As always happens with Murakami’s books to me, with this my second reading of this book I discovered new and interesting things.

Toru Okura resigned from his job and now is unemployed at home looking for a new job, but not feeling so sure about what he wants to do. He needs time to decide what to do now, and his wife is all right with this. In the meantime, their cat is lost, and he spends his time cooking, reading, looking for the cat and receiving strange and astonishing phone calls.

It is necessary to read this book slowly. You will find all the fixed issues of Murakami stories: cats, ears, music, books, imaginary and parallel worlds, and besides a bunch of small stories that are related to them. This story has a lot of characters, all of them with an important role in the narrative, and their past and their actual lives are essential for the development of the story.

Murakami is one of the authors to whom I can always return when I cannot find an interesting book, during one of those ‘reading crisis.’ When I want to read something but nothing grabs me.

Murakami means to me the absolute freedom of behaviour. Not for doing whatever you want but the opportunity to choose, ‘ the free will’, something impossible for most of us, and something that I can always find in his characters.

These characters are lost, they have problems, usually something emotional, but they have a stoicism facing the sad moments that is their strength. They always try to follow their destiny to get what they want, without passion, but always knowing what it is important.

Murakami gives us a lot of questions but never answers them. He makes us to questioning us our reality, the reality.

Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?”

What should you say? I don’t have any idea, but you will soon spend your time questioning yourself and your beliefs.

We think that we understand each other, but we don’t.

But this was the home I had chosen.”

When you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom”.

You have the right to choose your life. You can start again”.

“‘Going bad’ is something that happens over a longer period of time”.

… his own free will”.

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer.

It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood – which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone – that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight. Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives, he is now Japan’s best-known novelist abroad.

Nine novels, four short story collections and two works of non-fiction are currently available in English translation.


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