Monday, December 14, 2009

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - Haruki Murakami

buy - author site

The Deal: At this point in time, due to an RSI, I can only type for 10 minutes at a time. What you see below is what is hammered out before the timer goes off- and nothing more.

I've had a headache all day, which turned into a migraine, so I popped some pills and faceplanted into unconsciousness, and the migraine has scaled back but I just woke up for the second time in a day which is just not done so I'm groggy as all hell and not going to attempt to be insightful or intelligent or witty.


Collection of short stories. Never read Murakami before. Excellent starter. Every story beautifully sculpted. They're delicate things, the most delicate pieces of writing I've ever read, and I don't know that I'm sure I know what I mean by that. Aside from the fact that they're written by and set largely in Japan, they remain very Japanese stories - a great amount is said without saying anything at all, in fact what is not said almost plays a greater role than what is on the page. Also a sense of having taken not one step from the first page through to the last, yet of vast distances being traveled. Things have changed without changing. Blessedly subtle, gentle, soft.

I did want to comment on the use of author as character in a work of fiction, seeing as I'm dreadfully guilty of it, and I love 'Errata' by Jeff VanderMeer and 'Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth' by Ben Peek, but I'm not being intelligent or insightful.

Perhaps it adds some veneer of honesty. That there is nothing we wouldn't do to the things we make up that we won't do to ourselves first.

Verdict: Master wordsmith and story-crafter, he deserves the awards and accolades he receives, plus more.


  1. ArthurMiller@OUSalesperson14/12/09 12:55

    It was a great collection for study. Each story felt so complete and and lingered so long that I couldn't start another until the last one had faded.

  2. I imagine it would a body of work that would only grow more wonderful when studied. And yes, I know what you mean. The tales were gently insidious.

  3. ArthurMiller@OUSalesperson16/12/09 05:46

    Hah! I wish I got to study this kind of thing. I meant as a book to read while deep in multi-deadline mode. But still, they do only grow more wonderful under the situation.