Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dance Dance Dance

I am a great admirer of Haruki Murakami's work and was very happy to read this novel as part of the Japanese Literature Challenge.

This is a novel set in 1980s Tokyo, full of the music and rampant consumerism of the era. The narrator is obsessed with the old Dolphin Hotel and returns to the site, now a shiny new hotel L'Hotel Dauphin. His odd, surreal adventures lead him to meet various bizarre characters, who may or may not be connected to each other. His old school chum who has become a famous actor now is desperate to both rekindle their old friendship and to try to move into more interesting roles. A thirteen year old girl obsessed with Talking Heads sulkily accompanies him around Japan and to Hawaii as she tries to make sense of her relationships with her famous parents. This is a world where even the services of prostitutes can be written off on expenses, but where there is a shadowy 'other world' hidden on the 16th floor of L'Hotel Dauphin. And just who or what is the mysterious Sheep Man?

The result is an engrossing surreal murder mystery, written with Murakami's stylish, quirky prose and insight.

I have written more mini-reviews of Japanese books, which you can read by following the links below:

Hard Boiled Underworld and the End of the World (my favourite Murakami novel)
The Three Cornered World by Matsume Soseki

The review site for the challenge is here, where you can find links to all the reviews written by the participants!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Japanese Literature Challenge

I love Japanese literature so was delighted to find this challenge over at Dolce Bellezza. I'll be reading somehing by Haruki Murakami, either Dance Dance Dance or Sputnik Sweatheart and a book of his short stories as well. Meanwhile here's a link to an earlier review of a Murakami novel and, over on Crafty Green Poet, a brief review of The Three Cornered World by Matsume Soseki.

The review site for the challenge is here, where you can find links to all the reviews written by the participants!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

bad friendship American sentences

you ignore me in real life but then demand to friend me on Facebook


you ignore my letters but then phone to demand that i visit you

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Meditations on a Letter

For Wolfgang

I remember the letter you wrote to me,
After so many years of silence,
Four times A4 in fancy font
With drawings and photographs.
Your humour shone from every page,
Your love for your friends and their children.
I read each word and dwelt on it,
Remembering four summers ago.

I remembered the trip you took me on
Through the Antrim countryside –
Frm Ballycastle to Dunluce Castle
And the Carrick-rede rope bridge.
The motorbike sped along country lanes
As we roared our way down the beautiful coast.
We used any excuse to stop the bike
There were so many things to explore.

I remember now, hearing the news
That you had killed yourself,
Silence set in, a sense of shock
And a terrible feeling of loss.
You were always so alive,
More alive than anyone.
I find myself ask myself
What stops the rest of us?

reposted for Weekend Wordsmith