has translated John Irving, Truman Capote, and Raymond Carver into Japanese, [Murakami] has been perfectly positioned to serve as the voice of hip, Westernized Japan...Yet none of his earlier books prepare one for his massive new Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which digs relentlessly into the buried secrets of Japan's recent past."
--Pico Iyer, Time
A bold and generous book...Straight-ahead storytelling [that] never loses its propulsive force...Western critics searching for parallels have variously likened him to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis, and Thomas Pynchon--a roster so ill assorted that Murakami may in fact be an original." --Jamie James, New York Times Book Review
A beguiling sense of mystery suffuses The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and draws us irresistibly and ever deeper into the phantasmagoria of pain and memory... 'Every secret struggles to reveal itself,' Isaac Bashevis Singer once wrote. That's exactly what happens [here], and that's precisely why the book is so compelling and ultimately so convincing." --Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Book Review
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Book Description Harvill Pr, 1999. Book Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 1860465943-2-4
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Book Description Harvill Pr. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Bookseller Inventory # G1860465943I3N00
Book Description Harvill Pr. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G1860465943I3N00
Book Description Harvill Press, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First Edition. A better than very good copy, square and tight with no rips or splits, just a trifle rubbed. Contents sound and clean, not showing any pen-marks. Not from a library so no such stamps or labels. Thus a tidy book in presentable condition. Bookseller Inventory # 085412
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002086273
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001546821
Book Description London; Harvill;, 1999. First edition, first printing. Near fine paperback original. Bookseller Inventory # 17714
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