Lost in space or a loser in love? Twenty-two year-old Sumire is in love for the first time - with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is a glamorous and successful older woman with a taste for classical music and fine wine, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in ...Read MoreLost in space or a loser in love? Twenty-two year-old Sumire is in love for the first time - with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is a glamorous and successful older woman with a taste for classical music and fine wine, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Jack Kerouac novel. Surprised that she might, after all, be a lesbian, Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K. about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire and should she ever tell Miu how she feels about her? K., a primary school teacher, is used to answering questions, but what he most wants to say to Sumire is, "I love you." He consoles himself by having an affair with the mother of one of his pupils. But when a desperate Miu calls him out of the blue from a sunny Greek island and asks for his help, he soon discovers that all is not as it seems and something very strange has happened to Sumire.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2014-01-27 For Murakami's novel-a portrait of love in modern-day Japan-narrator Adam Sims delivers a straightforward but layered performance that manages to capture the essence of the book's protagonist, a writer who falls in love with a classmate, but whose dedication to his art precludes him from truly seeking her heart. Sims's delivery is subtle and understated. The voices he lends the characters boast only slight shifts in tone and style, but are each original and effective. Fans of the author will find that Sims's performance enhances Murakami's prose and makes for a moving listen. A Vintage paperback. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-09-24 Murakami's seventh novel to be translated into English is a short, enigmatic chronicle of unrequited desire involving three acquaintances the narrator, a 24-year-old Tokyo schoolteacher; his friend Sumire, an erratic, dreamy writer who idolizes Jack Kerouac; and Miu, a beautiful married businesswoman with a secret in her past so harrowing it has turned her hair snowy white. When Sumire abandons her writing for life as an assistant to Miu and later disappears while the two are vacationing on a Greek island, the narrator/teacher travels across the world to help find her. Once on the island, he discovers Sumire has written two stories: one explaining the extent of her longing for Miu; the second revealing the secret from Miu's past that bleached her hair and prevents her from getting close to anyone. All of the characters suffer from bouts of existential despair, and in the end, back in Tokyo, having lost both of his potential saviors and deciding to end a loveless affair with a student's mother, the narrator laments his loneliness. Though the story is almost stark in its simplicity more like Murakami's romantic Norwegian Wood than his surreal Wind-Up Bird Chronicles the careful intimacy of the protagonists' conversation and their tightly controlled passion for each other make this slim book worthwhile. Like a Zen koan, Murakami's tale of the search for human connection asks only questions, offers no answers and must be meditated upon to provide meaning. (Apr. 30) Forecast: Long the secret delight of connoisseurs, Murakami has been steadily and quietly acquiring a wider readership. His latest offering breaks no new ground but is packaged in a striking manner and should attract a few newcomers. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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