Haruki Murakami fans discussion

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Short Stories > Your favorite Murakami short story?

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message 1: by Mike (new)

Mike Philbin (MikePhilbin) one of my all-time favourite stories from Murakami is the amazing THE KANGAROO COMMUNIQUE. I read it with a jaw slightly dislocated. It was so evil and so off-centre and so wrong. A magnificent character study - which Murakami does so well - taken to such an extreme in this short story.


message 2: by E (new)

E | 19 comments "On Meeting My 100% Woman..." Absolutely.


message 3: by Enrique (new)

Enrique (eelozano) | 2 comments I like The Kangaroo Communique, but Family Values (I think that is the name from Elephant Vanishes) is my favorite.

On meeting my 100% woman... was also good.


message 4: by Eric (new)

Eric | 10 comments The story "barn burning" left some kind of lasting impression with me. I don't know if I would call it my favorite, but out of all the short stories I have read by Murakami, this one definitely got to me in some way. I couldn't tell you why.


message 5: by Aitai (new)

Aitai | 2 comments My favorite would be "Landscape with Flatiron" from After the Quake. I don't have any objective reasons for liking it, but subjectively, I could relate a lot to Junko. The Junko and Miyake relationship makes my heart tense up all over. I think it's the only Murakami work that I've had such a highly emotional response to.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I really found all of After the Quake to be completely marvelous. I any collection there are some stories that are better than others, but the leanness of ATQ combined with the shared focus of the works really makes it read like 5 parts of a whole - each story can stand on its own, but when read together they sort of coalesce into something magnificent and really powerful. So I'm going to cheat here and say that ATQ is my favorite Murakami short story, or perhaps that I like all 5 stories equally. Much in the same way that you'll never get a mother to tell you which child she loves more than the others, I will not be forced to choose here.


message 7: by Gavin (new)

Gavin heck (gavinheck) | 1 comments the elephant vanishes


message 8: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Reichard | 4 comments me too


message 9: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Chin | 3 comments Sleep in The elephant vanishes.

Awesome piece of work, with the theme of the monotony, and the trappings of routine, and how in the end no matter how far we try to run away from routine, we'll be trapped one way or another (or at least that's how I perceived it. =)

Shinigawa Monkey was my 2nd favourite.


message 10: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (andrewng) | 4 comments I love Chance Traveler ( http://beret.livejournal.com/8784.html ).


message 11: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clausen | 38 comments Is there one book where Murakami has many stories collected into one volume. I would like to check out one of his short story collections when I get the chance.


message 12: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Chin | 3 comments Daniel, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman and The Elephant Vanishes are collections of his short stories.

I think Birthday Stories as well, but I'm not too sure =)


message 13: by shannon (new)

shannon | 1 comments Possibly "The Dancing Dwarf."


message 14: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clausen | 38 comments Jonathan wrote: "Daniel, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman and The Elephant Vanishes are collections of his short stories.

I think Birthday Stories as well, but I'm not too sure =)"


Jonathan, Shannon, thanks I wrote that down on my list of books to read.


message 15: by Natasa (new)

Natasa | 25 comments I think Birthday Stories as well, but I'm not too sure =)"

Birthday stories is just edited by Murakami, includes only one written by him, which is published already in BWSW. Worth reading also, of course. Each story and author is presented by HM.


message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clausen | 38 comments Has anyone read any Endo Shusaku--I finished his book Silence sometime last year. The reason I read it was because supposedly he wrote the book in Nagasaki where I used to live. It was good, but, of course, nothing like Murakami's book.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

"Thailand" in "After the Quake" is my absolute favorite.

By the way, "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" from Knopf is such a great book. I was so surprised by the wonderful selection of Murakami's short stories. I had read all the stories in Japanese, but I couldn't help buying the book because there aren't any books like this in Japan.


message 18: by Jelena (new)

Jelena | 4 comments It seems too hard to pick one, but some gut feeling leads me to say "Landscape with flatiron". Both Junko and Miyake individually, and the way in which they connect,rises this special fire within me, quiet and tense at once.I've read the story many times over, and it feels all the more like I carry it inside as a part of me.It gives me an incredible feeling, of something, to quote Junko, "too raw, too heavy, too real to be called an idea".


message 19: by Nick (last edited Feb 20, 2010 05:37AM) (new)

Nick G | 44 comments "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl...".

