Asma Fedosia's Reviews > after the quake: Stories

after the quake by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Feb 03, 12

Recommended to Asma Fedosia by: Pellerin
Read in February, 2012

Tales combine fables, dreams, realism. Those seem the way to understand in part overwhelming, irrational events such as the January 1995 Kobe earthquake that destroyed the city. Each unique story of After the Quake restores broken human connections. Even characters distant from its epicenter felt traumatized and their lives psychologically disoriented by its televised images and by its reminder of relations and friends at the site. 'UFO in Kushiro' connects a recently divorced man (because of the televised impact) and a single woman in Hokkaido. 'Landscape with Flatiron' involves two runaways, an older man who burns beach driftwood into a bonfire and a younger woman who has left home and has now felt something for the first time from the gently burning bonfire. In 'All God's Children Can Dance' a fatherless boy seeks his birth father (an obstetrician without a right earlobe) but finds his spiritual father in a desolate baseball field as well as his own ability to dance spontaneously with the rhythm of the universe. 'Thailand' is the setting in which a thyroid specialist/pathologist on holiday after a conference relearns trust, risk, and forgiveness. In 'Super-Frog Saves Tokyo', an hallucinatory loan collection agent helps the force of light (Super-Frog) to battle with the force of darkness (giant wiggling Worm) at the epicenter in Tokyo to avert an earthquake there. After much trial and error in 'Honey Pie', friendships get reestablished--enterprising bears who find a way for equal give and take that starts a new business enterprise; and male/female friends of many years whose true feelings for each other went unexpressed until a child relates the message of The Earthquake Man.
Read as an introduction to Murakami before reading 1Q84.
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Quotes Asma Fedosia Liked

Haruki Murakami
“Have your dream...What you need now more than anything is discipline. Cast off mere words. Words turn into stone. (from Thailand)”
Haruki Murakami, after the quake

Haruki Murakami
“Our hearts are not stones. A stone may disintegrate in time and lose its outward form. But hearts never disintegrate. They have no outward form, and whether good or evil, we can always communicate them to one another.”
Haruki Murakami, after the quake

Reading Progress

01/31/2012 page 29
20.0% ""UFO in Kushiro". Contemporary newspaper print articles about funding UFO research. To think a character might possibly be kidnapped by an alien out of her/his daily life might seem less surreal. How many surreal experiences can you think of?"
01/31/2012 page 55
29.0% ""Landscape with Flatiron", a painting by the character Mr Miyake, who builds driftwood bonfires on the beach of Ibaraki with Junko and Keisuke her boyfriend. The 1995 earthquake in Kansai (Kobe) presumably affected Miyake so that he & Junko are similarly runaways--from Kansai and from high school respectively. Much of the story is Miyake and Junko's conversation interspersed with his wise adages"
02/01/2012 page 83
43.0% ""All God's Children Can Dance"--Yoshiya has grown up without a father. One day, his mother tells him how he was born and who is his father, not the obstetrician with the missing right earlobe who knew infallibly how to use a condom but the lord god by an act of will. One day Yoshiya follows a man without a right earlobe far out of town to a dark, desolate baseball field where he loses sight of the man..."
02/02/2012 page 111
58.0% ""Thailand"--After attending a worldwide conference, a thyroid specialist stays near Bangkok to relax at a mountain resort. Music: early jazz."
02/02/2012 page 141
73.0% ""Super-Frog Saves Tokyo: A six-foot frog visits Katagari, a loan collection agent, to enlist support to prevent a Tokyo earthquake by battling an underground Worm. The evening arrives, but K gets gunned down and is taken to a hospital. Does Frog defeat Worm to save Tokyo? How? Is K hallucinating. Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and Hemingway's "White Nights" mentioned."
100.0% "Honey Pie: Parallels between the bears Tonkichi and Masakichi and the humans Junpei and Sayoko. Junpei tells the story of friendship between the bears, Tonkichi finding a way to equalize giving and taking in the friendship. Sayoko's child (Sala) has a nightmare about The Earthquake Man, who later sends her a message that is the catalyst for Junpei to marry Sayoko. Music: Schubert's "Trout". Like Tonkichi,"

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Asma Fedosia Going to the next novel--Sputnik Sweetheart.

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