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Birthday Stories

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,664 ratings  ·  121 reviews
This is a collection of 13 birthday stories from some of the most distinguished authors of recent years. The stories have been selected and introduced by Haruki Murakami.
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published January 8th 2004 by Harvill Press
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Shaimaa Ali
It was Murakami's plan to collect some short stories that their main theme is about birthdays to translate them to Japanese. I have read this beautiful anthology in my birthday & I've enjoyed Murakami's selection a lot. Not to mention that as expected, his short story"Birthday Girl" outweigh all the others .. But he introduced me to new, contemporary writers that I would have never heard about ..
I truly liked "the Moor: Russel Banks", "The Birthday Cake: Daniel Lyons", " Angel of Mercy, Ang
Suad Shamma
I found this to be quite a strange collection of "birthday" stories. Some were highly enjoyable, others were just a little bizarre. I cannot honestly say that any of them stood out as a favourite of mine, but I did like ones better than others.

Murakami's story at the end, "Birthday Girl", about a waitress who gets to make a wish on her 20th birthday was one of the stories that I enjoyed. A wish that is never revealed to us, which of course annoyed me to no end because I am an incredible curious
'Birthday Stories' is an interesting collection of stories, some that I enjoyed and some that I did not enjoy, my favourite stories were 'Turning' by Lynda Sexson, the story of a young boy being told a story by his three elderly ladies, a different kind of story to tell a young man but there was a message behind it which I really liked. 'Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath', the story of Eleanor Black who on her 71st birthday has crows flying into her apartment, which initially frightens up but leads ...more
Krishna Sruthi Srivalsan
This is a collection of stories, selected by Haruki Murakami, each one of them revolving around birthdays. Knowing the theme of the anthology, you would expect this to be a cheery, feel-good read. But nope. Almost all the stories have a certain melancholy about them, a feeling of loss, and loneliness, leading you to deeply contemplate. Some of them leave you feeling strangely haunted.

I don't think this book will be enjoyed by everyone. But it did appeal to my introverted self, and I found myself
Hani Abdullah
This is one of a number of Murakami books I bought in one go and this being my third Murakami read, I can say it's the most disappointing up till now. I feel Murakami was infatuated with the concept, that being an anthology of shorts that revolve around birthdays, and somewhere along the way was more obsessed to finish it than make a good anthology. Not all concept good on paper do well beyond.Though it's a nice idea, the majority of the stories were a bit bland and tasteless. I found myself for ...more
A collection of short stories with one theme in common: they're all about birthdays - and yet they are nothing alike.

The collection is dipped in a sea of melancholia and sadness, as birthdays are often associated with reflections and a profound outlook on the life that has passed by. People find themselves longing for closure, for hope, and for something more than they ever got.

My favorite story was perhaps the first one in the collection. 'The Moor' by Russell Banks is lingering in the back of
Rich Gamble
Birthday stories is a somewhat hit and miss. Having already read and enjoyed Murakami’s own story contribution in blind willow sleeping woman and the Raymond Carver story in what we talk about when we talk about love I still felt it was worth a read having wanted to try some Denis Johnson and David Forster Wallace. The previously mentioned authors were highlights for me along with new discoveries Andrea Lee and Russell Banks. The rest were ok with some rather disappointing. I really enjoyed Mura ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Ranee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers who think birthdays are cool
Recommended to Ranee by: a bystander in NBS who was laughing while reading this book
Shelves: my-murakami
This is the first of the Murakami book I have read. It is not really his own book,he just introduced it. A bunch of great writers happened to have a short story made with a theme on birthdays and they sort of wanted to compile it. Though this is not wholly authored by Murakami,this was the book that made me so curious to find him and read him and it all too funny, it wasn't my birthday when I bought this book, at least not for the next 10 months!

So what about birthdays? What makes them special?
I bought this book as a birthday present to myself, with the initial aim of reading one story per day until my birthday came. I'm sad to say I completely failed in that. But anyway.

