Pop Culture Junkette

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Feeling Japanese

My local Border's currently has a poster in its window advertising Haruki Murakami's new book, After Dark. I haven't read it, but I did recently read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood, both of which I would recommend.

Wind-Up Bird Chronicle had been sitting by my bed unread for years, having been recommended to me by a friend. I was a little worried about it because one of the blurbs compared it to Pynchon and I know that my friend t.s. loves Pynchon too. Me? Not so much. But I decided to take it on my trip to Asia, and I ended up really enjoying it. (As did Holt.) I don't get the Pynchon comparisons. If anything, it reminded me a lot of Paul Auster, whose books I like. I then bought and read Norwegian Wood when I got home. Both books deal with themes of alienation and have not-quite-fantastical elements, but elements of weird stuff happening that the characters don't really treat as being weird. If that makes any sense.

I had never read any Japanese novels before, and I don't think of the novel as an Asian art form. So it was interesting in that regard. Both books read as if they had been written in English, which leads me to believe that the translator -- Jay Rubin -- did an amazing job.


Blogger t.s. said...

I love both Pynchon and Murakami, but I don't think I'd compare them to each other -- did I?

7/22/2007 1:17 PM  

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