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South of the Border, West of the Sun

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  43,395 ratings  ·  2,294 reviews
Following the massive complexity of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle--Haruki Murakami's best-selling, award-winning novel--comes this deceptively simple love story, a contemporary rendering of the romance in which a boy finds and then loses a girl, only to meet her again years later.

Hajime--"Beginning" in Japanese--was an atypical only child growing up in a conventional middle-c
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 11th 2010 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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Kelly Jean Egan
Whatever Murakami book I am reading, I find myself stepping back into the same world as before, with all of the same characters and themes of wells and transience and strangely poignant details like gold lighters and classical music records and the myriad spaghetti dinners--the mundane details of everyday life spun into a dreamy tapestry. The fact that every Murakami book I read seems to feel the same is a good thing in this author's case. His tone is something quite distinct. Every time I read ...more
Ian Klappenskoff
A Companion Intervenes

I re-read “South of the Border” immediately after re-reading “Norwegian Wood”, as part of my training regime for Murakami’s “1Q84”.

Although they were written five years apart and were separated by “Dance Dance Dance”, they are good companion pieces.

They stand out from Murakami’s other novels because they explore love and its consequences almost exclusively.

Although some things and events go unexplained, there is little of the surrealism and absurdity that characterizes mos
I never fail to be impressed by the way Murakami captures mood and feelings. Even in his less fantastic novels, of which this is one, he draws you into a world that is all his, and so full of possibilities and connections that you feel you could grasp them if you reached out. Except you don't, because in Murakami's universe it's easier to stay put and wait than to get actively involved. It's about memories and reminiscences, about wishes and alternate realities, and if you were to reach out and ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
The other night a friend mentioned she is reading '1Q84' at the moment and it got me all nostalgic for a Murakami experience. So choosing one at random of the ever diminishing list of Murakami's I haven't read yet I chose 'South of the Border, West of the Sun'.

What do you get? Unsurprisingly a story that is Murakami. There is an every-man protagonist, mysterious lady from the past, jazz, university protests, people with deformities... I could go on or just use the Murakami Bingo:

Desipite being s
بــدريــه  الـبـرازي
أن تقرأ أول عمل لهاروكي كافكا على الشاطئ
و تبدأ بعد ذلك بقراءة مؤلفاته ..
ستكون مجبر على مقارنه .. فهذه رواية عادية
جدا بنسبة للرائعته كافكا ..

بطلنا هذه المره هو هاجيمي الطفل الوحيد
لوالديه وأن تكون وحيد بوجهة نظر موراكامي
هذا يعني أنك مختلف وشعورك مختلف
وحياتك بالتالي ستختلف.. !

سرد لنا أسباب الاختلاف ونتائجها من
خلال الحبكة .. كان سيناريو عادي يتكرر في
أي قصة وأي كتاب !
نعيش مراحل حياته من الطفولة تكون الحياة
محور اكتشافاته .. في المراهقة يأتي الاهتمام
بالنفس والعاطفة المتدفقة
يتخذ له صديقة يظن أنها ا
Eddie Watkins
This book is the literary equivalent of cloud paintings. I’m not talking John Constable’s clouds, which are dense with specificity from a keen and earthy eye; but rather New Agey cloud paintings, which are designed to be innocuous and calming, to not stimulate the eye, to induce a meditative state and readjust the spirit and turn one away from the tangible.

So South of the Border, West of the Sun is not all bad – it does satisfy all the above criteria for New Agey cloud paintings – and I have no
Moushumi Ghosh
I have always liked jazz music but I don’t think I qualify as a fan. But this book seems like a jazz symphony to me (I’m kind of clueless about jazz. Is there something like a “jazz symphony?”) It’s smooth, mysterious and leaves you thirsting for more.

I firmly believe that you don’t choose your books; the books choose you. Yeah, I’m one of them people who think that there is no such thing as a coincidence. So, this SOTBWFTS (short form) was a gift from a friend on my birthday.

Anyways, I jumped o
كتب ابراهيم حاج عبدي..
"عنوان الرواية «جنوب الحدود، غرب الشمس» هو عبارة عن توليفة ابتدعها خيال الروائي، ليختزل، بهذه الاستعارة الذكية، مزاج بطل روايته، ومخاوفه ورغباته وآماله. «جنوب الحدود» هو عنوان أغنية لنات كينج كول، بينما «غرب الشمس» هو اسم لمرض هستيري يعاني منه الفلاحون في سيبيريا. «فلاح وحيد في تندرا سيبيريا. يحرث الأرض كل يوم ولا يرى شيئاً على مد البصر سوى الشمس والأفق الممتد بلا نهاية محيطاً به من الجهات الأربع. يلقي بمحراثه ذات يوم، ويبدأ بالسير نحو ارض تمتد غرب الشمس، من دون طعام أو شر
I really didn't enjoy this book, but it did make me think about why, so at least it had that going for it.

I found Hajime an infinitely unlikeable character, but I couldn't put my finger on the details of why. He had no problem doing things that would hurt the women he claimed to "love", even as he said that there must be something wrong with him for doing so. I think of "that's just the way I am, nothing to be done" as the worst, laziest possible excuse for bad behavior toward others.

But it was
Boysie Freeman (not my real name, it's just my Internet name)
At first I dislike this book but now I am confident to say that I hate it.

It's about this shallow and whiny man who wronged every women he put his hand on (probably because he is so deep, no one can understand him since he's the only child, yes, you gotta remember how painful it is for this Hajime guy to be the only child)... except his childhood sweetheart who is so deep that she never has a real personality but some random emo appeal which cannot make me care less. The author tried so hard bu
Jul 06, 2014 Jareed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lonely men who listen to jazz music on a rainy night
Recommended to Jareed by: My Murakami fever
Shelves: fictional-novels
In denying a foothold to any portentous propensity of being needlessly repetitive, but more so in the interest of brevity, I opted to start forthcoming reviews, of which there seem to be many as this Murakami fever I have uncannily contracted has sternly refused abatement, with the Murakami Bingo! Murakami may have a definitive 'murakami' style but it still operates within a framework with formulaic themes and recurring plot devices.


So here we go!
Mysterious Woman? Operative truth!
Unexpected Phon
T.D. Whittle
This is not a review, just an expression of my immediate emotional response, after having just finished the book: it is a somewhat-disappointed sigh, that is inaudible from where you are sitting, probably. This is the first Murakami I've read that's made me go "meh." I just didn't love it, and I nearly stopped reading it about two-thirds of the way through. Perhaps I should have stopped, come to think of it, as it's left me in a bit of a funk.

Why are all (or at least most) of his women so damn t
Hajime is a happily married man. He is also the father of two daughters and the owner of two Jazz Clubs. At some point during his 30’s Hajime finds himself leading a typical suburban life close-enough-but-not-too-close to down-town Tokyo.

Some people would say that Hajime is one of those lucky-few-guys, who can afford a rather easy-going lifestyle, while others would argue that this sort of life is quiet dull, actually. But then again, that's exactly how life is designed (or supposed) to be in th
K.D. Absolutely
I just finished reading and liking another Murakami book. My last three read books by him failed to impress me at all: Norwegian Wood (2 stars), 1Q84 (2 stars) and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2 stars). The middle of the book is utterly boring especially while waiting of Shimamoto to show up and meet Hajime again. The waiting does not heighten the anticipation because you know that they are meant for each and the inevitable that they will make love when the see each other becomes ...more
Airiz C
I am a discriminating reader. Even if I love an author unreservedly, I don’t go around loving everything that he writes. After all, in a writer’s collection of works, not everything will be explosively brilliant; some of them will turn out as duds.

To many Murakami-experienced readers, South of the Border, West of the Sun definitely reads like the spiritual successor to his acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood. Both don’t have a much of magical realism (or surrealism?) in them that is commonplace in th
Aug 11, 2015 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alex by: Nat King Cole
Shelves: reviews, to-re-read
有緣無份 - Fate Without Destiny?

有緣無份 (yǒu yuán wú fèn). A Chinese idiom describing a case where two people are fated to meet but not destined to be together. I can't think of a better way to describe the premise of the novel. Perhaps a close English term is "Star Crossed Lovers".


Hajime and Shimamoto meet as school children, and hold an intimate affinity for each other - both as only children and both sharing a deep love of books, music, and cats. They would walk home after school together

Eh, this was Orange Crush trying to masquerade as champagne.

The book's lynchpin is a lifelong unrequited or dashed youthful romance that obsesses the protagonists, Hajime (he) and Shimamoto (she), each -- unknowingly to the other -- holding a candle over a vast span of time. Unfortunately, Murakami is no Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and this glass of soda pop novel is no Love in the Time of Cholera.

I'm not a guy who requires plot, per se, but what plot there is here is perfunctory; Murakami makes thi

أربعة نجوم لماذا؟!! .... كل ما أعرفه أني وجدت نفسي أتتبع حياة شخص من طفولته إلى نهاية الثلاثين بسلاسة كبيرة، وبدون أن أشعر مرت لحظاتي مع هذه الرواية بانسيابية مدهشة .. .. بالإضافة للألم بعيني واحمرارهما من التحديق في صفحاتها لا أعرف لماذا غمرني إحساس بنوع مختلف من الألم

easily accessible, yet profoundly complex
هكذا وصفت أعمال موراكامي، بالفعل هي كذلك بالإضافة لكونها وجبة موسيقية كانت هنا من الجاز

هذه الرواية عن تلك الفجوة الفارغة بداخلنا تحت السطح اللامع الذي لا يعكس الداخل، في هذه الرواية كانت ا
If you want to know what the book is about then read the description. I'm just an average gal who likes to read and well if you're my friend or you have similar interest, well here is why I like it. I'm a sucker for romance, even if it's tragic, period. Hajime, I don't get but then again I understand him completely. Life is complicated, love is complicated, no one is promised tomorrow and I don't care who you are no one can say that they know exactly what they would do given a situation. "Love i ...more
Nojood Alsudairi
عجيبة هي النفس الإنسانية! لا ترضى أبدا ولا تقنع بحال. ظل البطل يلوك حب قديم هجره وحب أقل قدما خانه مدة غير قصيرة من الزمن. وحين فتحت له الدنيا أبوابها من كل حدب عاد يصيح الفراغ الداخلي الذي لم تستطع زوجته وابنتيه وأمواله سده. هل كان كل ما مر به هلاوس عقل مجنون لم يستطع الرضا بما قسم؟ أعتقد هذا. أظن بأن النهاية تدلنا على حالة معتادة من الجنون سببها محاولة عيش ما لم يكن.
أحببت بساطة الأسلوب وتعقيد الطرح
Jr Bacdayan
I am in love with Haruki Murakami’s novels. I guess it might be the resonance of loneliness emanating from all his works. It might be the fusion of pop-culture and philosophical musings. It might be the mysterious atmosphere he creates. I can’t really pin it down. Most of his novels are deceptively similar in their tones and backgrounds but each one has a different center. Each novel shows a similar scene, but each one with a different focus.

South of the Border, West of the Sun is a meditation o
"Possuía uma sensualidade que se revelava capaz de - isto foi um pensamento que só me ocorreu mais tarde, naturalmente - ir tirando, docemente uma a uma, as finas membranas que davam forma aos corações humanos."

Primeiro livro que leio de Murakami e tal como a temática do mesmo.... foi o meu primeiro amor...

Murakami capta soberbamente neste pequeno livro todas as emoções inerentes ao primeiro amor.
Todas as emoções.
Como nos marca.
Como influencia a vida posterior.

