Despite critical acclaim, international best selling author status and Nobel Prize winning rumours, Haruki Murakami remains something of a cult figure who your work colleague opposite has probably never heard of. Having enjoyed a dedicated word of mouth following for decades the release of the long awaited English translation Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage this summer looks set to finally push Murakami into mainstream conciousness. It’s long overdue in our opinion which is why the Japanese author is the latest addition to our reading list series.

thumbnailgenerator.ashxOften described as ‘magical-realism’ his surrealist novels weave seemingly normal and mundane events such as cooking and listening to jazz, with strange and fantastical happenings such as talking cats, vanishing elephants and ‘little people’. Murakami’s works are also populated by a fantastic range of interesting and believable characters all with their own quirks, complexities and stories to tell. From mysterious and alluring women, to regret filled WW2 veterans, and from rebellious teens to slimy and socially inept villains, there is a mesmerizing varied cast of characters that will keep you flicking pages throughout the night. (Just one more chapter then I’ll call it a night!)

From a Street Gentry viewpoint Murakami is also an author who understands the aesthetic value of clothes and often goes into great detail about the specifics of what his characters are wearing, from the ordinary (increasingly scruffy tennis shoes) to the extra-ordinary or bizarre (red vinyl hats). Descriptions of what characters are wearing are nothing new or remarkable of course, but Murakami, more than most, seems to suggest that what we choose to wear can often be an important and telling insight into our character or mindset on any given day.  

 
The four books below are excellent starting points for delving into Murakami’s mysterious world, just don’t blame us when you get hooked! And believe us, you will.

 

 

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“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” Norwegian Wood

 

HM-Monkey