Murakami must be a wonderful gentleman. Or at least my imagination tells me, as his every word entices me into deep trance. The Windup Bird Chronicle, After Dark & now Norwegian Wood are magical, simply I am hooked. I’ve just started the latter and it is sweeping me away into a vivid imagination, into sixties Japan. How does he actually do it? I just don’t know….
He uses characters, setting, storytelling and other tools just like everyone else and yet in a original way. I think it is a sense of resignation that all the characters have, it is as if they are robots acting out preprogrammed actions and at the same time acknowledging this fate. If you read closely then I think this is true, his characters are always resigned to fate and simply coast through life. The other startling thing is the way the characters always observe and with such detail, facts or occurrences which would otherwise seem meaningless and then add such weight to these observations. and furthermore that the characters are usually weak in concentration, they notice something amazing and dismiss it in order to recall something totally different.
He build characters like a cluster of islands, isolated and alone co depending on each other not because they want to but out of fateful, distructive need. It leaves you feeling hollow just like the characters and yet at the same time you want more. Like a drug that’s not necessarily good for you.
Whatever it is, his writing is splendid and I like it.