Let’s talk about Murakami.
The Wind Up Bird Chronicles was a tour de force of magic realism/surrealism. It was my gateway drug to Murakami…
…But after reading the very colourless, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage it’s time to talk about Murakami Man.
I tried hard to like this.
When it was first released, I eagerly downloaded the trial version in iBooks. Ultimately, the story of the insipid, directionless Tsukuru Tazaki seemed to be turning wheels and going nowhere.
Years later I found the paperback edition in a Byron Bay bookshop so bought it. Another chance perhaps. Maybe I was wrong?
So I gave it another shot.
Long months later I’d finally read the fucking thing.
Murakami Man is in every Murakami novel, but has perhaps found his perfect distillation in Tsukuru Tazaki. The geeky loner who has strange, disconnected sex while wandering endlessly through an existential crisis.
Jazz is the usual musical counterpoint to Murakami Mans fever dreams but here Franz Liszt’s “Le mal du pays” is deployed. Mournfully and dutifully on cue.
The times suit the novelist. These strange alternate timelines we live in may not now suit Murakami.
With nothing left to say, Murakami man wanders alone in his colourless world. A haunting melody a note to his brief reign.
Looking back, the clues were always there.
Or perhaps you disagree?