1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami doesn’t lend himself to easy categorization. Though his prose is spare, almost styleless, it’s more supple than muscular, and though his stories are often occupied with mundane domesticities, they’re also often founded in the surreal. It’s no surprise, then, that Murakami’s long-awaited latest, 1Q84, isn’t easy to shelf –it’s at home among either fantasy, thriller or hard-boiled noir – but one thing’s for sure: this book is grotesquely Murakami. That is, quiet domesticity punctuates adventures tenuously connected to reality, and yet for all its faults – and some have argued there are many – this is a book that haunts you long after you’re done, a book that, like a jealous lover, won’t let you move on.

December 31, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Literary, Noir, Scifi, World Lit


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 “people basically become runners because they’re meant to” –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 it’s possible, even enjoyable, to be alone for hours, pushing themselves “to acquire a void” and these quirks of temperament are often enough to form a bond with other distance runners.

October 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction