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February Author Recommendation

This month at your local westside ABQ bookstore, our author recommendation comes from our bookseller, Josh. He has decided to highlight one of his favorite authors, Haruki Murakami.

Haruki Murakami’s Slight Gap

by Josh

In Haruki Murakami’s book Killing Commendatore, there is a point in which the main character confronts a bizarre occurrence in his life and comes to terms with the strange dissonance that he feels. Afterwards, he writes, “I felt relieved to know I was not crazy, but I had to admit that the unreality of the situation had now. . . taken on a reality, creating a slight gap in the seam of the world.”

This “slight gap in the seam of the world” is a very familiar experience in Murakami’s books, which is why I like them so much. And, to be honest, sometimes the gap isn’t slight at all. Murakami is a master of creating a very familiar world, and then, before you know it, throwing you into some very strange situations, which, in any other book, would seem unbelievable, but in Murakami’s hands these situations make sense. Not perfect sense, but sense nonetheless.

In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, for instance, what starts off as a relatively mundane search for a missing cat by the main character, Toru Okada, (cats are a recurring element in Murakami stories, sometimes talking ones) becomes an Alice In Wonderland-like journey into a strange dream world beneath Tokyo. And Okada’s search takes on mythic proportions and mystical significance.

Murakami’s lengthy novel IQ84 might have the trappings of the ordinary: getting stuck in traffic, being lost in a city, emotional responses to music. But the reader comes to realize that the characters in the book are trapped in parallel universes with slightly different but consequential plotlines. In this book, that “slight gap” becomes a giant rift in the time space continuum, but at the same time Murakami roots this fantastic story in the all too familiar.

Kafka on The Shore begins as a relatively straight forward story about the teenage title character running away from a bad situation at home, but ends up being an odyssey that takes the reader to a private library owned by a mysterious woman, a forest inhabited by ghost soldiers, and neighborhoods filled with talking cats.

You can find these Haruki Murakami books and many more at Books on The Bosque. If you're interested in taking a trip through that “slight gap in the seam of the world,” Haruki Murakami is a wonderful guide. His books explore the magic in our world and make us believe in the fantastic while at the same time rooting us in the familiar. And if you meet a cat in the bookstore that recommends one of Murakami’s books, take it. . .the recommendation, not the cat.

If Josh's review of Haruki Murakami's books has piqued your interest, please stop by and take a look at the collection of Murakami books we have in stock today!

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