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The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami: 02/01/16

The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher

The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher is a collection of essays that analyze the themes of Murakami's oeuvre. Murakami's written thirteen novels and dozens of short stories. His best known novels in the States are Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood.

Since the publication of Hear the Wind Sing, Murakami's been building up a set of tropes and themes and a surreal landscape that crosses between this world and the other or underworld. As characters travel between the two, his books in my mind are urban fantasies, though they often have the feel of a psychological thriller or horror. Matthew Carl Strecher, though, is a scholar of Murakami's work and is able to trace how the author's recurring themes have come to be and where they might be headed.

As I've only read three novels, and one collection of short stories, I found some of the book, especially the earliest chapters, a bit of a slog. That's my problem, not the book's. If you're still relatively new to Murakami's writing, I suggest only reading the chapters that cover what you've read. This advice is especially true if you hate spoilers!

Four stars

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