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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  18,121 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews
Beautiful, ephemeral, and profoundly weird, the short stories in this collection by internationally acclaimed novelist Haruki Murakami are nearly impossible to describe. Characters move through thoroughly contemporary settings (high-rise apartments, holiday resorts, etc.) in a sort of fever dream, haunted by ghosts and spirits of the past. Including 24 tales, each one more ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Tantor Media, Inc. (first published 2006)
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K.D. Absolutely
Oct 08, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Ranee
Shelves: anthology
Reading the books of Haruki Murakami (born 1949) is like watching the films of Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998). The two are the most notable world-known artists in Japan.

In particular, reading the 24 stories included in this collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is like watching Kurosawa's 1990 film, Dreams three times. The 8 stories in the film are said to be based on the actual dreams of Kurosawa. In Murakami's Introduction to the English Edition of this book, he said that Ice Man, one of the 24,
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Oriana
Here is a story of why I am the best friend ever.

Way back in aught 5 or so (oh my god, how was that a decade ago), I worked at Random House. I was and am still a smoker; I could and do tell so many stories about how smoking has directed and redirected the course of my life (here's one about books!).

Anyway. There was a guy at RH I knew a bit because we smoked at the same time, and eventually I learned that he was like the head of marketing for a bunch of the big imprints. At one point he made me
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Nenette
Jan 15, 2011 Nenette rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nenette by: Gift from KD
I have read good reviews about this book, but I just couldn’t relate to them. The book picked up towards the end, with really nice stories…But one has to live through “waste of time” pieces throughout the book (mostly for the first three quarters) before one is treated to the nice ones (what is glory without suffering?)

Since this is a collection of short stories, I've decided to rate it by story, and then take the average. Average rating overall is 2.54, which technically translates to 3 stars
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Brian
Reading Murakami (Haruki) is kind of like dreaming. This was a book of 24 of his short stories. What I noticed is that unlike some short story collections I've read, Murakami has the talent of writing a few first lines that just grab you and make you rush on with the story. But then what seems straightforward, say a simple love affair, ends up being just a firefly stuck in a jar or an endless trip to the south pole; the end sometimes has no relation to the beginning or no apparent relation. Some ...more
Kwesi 章英狮
I like to read short stories since the day I entered college, because It takes me less time to finish them and plus I already feel the pleasure of reading. A research shows that Filipinos were short story lovers because of our current condition, fast paced world. I don’t know if I should nod while agreeing with the fact that we like short stories, but in the darkest side, I was one of the Filipinos who liked to read them.

What I really loved bout Murakami was his passion in writing novels and sho
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Noce
E c'è ancora gente che quando vuole evadere guarda la Tv

Per questa volta eviterò di annoiarvi con le mie solite manifestazioni stucchevoli di cieco amore nei confronti di Haruki.

Vi lascerò soltanto una profondissima perla di saggezza che ho maturato nella mia innata modestia a fine lettura. ù_ù

Murakami sta al lettore come una donna di vent'anni sta a un suo coetaneo maschio (e sottolineo coetaneo).

Ossia: la donna a parità di condizioni afferra e vede cose che l'uomo può appena intravedere solo c
...more
Lausº
If I had to think a way to define this book ... I cannot think otherwise than as a "Short story Matryoshka" (Cultural information: matryoshkas are those typical russian wooden dolls of different sizes placed one inside the other). Because as the reading progresses you'll find stories inside other stories, maybe this is part of the originality of the writer.

His style stands out even from the way he entitled the stories, the titles are as imaginative as: The year of spaguetti, A perfect day for ka
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Elida Karaivanova
I love Murakami’s characters and their loneliness, the silent suffering they go through and the fact that you are never really sure whether they are daydreaming, dreaming, having superpowers or are just being highly sensitive. Yet again, loneliness is one the main topics in Murakami’s work and this book is no exception – “Can you imagine how astonished the Italians would be if they knew that what they were exporting in 1971 was actually loneliness ?”, or the final paragraph of “The Year Of The ...more
Vishal V
Murakami's fiction is all about natural presence of the surreal in ordinary lives. The outright absurd is readily accepted by many of the characters, creating some curious protagonists, bizarre stories, and a thoroughly entertaining read.

