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Birthday Stories: Selected and Introduced by Haruki Murakami
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Birthday Stories: Selected and Introduced by Haruki Murakami

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,373 ratings  ·  94 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.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Vintage
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'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
11 داستان کوتاه، با مضمون "روز تولد" به انتخاب "هاروکی موراکامی" و مقدمه‌ی وی، بعضیاش خوبند.
ارزش خوندن داره. و ترجمه‌ی خوبی داره
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...more
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
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?...more
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'...more
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
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
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.
Grace Lee
birthdays may not always be happy
Basma Amin
Birthday stories written by different authors... the reason I picked up this book other than seeing Murakami's name on the cover is that I like knowing what people do on their birthday, even if they just lay around doing nothing or if it was a typical day. I enjoyed some of the stories like the one written by Russell Banks, Daniel Lyons, Ethan Canin, Claire Keegan, and Haruki Murakami. (Though the one written by Murakami I think I've read it in one of his previous books, I can't remember which.)
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
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...more
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...more
Feb 23, 2013 Velina added it
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...more
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...more
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...more
Beautiful collection and a cool mix of style. I find at least half of the stories quite touching, although I think Murakami's contribution to the collection (the last story) falls short. Good beach/cafe/plane read too. : )
Ernest Junius
Sep 18, 2011 Ernest Junius rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Birthday boy, Birthday girl
Shelves: relaxing-reads
Another book that can't go wrong—especially for a birthday present (except that the birthday boy/girl has it already).

The stories inside are consist of short stories made by mostly American or British writer, with an addition of Haruki Murakami himself. Very good collection I'd say. My favourite among all is "Forever Overhead" by David Foster Wallace. It's the only story that stood out, just because of its strange strings of words and style of writing. I was never interested in reading DF Wallac...more
Raja Mariam
Bleak! Dark! Depressing without much for call of celebrations. This book, however, is a collection of short stories that provides a short-cut to brief introduction of other authors and their works.
Is it fitting that I finished this on the eve of my birthday?
A diverse collection of stories that helped combat the birthday blues, naturally I preferred some over others but all were well chosen
Hannah  Messler
What a perfect little collection. I got this a long time ago, right after I'd finished reading all of his books. At the time, I felt disappointed when this turned out not to be an unheard-of (by me) novel, but an anthology he collected and contributed to. With the exception of Carver and Foster Wallace, I'd never read any of these stories before; several of the authors were unknown to me, as well. Each story is just as twinged with gentle strangeness as you'd expect from something Murakami put t...more
Some of the stories were badly written, I only liked Birthday Girl, the Moor, the Birthday Cake, Angel of Mercy and Angel of wrath and the bath.
Joel Neff
Oct 18, 2007 Joel Neff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Haruki Murakami stories.
Birthday Stories was a mediocre collection at best. I found some of the stories to be too dark for my tastes; the only story I truly enjoyed was the Murakami story "Birthday Girl" as it was about the only positive story in the collection.

Still, this is a good anthology for anyone interested in Literary Short Fiction, containing several seminal pieces by well-respected authors. Even though the stories were too dark for me, they are well-written, good stories, centered around the theme of birthday...more
not all stories here really interesting. slightly boring maybe? but they’re original (storyline i never read before) and gave me different perspective. (not all people can have a wonderful birthday)

my favorite is by Haruki Murakami himself, Birthday Girl and one by Ethan Canin, Angel of Mercy, Angel of Wrath.

i think maybe Birthday Girl is the only one with happy ending? and it left me hanging and wondering. i think that’s what Haruki Murakami do best. haha.

Do you remember what you were doin...more
Nethra Ram
A very unique and enjoyable collection. A terrific way to open up to the works of the authors featured here. Go for it.
Gertrude & Victoria
This book, Birthday Stories, is an interesting concept for a collection, but unfortunately, it didn't leave a lasting impression. I recommend this for people with little else to read. Murakami's own birthday story, Birthday Girl, which is part of the collection, is the most entertaining piece. If you really must read his birthday story, you can do so by obtaining his Blind Willows, Sleeping Women book, which is a better way to spend twenty dollars. Also, for readers with a taste for trivia, the...more
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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
More about Haruki Murakami...
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