Now reading: Murakami The Elephant Vanishes

For the last week I have been reading Murakami’s The Elephant VanishesAnd again I have encountered something that I call the Murakami syndrom: I start reading his books, regardless whether they are novels or short stories, with great interest and at a great speed. And then something strange happens: I slow down, start looking around and picking up other books to read, and finally I am forcing myself to finish the book at hand. This is very curious to me as theoretically Murakami seems a perfect fiction writer for me – everything in his world agrees with me emotionally: the unreality of reality, zen simplicity, lack of hurry, prolonged ennui of some of the characters etc. And yet something slows me down in reading his fiction – sometimes bringing me to a complete halt. For example, with his latest huge novel: 1Q84 – part one and two went down like a flash – in about less than a week the 600 more or less pages were read. And this was last April. The third part I’ve been reading since summer till now, and I am still not done – my Kindle shows that I have read about 70% of it – but it has felt like a chore. And now with The Elephant Vanishes – the same is beginning to happen. I sort of drift away from that book – like I did from 1Q84 and two other novels by Murakami. And when I start reading – it is really interesting and feels good – I just lose the motivation to finish the book somewhere around the middle. I really wonder why.


2 thoughts on “Now reading: Murakami The Elephant Vanishes

  1. I found that collection of short stories had some really interesting gems, but I now realize I don’t think I ever finished it. Maybe he’s better at short stories than novels. I haven’t read any novels but there was a great short story by him in the New Yorker last year called something like, The Town of Cats about a many who goes to visit his father in a nursing home. Very interesting and very complex.

    • Absolutely – I also find that some of the stories are very very good; my favorites are “The Kangaroo Communique” and “Barn Burning” (when I realised what it was all about I was petrified…). The Town of Cats forms a part of 1Q84 novel now – but I did not impress me so much – maybe I was past the critical point in the novel 🙂

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