"Por mais que uma pessoa queira, um
مصطفي سليمان
واضح ان البرنس الكبير
بيحب الموسيقي بشكل كبير
وخاصة منها الجاز
الرواية علي اسم اغنية
نات كينج كول

تحكي بكل بساطة عن شاب
عادي أحب فتاة عادية
فرقتهم الحياة العادية
ليتعرف علي فتاة عادية أخري لكنها تحبه اكثر
يخونها ليس كرها فيها ولكن ضعف
كل واحد ف اتجاه
يبدأ من اول وجديد
يتزوج لا يحبها بالقدر الكبير
لكن بالقدر المقبول اللي تخليها مراته
ويخلف ويبدأ مشروع ناجح
حبه الاول القديم اللي كان دايما سايب فراغ ف حياته
تظهر من العدم
بس طبعا مش عاوز اقول الطحينة واللحوسة اللي بتحصل
كتير بنتعرض لحاجات ومواقف شبه دي
Murakami's South of the Border, West of the Sun chronicles the very extent of human desire. How even with time and absence, a human spirit can be drawn to another with such great force that the novel's protagonist, Hajime, is willing to risk everything to "have" a woman. It's a beautifully written and memorable piece of work, with Murakami having the ability to put abstract concepts into such elegant and tangible prose.

It begins with Hajime's narrative of his childhood, where he spends hours wit
Unlike his more dreamlike, fantastical novels, this one by Murakami is a rather domestic (but not mundane) tale about a Japanese man who's married to a woman he's never truly connected with, reminiscing about his first love: a girl with a limp whom he shared a love of music with and whom he lost touch with decades ago and still hopes to find one day again. No, it's not a melodrama, but a book on persistent memories, revised fantasies, and questions that sometimes must remain unanswered.

An under-
A few pages in I remembered I had read this book years ago, but I quickly let myself become swept up in this beautiful hallucinogenic world once again. Though it doesn't have the blatant mysticism of some other Murakami books, the magic here lies in the subtle suggestions. I'm convinced the adult Shimamoto was Hajime's fantasy, a coping mechanism to deal with his hollow daily life. The final 20-30 pages are so poignant and the final few pages, the dawn, the hand on his shoulder....Exquisite.

Hajimi, que em japonês significa “princípio”, é o narrador da sua própria história. Sempre se sentiu uma “criatura imperfeita”, um ser incompleto que necessita preencher o vazio da sua própria existência.
Conhece Shimamoto uma rapariga com quem tem uma relação muito especial e por quem se apaixona. Têm doze anos, gostam de ler, de conversar, de ouvir música…
"O toque da sua mão permaneceu sempre vivo na minha memória. Era uma sensação diferente de tudo o que eu até então experimentara, e mesmo de
I've read the first 40 pages waiting for my husband to join me at cafe and the rest of them as soon as I got the change. I just couldn't stop reading this novel. Like the other Murakami's novel I've read, the prose is for most part simple and unpretentious yet there are moments of such intensity and grace. The metaphors and the symbols are beautiful,unique and as fine as delicate piece of jewelry.

It surprised me how much I sympathized with the lead character and the narrator of this story. I lo
Emir Never
At the start of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s The Star-Crossed Lovers the piano plays tentatively, as if warming up, and effectively ushers the weeping of the sax. The affecting piece is a fitting dirge for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, its acknowledged inspiration, a tribute to a doomed, unlucky love.

Haruki Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun is, in my opinion, best read with this music playing in your ears. Better yet, you should read the book (187 pages) while its mention
I'm not sure what to say about this book. On one hand, I couldn't put it down and read it almost nonstop until it was done. I was completely caught up by the story of Hajime and Shimamoto and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. The down side, is that there's basically no resolution. I didn't like the ending- the book kind of just stops. We never learn Shimamoto's story at all. Add to that some of the other complaints about unlikeable characters, esp. Hajime who treats women with a ...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 about Haruki Murakami...
Norwegian Wood Kafka on the Shore The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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“I think you still love me, but we can’t escape the fact that I’m not enough for you. I knew this was going to happen. So I’m not blaming you for falling in love with another woman. I’m not angry, either. I should be, but I’m not. I just feel pain. A lot of pain. I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.” 7011 likes
“Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I'm gazing at a distant star.
It's dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago.
Maybe the star doesn't even exist any more. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.”
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