This is my first attempt at his short stories and frankly I am confused over some of the metaphors and symbologies in "Blind Willow, Sleeping Women" and a few others, but that I believe, is in itself the beauty of his writing. In most of his tales we are always
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مونا حسینی
چاپ پنجم 11/93
Ana
“A Rapariga que Inventou um Sonho” é uma coletânea de vinte e quatro contos, publicados entre 1981 e 2005.
Pequenas histórias tão simples e diretas, como fantásticas e surrealistas… bem ao estilo de Haruki MuraKami.
Camille Stein
—El corazón de las personas es como un pozo muy profundo. Nadie sabe lo que hay en el fondo. Sólo podemos imaginárnoslo mirando la forma de las cosas que, de vez en cuando, suben a la superficie.

Él y ella pensaban en lo mismo. En un avión. En el avión que el corazón de él construía en lo más recóndito de un bosque lejano. En su tamaño, en la forma que tenía, en el color del que estaba pintado, en el lugar al que se dirigiría. Y en quién montaría en él. En el avión que estaba esperando a alguien
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Maciek
I love short stories and I enjoyed Murakami's Sputnik Sweetheart, so I decided to try this collection.

Reading these stories was like listening to a stoned student at some cheap beer joint which is usually full of such individuals. As you might or might not know, they're usually full of bullshit. Same can be said for most of these stories. They're just agonizingly dull. With each next one, I grew more and more bored. They're all just a flash of idea, a half-bred plot or character; there's little
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rachel
Only Murakami can write a poignant story about a monkey stealing people's names.

I concur with Goodreaders who've given this collection otherwise mediocre reviews that with the exception of "Birthday Girl" in the beginning, the most complete and fulfilling stories are all lumped right at the end. "Chance Traveler," "The Kidney Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day," and "A Shinagawa Monkey" are excellent, especially if you're as disheartened by the rest of the collection as I was.

I'm surprised that
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Daniel
It turns out I've read a bunch of the stories in "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" before -- almost half of them, I'd guess, and likely all in The New Yorker. It was nevertheless enjoyable to revisit a few of those, including "The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day," which I had strong memories of reading even before I read this book, and "A Shinagawa Monkey," which I'd forgotten about until I began rereading it.

Reading Murakami's book was not, however, a completely enjoyable experience. I've
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Alicia
Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors. His postmodern work alternates between full length novels and short story collections and they are always wildly innovative and thought provoking. Often compared to Kafka and Camus, his work has unexplained mystical events, mysteries that are solve with intuition rather than solid clues and unexpectedly funny moments. These stories are epiphanies in which the characters wander through surreal or magical experiences and end up with a new understandin ...more
Fahima Jaffar
مجموعةٌ من أربعٍ وَعشرين قصّةً قصيرةً للكاتبِ اليابانيّ هاروكي موراكامي. رغم فتنةِ السردِ فيها، ما زلتُ أجرّ خطاي في الأربعِ الأخيرةِ منها. تمتازُ أحداث قصصه عن بعضها البعض لكنَّ شخوصه – في معظمها- تتقاطعُ في انشغالها بذواتها أكثر من اهتمامِها بالعالم، أو – تحرّياً للدقةِ – في التفاتِها للعالم خلال انهماكها في ذواتِها. ليسَ الانهماكَ الذي يعزلها عن الآخرين أو يقيمُ بينها وَبين محيطها حاجزاً.. لكنْ يبدو أنّها تنمو في معزلٍ عن تأثيراتِ محيطِها المباشرة، أو تظهرُ في النصِّ مكتملةً كالمخرجاتِ الأشدّ ...more
Rosa Ramôa

Muito mais que um sonho...A proximidade!
Indescritível...*
Joel Lacivita
This is probably the best book of short stories I've ever read. I had intended to read a couple here and there but I found I couldn't stop reading them. Just about every story had me thinking about their meaning long after I read them. I had no idea his short stories were so incredible.

