South of the Border, West of the Sun

Haruki Murakami

Book cover

I’ll preface this by saying that Murakami is currently my favorite fiction author and has been for more than a year now, since I read “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” in summer 2008. I bought this one randomly on my way to see Murakami at the New Yorker festival last year in case he was signing books (he wasn’t), and finally got around to reading it. It’s toward the realist end of his spectrum, with more weird stuff happening than in “Norwegian Wood” but less than in “Kafka on the Shore” or “Wind-Up Bird,” and way less than “Dance Dance Dance.” Because of its length (short) the characters aren’t as well developed as in some of those other works. But it touched on a lot of interesting things, mainly the nature of material success and the role of imagination in human decisions. It also really made me want to run a bar.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars