The real magic of this work is the writing. War aside, the author simply captures a child's perception of a tragic occurrence with poetic beauty. I've...moreThe real magic of this work is the writing. War aside, the author simply captures a child's perception of a tragic occurrence with poetic beauty. I've never experienced a voice that was this unique, perhaps even experimental, that didn't eventually become tiring on the reader. Here though, the beauty of the writing continually expands with the story. Reminds me of how a child's mind can often be more sensible than an adult's.(less)
I found The Sparrow did a great job of combining elements of both science fiction and theology, without being too heavy on the philosophical end of ei...moreI found The Sparrow did a great job of combining elements of both science fiction and theology, without being too heavy on the philosophical end of either, which makes for an enjoyable story that is well worth the read.
I agree with some of the other reviews in that the first 100 pages felt like a forced and dragged out character development process, and the story didn't really engage me and take off until about halfway through. The book also has two intertwined storylines focused around the central character at two points in time; one of these hinted and foreshadowed the ending before the other got there, and I can't help but think the it would have been quite a bit more intense if the whole thing had just been told linearly.(less)
I've been on a roll with Murakami for quite a while now. I guess this recent streak could be called a sort of study of one of my favorite authors. Kno...moreI've been on a roll with Murakami for quite a while now. I guess this recent streak could be called a sort of study of one of my favorite authors. Knowing enough about him now, I wanted to see how it all started, even if it did mean paying too much for this short, tiny book (literally the smallest book I've ever read - it fits in my shirt pocket).
Many of the better known Murakami elements are there: the abstractly beautiful feelings that arise from meeting a new girl, beer, bittersweet waves of nostalgia, cats, wells, baseball, and unique philosophical insight injected into the mundane.
Here's a sloppily paraphrased quote that this book brings to mind: "The most profound work is performed within a predefined space, as opposed to letting one's mind spill flat over an infinite canvas." ...thats the idea anyway. But this seems to apply to Murakami in the sense that his novels do, for the most part, tend to contain a lot of the same elements, style, and themes, yet have improved greatly as his career developed. Maybe it's because he didn't expend his energy all over the place when choosing where to go with a new novel. Maybe he has kept his defined space, and worked within that to, in a sense, improve what he has already done.
Either way, it's short yet contains a handful of eyebrow raising word-nuggets (maybe you are more comfortable with the term "excerpts", but I'm rolling with the former on this one), just don't make this or any of his first 3-4 novels your first Murakami experience, or you will likely be disappointed. Save this one for somewhere down the road...(less)