Well, what can I tell you? This is kind of magic realism or kind of a metaphysical tale or kind of a retelling of the Oedipus tale or something like that. It flirts with an X files type tale, has talking cats and of course a 15 year old who is wise beyond his years. He does OK in the sex department, but perhaps it is with his mother and sister – we can make up our own mind because the author ain’t going to hand us a final chapter to tie up all the loose ends and reveal details of who was who in the story.
Murakami creates cool characters – even the incidental characters seem to drink great coffee and have intimate knowledge of various types of music (I guess he can’t help but show off his own knowledge), but this to me is part of the whole fantasy/kooky tales that he tells.
I guess I’m not making it sound attractive, but this guy can really put sentences together in a way that keeps you interested and reading. It was difficult to put this one down and even though I usually like having things tidied up at the end, I didn’t mind in this case.
Here’s the quote:
“Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.”