Haruki Murakami doesnâ€™t lend himself to easy categorization. Though his prose is spare, almost styleless, itâ€™s more supple than muscular, and though his stories are often occupied with mundane domesticities, theyâ€™re also often founded in the surreal. Itâ€™s no surprise, then, that Murakamiâ€™s long-awaited latest, 1Q84, isnâ€™t easy to shelf â€“itâ€™s at home among either fantasy, thriller or hard-boiled noir â€“ but one thingâ€™s for sure: this book is grotesquely Murakami. That is, quiet domesticity punctuates adventures tenuously connected to reality, and yet for all its faults â€“ and some have argued there are many â€“ this is a book that haunts you long after youâ€™re done, a book that, like a jealous lover, wonâ€™t let you move on.
In his running journal-cum-memoir, WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING , titled in obvious homage to Raymond Carver, Haruki Murakami claims that â€śpeople basically become runners because theyâ€™re meant toâ€ť â€“I know exactly what he means. Runners are different; if only for the fact they think nothing of doubling up socks to run in 20-degree weather while incredulous spouses look on; they brave downpours for the bliss of having paths to themselves; they passionately debate the relative merits of Body Glide vs. Vaseline, bare feet vs. high-tech shoes, real food vs. GU gels. Runners know itâ€™s possible, even enjoyable, to be alone for hours, pushing themselves â€śto acquire a voidâ€ť and these quirks of temperament are often enough to form a bond with other distance runners.