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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Romance, accusingly bittersweet but still redemptive, is the theme of this novel written by award-winning novelist Murakami, one of Japan's most popular authors. Two only children who were schoolmates and best friends meet again after a 25-year separation. Hajime is now married, the father of two little girls and a successful owner of two jazz clubs. Shimamoto has also changed; she has become a very beautiful woman. She is always immaculately and expensively dressed, but she will not talk about her life or anything that has happened to her. Nevertheless, Hajime believes that he loves her more than life itself; he is convinced that he could leave his family and his business to be with her. After they spend a night together, a night filled with raw passion, she vanishes. Hajime is distraught. After much soul searching, he begins to put his life back together and discovers that he has become a stronger man, one who realizes that looking back is often necessary in order to move forward.?Janis Williams, Shaker Heights P.L., OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Murakami writes for baby boomers, men specifically. I enjoyed reading this one over a long period of time when I was stopped for a train crossing, pumping gas, or waiting for my... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kent Ellis
This is Murakami's greatest work, a masterpiece. A must read. Powerful.Published 16 days ago by Han T. Dinh
Another exceptional and though-provoking Murakami novel. He has yet to disappoint me.Published 18 days ago by Trisha
I first read the book when I was in high school 15 or so years ago. It was not my first Murakami, and I got the book without knowing what to expect. Read morePublished 21 days ago by CYS
I love Murakami's writing. This one is well written, though I thought the plot was less complex than some of his other novels. I almost felt that it was a bit of a rehash. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mary C. Kilgour