This is a perfect example of how to express one of those abstract emotions that we often only scratch the surface of, expressed fully and concretely in an excellent story.

EDIT 2/20/10 - After finishing the book The Elephant Vanishes, I have to say my favorite was the title story itself. The Elephant Vanishes is a perfect example of Murakami's work; he brings out a subtle feeling that borders on the edge of our concious reality, through a story that is surreal but concrete. In the case of this particular story, that feeling was centralized around outgrowing something that always seemed strong and reliable, and more powerful than yourself. I recently moved back to my hometown, which is a small/medium town after having been living in a major city for many years, and upon returning I felt "bigger" than everything - the people and things I used to look up to in this town seemed to have shrunk in size and importance, and many of them were no longer there.


message 20: by Praj (last edited Mar 04, 2010 12:56PM) (new)

Praj the Murakami world is fascinating and intriguing.Just finsihed reading Underground and Blind Willow,SLeeping Woman.Absolutely stunning!!! The Chance Traveller and The Mirror are my favorite!!! have read it over and over again....


message 21: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 4 comments All :) I love them all though Kafka on the Shore, and After Dark are my favourites.


message 22: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy | 1 comments 100% Perfect Girl and All God's Children Can Dance are my absolute favorites.


message 23: by John (new)

John B | 1 comments My favorite is "The Year of Spaghetti" (I think it's called -- I read it in Japanese several years ago). I think it perfectly captures the way so many people retreat into loneliness.


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert (arturo_bandini) | 1 comments "Super Frog Saves Tokyo". One of my favorite short stories of all time. I couldn't tell you why, I don't care to analyze my feelings on the matter :-)

"The Year of Spaghetti" was great too.

@ lizzy - did you see the movie version of "All God's Children Can Dance"? It was quite good I thought


message 25: by Mihai (new)

Mihai Criveti (cmihai) | 3 comments Ignoring some of the short stories that are partially included in the novels (like Firefly from Norwegian Wood or The Wind-up Bird) I'd have to say "Sleep" from The Elephant Vanishes collection, "Landscape with Flatiron" from After the Quake and "Crabs" from Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman really moved me.

"The Year of Spaghetti" also struck a cord. Hmm.. come to think of it, I've been cooking nothing but spaghetti, pasta, penne and such for the past 3 weeks or so while listening to Rossini "for some reason". I should get out more :-).


message 26: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 4 comments 2078028 well done Mihai ;-)
nothing like a plate of "Spagetti al sugo" lifts the spirit up!


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

loved Birthday Girl


message 28: by Ranee (new)

Ranee | 65 comments i like birthday girl, it has a special place for good things to come, makes you want to have a special thing for your birthday


message 29: by Jell (new)

Jell | 3 comments I really like The Kangaroo Communique...so unique >.<


message 30: by Melancholy (new)

Melancholy (weird_melancholy) | 1 comments It really is too hard to pick one! All of them have something special and unique, yet they are all very similar in style and atmosphere..
I absolutely love "Kafka on the shore" and "Norwegian Wood" <3


message 31: by Kelly (last edited Sep 16, 2011 06:09AM) (new)

Kelly (KellyFurniss) | 6 comments Hi Folks
I'm not sure this is the right place to ask but I asked this on an Amazon thread a while back & no-one knew the answer & I was wondering if anyone could help me as it's getting to me now!.
In The Wind Up Bird Chronicle edition I read (Vintage)there is Murakami Biography at the back & it states in it that "Kafka On The Shaw" was so popular in Japan that it spawned a spin off book containing Murakami's replies to some of his thousands of e-mails which where sent to him by fans of the novel".
Does anyone know to which book they are referring? I would love to read it. I have searched but got no leads so far???
Thanks Furny x


message 32: by Darren (new)

Darren C | 4 comments Furny wrote: "Hi Folks
I'm not sure this is the right place to ask but I asked this on an Amazon thread a while back & no-one knew the answer & I was wondering if anyone could help me as it's getting to me now!..."


Furny, from what I've read his replies were never published in a book. I think they were published on a website or something. Actually, I've also tried to find them, and I think the reason I can't is because the replies were never translated into english. Hope this helps...