I'm kind of disappointed in that book. Some of the stories were nice, some were not, but isn't that usually the case with stories collections? You rarely like everything. But this isn't what inherently disappointed me. Most of the stories were sad, about lonely people, about old people, about people whose lives weren'
My second attempt this month at a collection of short stories. The stories in this collection were by all different authors, selected by Haruki Murakami. I think that the multitude of authors contributed, in some part, to my increased like of this book over the other (Dave Eggers' How We Are Hungry). In addition, I liked Murakami's short introduction of the author and critique of the work before each story (as well as in the introduction). The stories themselves were interesting, as well, though ...more
Rushati Mukherjee
Really loved most of the book, including the introduction! Outstanding favourite: David Foster Wallace's "Forever Overhead". His prose is glorious. I realised his prose style is very similar to how I like my poems to be. I am in shivers of delight. MUST. READ. EVERYTHING BY HIM.
Stories that capture the essential loneliness of the human condition are heartbreaking and stay with the reader for a long time. Such are "Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath" and "The Birthday Cake". Very touching, both.
"Birthday Stories" is an anthology of 13 short fictions.
When I bought this book I thought it was written by Haruki Murakami, I was wrong. It turns out Murakami compiled the collection and contributed only one story - "Birthday Girl".

The stories do not have your typical positive outlook. Some are quite strange, some sad; it really is a compilation of different moods and feelings.

My favourite story must be "Turning" by Lynda Sexson. I also enjoyed Murakami's original contribution "Birthday Girl"
Eugene Leventhal
This collection hit the spot in terms of what I was looking for: stories from various authors around a single topic. This is the first short story collection of Murakami's (as in collection of other authors, not just his own stories) that I've read, and I am very happy with his selection. It gave me the chance to read stories from some authors I've been meaning to read (David Foster Wallace and Raymond Carver) and exposed me to a number of authors I've never read any works of but now very much w ...more
Maria Frandsen
This was my very first Haruki Murakami book, even though this really isn't a book by him, and with it, I started my year of Murakami. Most of the stories were enjoyable, some of them were highly interesting and a few of them are truly great, the last category includes my ultimate favourite 'Turning' by Lynda Sexson, Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami which I could relate a lot to and "cannot remember name, will insert later".
I liked to variety of authors and how the stories were different each tim
Grace Lee
birthdays may not always be happy
This book is a collection of birthday stories selected by Murakami. He has selected some best of the stories including one of his own for this book. I was really looking forward to read this book. There are many reasons behind it and one of them is..I actually wanted to see what kind of stories would Murakami choose. Well! I wasn't wrong. Some are dark and you might find some weird considering that these are birthday stories. Exciting part was Murakami's view about his own birthday. A part of Mu ...more
Suzanne Bhagan
This is an anthology of "birthday stories" culled by Japanese great, Haruki Murakami. Many of the stories are from American authors and recount a day in the life of several protagonists. One of my favourite stories was "The Birthday Cake" about a crochety old woman who refuses to let someone else have the last birthday cake in the cake shop. I also enjoyed "Forever Ahead" by David Forster Wallace which was about an adolescent boy musing on getting older while standing on a diving board.
Väčšina poviedok bola pomerne dosť meh (ale to tak s poviedkami v antológiach už býva). Najlepšie poviedky: The Birthday Cake od Daniela Lyonsa, Forever Overhead od Davida Fostera Wallacea (aj keď tú som celkom nepochopila, ale čítala sa výborne), Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath od Ethana Canina, Close to the Water's Edge od Claire Keegan a, samozrejme, Murakamiho Birthday Girl.

Tak či tak, je to dosť zaujímavé čítanie, keď máte narodeniny :)
This is an anthology of lots of wonderful stories–seemingly eclectic but tied together through that theme of Birthdays (and also tied together by the fact that they were all chosen by Haruki Murakami). It’s an amazing exploration of birthdays told by a diverse group of writers, from various nations, of different genders and generations. My favorites are the choices of Ethan Canin (”Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath”), Raymond Carver (”The Bath”), and William Trevor (”Timothy’s Birthday”).

As for Mur
Pardis Parto
ناگهان یاد مادربزرگش می افتد که پس از پیمودن آن همه راه و با مهلت یک ساعته اش، و با اینکه شناگر ماهر رودخانه ها بوده تن به آب دریا نزده بود. وقتی از او علتش را پرسیده بود، گفته بود چون نمیدانسته عمق دریا چه قدر است. جای عمیق اب کجا میشود و کجا پایان می یابد. مرد جوان روی سطح آب شناور میشود، بعد آرام به سوی املاک نورانی ساحل بازمیگردد. با اینکه تا آنجا فاصله ی زیادی است، چراغهای پنت هاوس در آسمان شب واضح اند. وقتی به قسمت کم عمق آب میرسد، سینه خیز می آید و روی شن ها می افتد. نفسش به شماره افتاده. ...more
Todo: correct the general introduction to say 13 stories

13 sad stories. all the shorts in this book have the sad undertone to them that makes me think of them as sad stories, even when they aren't in themselves sad.

I don't know what I was expecting, but in a anthology of birthday stories, I certainly was expecting at least 1 happy blow the candles, make a wish story, but all the stories have this undertone of death or cheating. Or they have such an open ending that makes think the worst happened
As Murakami himself says, most of the stories in this anthology, strangely enough or not at all, are somehow gloomy and dipped in atmosphere quite not the one most people probably would connect with the word "birth-day" - this being one of the reasons they all seem like they have in fact happened or might happen.

To me lacking the sweet coverage and the sparkling brings it all closer to reality, they gather something more important than joviality, something that can lead to a certain connection
A collection of "birthday" stories selected by Murakami. I enjoyed all of them, but especially liked Russell Banks's The Moor, David Foster Wallace's Forever Overhead and Claire Keegan's Close to the Water's Edge. An interesting collection and it could make for a clever birthday gift though most of the stories aren't particularly uplifting.
Ririn Miu
I especially love Turning by Lynda Sexson and Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami. Also, I have a strange infatuation with introductions of anthologies so that's also my favorite part. Oh, and the short introduction before each story; it clears up a lot of wtf-ness in the story, and by that I mean the abruptness of The Bath by Raymond Carver.
I don't read a lot of anthologies, and this is the first one I've ever read cover to cover, in order. Nothing mind blowing - it's a quiet book with the connecting thread of "birthdays" - but the author roster is impressive, and I enjoyed Murakami's intro to each story. This was, in fact, a birthday gift from my sister.
Birthday Stories; at the end of this read I am left with the decision to choose one as my favourite and I can't. Each story is beautiful on its own. You feel a gush of emotions when you sit back and think about each of them after reading the book.

One thing that I am sure of is reading more works by the authors of the stories in this book. :)
I picked up this short story collection randomly from the City Library Shelf and it proved to be an interesting book. Most stories were written by contemporary Authors, and includes a short story by Murakami himself at the very end, very much like a cherry on top of a tasty ice cream ensemble. Not all of the stories were my cup of tea (sometimes David Foster Wallace could be a little over dramatic :P ), but most stories were interesting. My favorite among the collection was the story "Turning" b ...more
Nicki Markus
So, this book from Haruki Murakami is one in which he plays at being editor rather than writer. It is a delightful collection of short stories that all revolve around the theme of 'birthdays'.

All the stories had something interesting to offer; although, of course I enjoyed some more than others. "The Birthday Cake" and "Close to the Water's Edge" were two I was particularly drawn to.

Murakami's own offering, "Birthday Day" was also an intriguing piece with a sense of the mysterious about it, in t
Some stories are hard hitting and therefore memorable but others are not. For such a short collection, one would expect a lot more from Murakami. Overall disappointed but still three stars for venturing into such a non traditional collection in the first place.
This book is a collection of short stories all having to do with birthdays. There were some really good stories that rung some notes for me, like the Denis johnson (Jesus' Son) story Dundun, its about what a drugged out bastard did on his birthday, if you like his style you'd like.

The bath by Raymond Carver was worth a read, it was pretty dark. The best one IMO is the birthday girl by Murakami. It asks the question what did you do on your 21st birthday. It tells a story about what a girl did on
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Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am
More about Haruki Murakami...
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