Monday, December 24, 2012

Dance Dance Dance

No, this is not a remake of Mithunda's 80s movie (that one had only 2 Dances in its name). I recently went looking in the bookshop for more Kazuo Ishiguro (for details see earlier post on Remains of the Day), but instead found Haruki Murakami.

Murakami is a prolific writer, if the number of books on the shelf was any indication. He writes in Japanese, and most of the English books are translations. Dance Dance Dance is a sort of sequel to another of Murakami's books, so I was not as familiar with the characters as perhaps the author intended, but that was a small obstacle.

Murakami is highly awarded and very well regarded by critics and readers alike. It is easy to see why - the prose is lyrical, the thoughts deeply philosophical, and the characters memorable. The plot of the story itself was a bit abstruse - indeed I admit that it took me several days to motivate myself to read further than the first 15 pages. But once I waded in, there was no looking back. Part supernatural, part murder mystery and part magic realism, the story kept me expecting some kind of climactic denouement.

However, that was not to be. The story's resolution was a bit too pat, or maybe it was too abstract for someone who likes to see everything explained fully and all loose ends tied. That said, it was definitely worth the read, and I think while I may not remember much of the book a year out, I will certainly remember the title and what it stands for.

Incidentally, I was in the bookshop again last evening, in front of the same row containing Murakami's other books. I almost bought a few more, but then replaced them again. Too metaphysical for me, perhaps?

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