And to answer the thread question, my fave Murakami short is possibly "Aeroplane: Or How He Talked To Himself As If Reciting Poetry" from "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman". I love the god dang eff out of that story


message 33: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (KellyFurniss) | 6 comments Thanks so much Darren for your reply that of course would make sense (although I wish my info in my book had been a bit more specific so as not to get me all excited for nothing!Lol!)
It is a shame though I was hoping to be able to find & read it!.


message 34: by Valisa (new)

Valisa Iskandar (mangolisa) | 2 comments ON Seeing 100% Perfect Girl. http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/murakami-p...


message 35: by Vernon (new)

Vernon (nonononon) | 2 comments 'A Kidney-shaped Stone That Moves Everyday', 'The Bakery Attack (the first one)' and 'Man-eating Cats'.


message 36: by Mitra (new)

Mitra | 4 comments Mitra wrote: "All :) I love them all though Kafka on the Shore, and After Dark are my favourites."

plus 1Q84! At the beginning I didn't like the female character but then, throughout the three books, I found his last work as good as, if not better than, his other best works!


message 37: by Ramsubramani (new)

Ramsubramani | 1 comments Kangaroo Communique

Say hey, how’s tricks?


message 38: by Erdem (new)

Erdem Seçilmiş (secerd) The Year of Spaghetti


message 39: by Callum (new)

Callum Plews (sleeves4kids) | 1 comments ahaha 'the year of spaghetti' is a good one! albeit incredibly short, but isn't that the point? im quite fond of 'a poor aunt story' and 'tony takitani' myself : )


message 40: by Sheva (new)

Sheva (kepikbadut) | 5 comments I like "A Window". The character's background is so unique.


message 41: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 4 comments My favourite short story is 'Tony Takitani.' (^_^)


message 42: by Rin (new)

Rin | 8 comments Tony Takitani
Hanalei Bay

and some more short stories :) His short stories are incredibly intriguing as much as his novels :)


message 43: by Willy (new)

Willy | 6 comments "On Meeting My 100 Percent Woman One Fine April Morning"!!! :)

and the book "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" is one of the best short stories collection! it's been ages since i read all the murakami short stories, next on my re-read, then im sure i can name some more favourites on here! :D


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Willy wrote: ""On Meeting My 100 Percent Woman One Fine April Morning"!!! :)

and the book "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" is one of the best short stories collection! it's been ages since i read all the murakami..."


I 100% agree with everything :) That story is also my favorite, but I like "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" short stories collection best!


message 45: by Micha (new)

Micha (Selective_Narcoleptic) | 5 comments The Second Bakery Attack from The Elephant Vanishes is by far and away my favourite short story by anyone to date.

I just began Blind Willow Sleeping Woman on Tuesday though, so perhaps that will change... ^_^


message 46: by Monica (new)

Monica (lmq0209) | 1 comments I loved "The Year of Spaghetti", it described the loneliness so well. Also "the Silence", it captured the essence of hatred against someone, a good read when you find someone annoying. Another good one I don't think it's ever been published is "The Train Whistle", its about the intense feeling of being in love.


message 47: by Binit (new)

Binit (monty1984) | 6 comments "Barn Burning" had a kind of long slow effect on me. I don't remember it being very memorable the first time I read it but I kept coming back to it and had to re-read it a couple of times.


message 48: by trigger (new)

trigger hippie (triggerhippie) | 1 comments Monica wrote: "... Another good one I don't think it's ever been published is "The Train Whistle", its about the intense feeling of being in love. "

Yes, I like that one too. It's in New Penguin Parallel Text Short Stories in Japanese.

My hands-down favorite Murakami short story is "The Kangaroo Communique." A kind of obsession I can relate to there.


message 49: by Brian (new)

Brian Hamill | 1 comments 'A Window' from The Elephant Vanishes is my favourite. A really beautiful little story. I also love The Year Of Spaghetti, but the last line of the piece ruins it for me a little, so 'A Window' is my nomination.


message 50: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Aleman (Carlos_Aleman) | 8 comments Brian wrote: "'A Window' from The Elephant Vanishes is my favourite. A really beautiful little story. I also love The Year Of Spaghetti, but the last line of the piece ruins it for me a little, so 'A Window' is ..."

I don't remember which one was 'A Window,' maybe I should read The Elephant Vanishes again...


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Elephant Vanishes (other topics)
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (other topics)
New Penguin Parallel Text: Short Stories in Japanese (other topics)