There are some common themes through out. One character will have a parallel with another character and there are many themes in regard to family members, spouses, and old friends who are not as close they normal
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Donatella
Non c'è niente da fare, Murakami mi piace. Ancora di più nella veste di scrittore di racconti. Apprezzo soprattutto quel tono di "tutto normale" che colora i racconti più bizzarri, come se le cose più anomale e insolite fossero un'esperienza quotidiana. Molti racconti, come ho già scritto, sono inoltre delle vere e proprie finestre: si intuisce l'inizio e non esiste una vera e propria fine che si snoda al di là della nostra visuale, come un'auto che passa oltre il riquadro. Coglie spesso il punt ...more
Ubik 2.0
Murakami in pillole

In discordanza con altri commenti che ho letto, a me non pare che la dimensione “racconto” si addica particolarmente alla narrativa di Murakami, sebbene possa trattarsi piuttosto di una mia personale scarsa propensione a tale genere di formato.

Nei racconti di “I salici ciechi e la donna addormentata” i temi cari al grande autore giapponese ci sono tutti ed anzi alcuni spunti sembrano prefigurare il canovaccio da cui lo scrittore trarrà, con ben altra avvolgente potenza, uno de
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Sarah Sammis
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is the first book by Haruki Murakami I've had the pleasure of reading. It won't be the last. This slim book contains twenty-four short stories that range from subtle character studies of ordinary folks to journeys into the surreal.

These stories were translated beautifully by Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin who have translated many of his other books. Gabriel did the English translation of Kafka on the Shore, for example.

My favorite story is "Chance Traveler" which recou
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Owlseyes
Some of Murakami short stories are “flowers” he planted,… though strange ones in their colors and life span. Some, a blend of reality and dream. Some funny and absurd…,some playing tricks with reader’s mind, with westerners' expectations.

To have a glimpse on the “forests” Murakami plants, you've got to read his novels.
Tze-Wen
I purchased this book in 2007, in a big bookstore in Heidelberg, during a holiday. I remember it was raining pretty badly and I was camping quite far away from the town centre. This wonderful book was exactly what I needed.

Re-reading it for the Murakami challenge.

Full review here: http://www.chinoiseries.net/?p=289
Lexie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeremy
Murakami's short story formats are witty, fun, poignant, and surreal.
Alex Bergonzini
Y de nuevo un libro de Haruki Murakami me llena de paz y tranquilidad. De nuevo con sus historias tranquilas, místicas, cargadas de pasión y de grandes cambios en la vida de los personajes. Gatos, Jazz, sexo, universidades, tullidos emocionales, desapariciones, comidas, viajes, todo a rebosar en esta recopilación de relatos cortos que, si te gusta como escribe, estos relatos te apasionarán.

En estos cuentos, no sólo encuentras la fantasía habitual de sus personajes, sino la realidad de vida seren
...more
Marta Urushadze
ახალგაღვიძებული რომ ხარ და ჯერ კარგად რომ ვერ იაზრებ, ვინ ხარ და საიდან მოხვედი, დღის ჩემი საყვარელი პერიოდია. ზუსტად მასეთ გრძნობას იწვევს ჩემში მურაკამის სამყარო. მისი მოთხრობები საინტერესო, ნახევრად დავიწყებული სიზმრების ნაფლეთებს გავს. მიხარია, რომ დედამიწაზე დადის ადამიანი, რომელსაც ასეთი საკაიფო, ყველასგან განსხვავებული შინაგანი სამყარო აქვს... და ნიჭი რომ ის გადმოსცეს. მისწორდება მისი კარჩაკეტილი და ინტროვერტი პერსონაჟები და უცნაური დეტალებისგან აგებული ისტორიები.
ამ მოთხრობებმა, რომლებიც
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Nikzad
This short story collection has some masterpieces (New York Mining Disaster, Man Eating Cats, etc.) along with some other nice stories. Still, one can say the collection has a uniform quality. What struck me most is the mental state of Murakami's characters. They don't much discuss their inner problems and most of them are ordinary people, but then sometime along their ultra-ordinary lives you realize their harrowing alienation. They do their jobs and have wives and children but really they are ...more
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Haruki Murakami C...: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Chapter 1) 6 37 Feb 03, 2013 08:29AM  
PTS Readers: Murakami? 1 2 Oct 12, 2012 08:14AM  
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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: https://www.facebook.com/harukimuraka...

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
More about Haruki Murakami...
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“She waited for the train to pass. Then she said, "I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” 1550 likes
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” 1445 likes
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