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Dance Dance Dance Paperback – January 31, 1995
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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“A world-class writer who takes big risks. . . . If Murakami is the voice of a generation then it is the generation of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo.” –The Washington Post Book World
“A Japanese Phillip K. Dick with a sense of humor . . . [Murakami belongs] in the topmost ranks of writers of international stature.” –Newsday
“Loaded with . . . mystery, mysticism, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. . . . Fast-moving and funny. . . . The narrative voice . . . pulls like a diesel.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
“An entertaining mix of modern sci-fi, nail-biting suspense, and ancient myth . . . a sometimes funny, sometimes sinister mystery spoof . . . [that] also aims at contemporary human concerns.” –Chicago Tribune
“The plot is addictive.” –Detroit Free Press
“There are novelists who dare to imagine the future, but none is as scrupulously, amusingly up-to-the-minute as . . . Murakami.” –Newsday
“[Dance, Dance, Dance] has the fascination of a well-written detective story combined with a surreal dream narrative . . . full of appealing, well-developed characters.” –Philadelphia Inquirer
“All the hallmarks of Murakami’s greatness are here: restless and sensitive characters. Disturbing shifts into altered reality, silky smooth turns of phrase and a narrative with all the momentum of a roller-coaster. . . . This is the sort of page-turner [Mishima} might have written.” –Publishers Weekly
“[Murakami’s] writing injects the rock ‘n’ roll of everyday language into the exquisite silences of Japanese literary prose.” –Harper’s Bazaar
From the Inside Flap
In this propulsive novel by the author of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and The Elephant Vanishes, 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.
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1. My paperback copy is not the one with the woman’s eyes looming over a building. This seems to matter to some reviewers
2. The Sheep man is not one of my favorite Murakami inventions.
I became a fan of Haruki Murakami after reading IQ84. Since then I have been reading his books in order limited to what has been published in English. I am enjoying the process of the introduction of various signature Murakami constructs and conventions. Dance, Dance, Dance is not my favorite or closer to my favorite Murakami books. Of the things I like about it, is about the return of the Sheep Man, and more I cannot say at the risk of a spoiler. For me it is fun to note the advent of what will become staple characters and conventions. Otherwise I am not sure if this is a good starting point for someone with no previous experience of opinion about Murakami. Recommendation: a definite yes for Murakami fans and yes for newcomers but not an enthusiastic yes.
Once again Murakami speaks to us via a nameless protagonist. He is pretty much the same character in his first three books and is not that different from the central male character we will find in some later books. He is slightly disaffected and alienated and speaks more for post Woodstock, Pre Yuppie generation. He is Japanese but as before heavily influenced by Western, especially American culture. He Drinks, constantly and is fairly ready to bed any woman who shares his interest in a one night stand.
He is reflexively anti-establishment and takes unlikely to join a support the local police movement. This last part seems to be his only motivation for failing to cooperate with the police in a murder investigation. A failure that may seem heroic given how hard he works at it, but to me it seemed at best pointless and at worst a huge character flaw. This aspect of the novel seriously aggravated me. No doubt it might have read as a populist position at the time the book was published.
Our un-named narrator for reason never clear is drawn to return to a sleazy, run down hotel as part of finding a previous girlfriend. He motives seems to be between a Spirit Walk and a rescue mission. It may be that the narrator is unsure which and not overly driven to completed either mission. Along the way he will reconnect with the Sheep man who will make his usual jumbled remarks. He will also interact in ways generally positive with several women; a teen ager, he mother and a Hotel employee and a fourth woman a skilled high price call girl.
So yes there is some sex and I guess some violence but neither is graphic or involving many pages of exposition. The language is not likely to offend most readers, but if immorality, drinking, smoking, casual sex (discretely narrated) offend you Dance, Dance, Dance is not for you.
For some reason I have resisted reading this novel and I have no explanation as to my reluctance, other than I am always 'chasing the dragon' that is Wind up Bird. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. It has the same motifs that all Murakami's books seem to possess: quiet and slow pacing like a lazy day; touch of alternate reality; strange connections revealed while cooking pasta alone and bored; supernatural power of ears.
I love Murakami's style and nuance. If you feel the same you will like this book.
He really touches a "place" that most author don't. Not sure why, maybe because he is just a great writer.
Of course, there is always some sex in his books. So, if sexual content bothers you, avoid this author.
Murakami is one of my favorite authors. He is very Japanese.