Murakami is a master and he is at the top of his form here, even if the length suggests an editor's services might have been prudent. But he is a liteMurakami is a master and he is at the top of his form here, even if the length suggests an editor's services might have been prudent. But he is a literary darling of the moment and has carte blanche to do what he wants, since his books will sell, no matter the length. Has he advanced the form of the Novel with this project? I think not, it is merely a very long novel, like many before it. But masterfully executed and enjoyable to read for the most part....more
Just knocked off this book about running & writing by one of my favorite novelists, Haruki Murakami. As a runner and writer myself, I could relateJust knocked off this book about running & writing by one of my favorite novelists, Haruki Murakami. As a runner and writer myself, I could relate to a great many of Haruki's observations and experiences. And yet ... there was a way in which I was somewhat disenchanted by Haruki's 'in his own voice' prose, having known only the considerably more enchanting (and impressive) prose of his novels. I guess this isn't fair, as this is, after all, a non-fiction meditation, a memoir of sorts, and so it cannot be held to the same standards as a novel. I guess I'm just saying that the experience was sort of like seeing someone of impeccable sartorial style, whose style you have greatly admired, remove his clothes and you are hit by the disillusioning truth that, oh, underneath he's just like the rest of us! That said, it was still an enjoyable read--for those who run and/or write....more
I enjoyed this novel. It takes a very unusual situation, but one quite plausible since it mirrors events in headline news of late, and executes the stI enjoyed this novel. It takes a very unusual situation, but one quite plausible since it mirrors events in headline news of late, and executes the story in an admirably credible fashion. You are always going out on a limb when attempting to tell a story in a child's voice, and there will always be criticism, some valid and some not, but I thought this author handled it as well as could be expected. What is important is that the story held my interest, suspense was built up and employed effectively, and characterization was handled well. The writing is good, not great. It's a pretty quick read and explores meaningful issues in the context of a nightmarish situation. You could do worse than while away a few hours reading this novel....more
One of the better books on writing, tells it like it is, in King's endearing and always compelling I-could-give-two-shits-if-you-think-what-I-write-isOne of the better books on writing, tells it like it is, in King's endearing and always compelling I-could-give-two-shits-if-you-think-what-I-write-isn't-literature voice....more
Pathetic how long it took me to read this, but everyday life tends to set up roadblocks pretty regularly. The ending was very satisfying, as was so muPathetic how long it took me to read this, but everyday life tends to set up roadblocks pretty regularly. The ending was very satisfying, as was so much of the book. Mitchell's powers as a novelist are way beyond those of most other authors being published today. In short, he is a present-day literary god. This is a rich, dense, and exotic tale that can be challenging at times, to keep track of all the characters and their names at the least, but brings great rewards to those who persevere. It is a tale of the sea, a tale of colonialism, imperialism and racism, a tale of love and betrayal and infamy, a suspense-filled rescue tale, a spellbindingly imagined historical account of a place called Dejima, and much, much more. I couldn't recommend it more highly, especially to those seeking to observe and learn from the craft of a master. ...more
The Trees in Winter is my first novel and now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites. I hope you will give it a chance if the following deThe Trees in Winter is my first novel and now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble web sites. I hope you will give it a chance if the following description piques your interest.
Discover THE TREES IN WINTER ... a novel about life and love, sex and death, passion and sacrifice, art and music, and the mysterious nature of the creative impulse that beats on and on, like the human heart, day after day.
The Trees in Winter tells the story of Blake Thomas, aspiring jazz musician, who wants only to compose and play music--until he falls in love with Penny D'Arcy. As Blake settles down with Penny and the years unfurl, he comes to appreciate how choices made as a young man determine the kind of life he can have--and the kind he cannot. In sharp contrast to Blake's life is the life of his college friend, Benson Munro, a successful unmarried author whose interest in Blake's life--and wife--may exceed anything Blake could have imagined.
The life of jazz trumpeter Blake Thomas is a life worth examining, one which—along with those of Penny the artist and Benson the writer—stirs a deeper appreciation of love and loss and the joy of creation, a greater understanding of strength in adversity, perseverance against all odds, hope in tomorrow, and in short, of what it is to be human.
Exploring, with restraint and sensitivity, such weighty subjects as the scarring effects of child molestation, the monstrous nature of Alzheimer’s, and the ever encroaching specter of mortality, the novel remains nonetheless firmly anchored to the destiny of its protagonist. A work of remarkable scope and depth, The Trees in Winter is at once family saga, bildungsroman, and meditation on the restless nature of the creative impulse.
Blake's story is the story of anyone who has watched their hopes and dreams be replaced with the cold hard stuff of practical necessity. Set primarily in the 21st century American heartland, The Trees in Winter is a Babbitt for a new generation, and contains themes reminiscent also of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen....more