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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Haruki Murakami 

Recently, I finally finished devouring everything Tom Robbins has ever written. To be honest, I thought Villa Incognito was a bit of a let-down. Not really sure why. It doesn't make sense that writing so whimsical could possibly become formulaic or stale, but that's just how things progress in this world.

Since then, several signs pointed toward Haruki Murakami as the next victim of my strange tendency to latch onto a writer of fiction until I've absorbed an entire body of work.

So far I've read A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance. The latter a sequel. In typical sequel style it lacks the grace of the original, but both are certainly worth reading. Though I wish I could read the original Japanese, the translation is still riveting. He tackles the weightiest of images and feelings with a carefree style that drips with cynicism but remains sincere. The view through the eyes of the never-named protagonist is like living inside a puppet without being able to reach the strings. The most surreal scenes, horror and science fiction served up straight, blend with traditional narrative seemlessly. Page turners. I finshed the second one today having started it on Sunday, and I billed 11 hours yesterday (!).

I'm debating whether to continue plowing through his work. It would make sense to do so in light of my approaching visit to the setting of his stories. Would reading a novel of his on the plane to Tokyo make me that guy? Probably, but it wouldn't be the first time I've been that guy, and it won't be the last. And it's just too fortuitous an opportunity to pass up. I swear I didn't plan on it. Reading his books and going to Japan never linked in my mind until both had been set in motion. So there you have it.

That's the longest post I've written in a long time. And no pictures...what a shame. Here's one just for kicks. Although I do hate the drop in quality from the Blogger image post, I'm going to keep using it except on super-special occasions, like pictures of me.


Austin from the office lounge.

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