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Men Without Women

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A dazzling new collection of short stories—the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.

242 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 18, 2014

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About the author

Haruki Murakami

608 books113k followers
Murakami Haruki (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: https://www.facebook.com/harukimuraka...

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse 'Peter Cat' which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini's opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells' song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles' song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,002 reviews
Profile Image for Helle.
376 reviews375 followers
October 31, 2016
I saw Murakami yesterday. I don't mean that in a metaphorical way: I literally saw him in my home town of Odense, Denmark. He received the Hans Christian Andersen Literary Award and made a few small appearances while he was here, one of which was at our local library. There were only 180 of us there, and I don't think anyone left the room afterwards thinking that the event had been so-so. I, at least, felt dazed and enriched and happy afterwards. We heard him read aloud from a short story (in Japanese) which his Danish translator afterwards read in Danish; we heard him answer some questions prepared by said translator and a literature expert. And we heard him answer some questions from the audience. He was delightful. He was humble. He was kind. He was funny. And I got to ask him the last question.

(I may come back and actually review this collection. Then again, I may not. I may disappear down a well or go chase a cat or go to sleep and wake up as someone who doesn't read books).
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
April 16, 2020
Men Without Women is a collection of stories about despairing men and loneliness; it depicts men who try to cope with the sorrows of life after their loved one has departed from them. Unable to move on, the men spend the rest of their days lamenting what they will never again feel.

So this is a sad collection, one that captures the harsh realities of human experience, at least, the experience some people will ultimately feel in the face of rejection. The feelings the men have here are not needy or creepy towards the women in question. This certainly isn’t a collection about desperate men. What we have instead is successful men, often those who are married or charming with the ladies, who lose their loved one or perhaps find her for the first time. They then have to get on with their loves in the wake of such a thing.

Not an easy task for sure. Some have different coping strategies varying in different levels of extremity. One man simply dies, unable to eat anymore or muster the will to live, he slowly perishes and wastes away to nothing as he realises his love never felt the same way about him. What’s surprising, and perhaps a truism, is how easy it is for such an experience to break a man. Again, these men are not emotionally fragile or unhinged; they are relatively normal people who simply get overwhelmed by emotions that they cannot control or predict. Love is never easy and unreciprocated love is agony.

But don’t some people have the strength to carry on?

However, despite the harsh experience the men have here, I wanted to see a little bit more positivity. Some people, men or women, will find themselves in very similar situations in life, but they do not simply lay down and die. They get on with it; they keep going. Life does not fit into a neat little box. We don’t always get what we want, and simply giving up is not the answer. We have one life, and despite how painful our own experience can be, there is always a reason to carry on. If you’re not living for yourself, then live for other people.

As ever Murakami’s prose is precise with the ability to handle such complex emotions. And he has tapped into something here, something true to life, but not everybody will react in such a way. We must move forward no matter how hard it may seem. At times I found myself wanting to give the men a good hard slap; they surely needed it: they needed a motivation injection or something. As important as it is to find a partner in life, it is not the thing that defines life or success.

This book is certainly worth a read, though it falls short of its potential. Not all men without women react the same way.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews27 followers
September 20, 2021
Men Without Women: Stories ("Drive My Car", "Yesterday", "An Independent Organ", "Scheherazade", "Kino", "Samsa in Love", "Men Without Women"), Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami (born January 12, 1949) is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country.

"Drive My Car" Kafuku, a veteran and widowed actor, hires twenty-four year old driver Misaki Watari to chauffeur him around Tokyo due to his license being revoked due to a D.U.I. and glaucoma. During their trips, Kafuku occasionally tells her about his life as an actor and his late wife's extramarital affairs.
One tale includes how he befriended her final lover, Takatsuki, with the intention of harming him. However, over the course of their six month friendship which was spent mostly binge drinking at local bars, he was never able to find any damning information and instead sympathizes with Takatsuki's observations.
He also never learns of his wife's motives, calling it a "blind spot" in his knowledge of her. After hearing his story, Misaki notes that perhaps his wife having affairs had had nothing to do with love and that was a good enough reason to do so. After contemplating this proposition, he falls asleep as she continues driving.

"Yesterday" Tanimura remembers a time in his early twenties when he worked in a restaurant with his friend Kitaru. Kitaru has a few idiosyncrasies that cause his girlfriend Erika to feel uneasy about their relationship; he speaks in a Kansai dialect despite living all his life in Tokyo, does not want to study hard despite having university aspirations, and seems to be asexual around her.
One day, Kitaru proposes that Tanimura go on a "date" with Erika to which Tanimura reluctantly agrees. On their date, both talk about their personal lives.
Tanimura's girlfriend could not commit to him while Erika admits that she is seeing another man because of Kitaru's apathy. Despite her "unfaithfulness," she admits that Kitaru holds a special place in her heart, and has vivid dreams of them as a couple.
Tanimura retells his experience with her to Kitaru during their next shift, omitting certain details. A week later, Kitaru quits and Tanimura loses contact with both Kitaru and Erika.

"An Independent Organ" Tanimura tells of a time in his life when he regularly played squash with Dr. Tokai, a fifty-two year old cosmetic surgeon and bachelor who has never lived long-term or fallen in love with a woman. Instead, he dates married or committed women as he does not want to enter into a serious relationship with anyone.
However, for the past eighteen months, he has developed feelings for a thirty-six year old married mother and asks Tanimura for advice.
During their conversation, Tokai mentions how he is struggling with the question, "Who in the world am I?" and retells a story of a Jewish doctor who lost everything but his life at Auschwitz and how that could have been him. Tokai also notes that for the first time in his life, he feels rage.

"Scheherazade" Unable to go outside of his apartment, Habara relies on a female nurse he dubs "Scheherazade" for his provisions. Despite being married with children, she visits him regularly to have sex with him; after each session, she tells him a story. She also notes that she was a lamprey in her previous life and can sometimes access those memories of being in the sea.
Over the course of several encounters, Scheherazade tells of how she was madly in love with a boy from high school, so much so that she discreetly broke into his house several times with a hidden doormat key during school hours. While inside, she surveys his stuff, lies on his bed, and "exchanges" her stuff for his, too afraid to be a burglar.
On her first two visits, she trades a tampon for a pencil and then three strands of her own hair for a small soccer badge. On her third visit, she finally steals one of his worn shirts. Upon remembering how infatuated she was with him at the time, she asks Habara to have sex with her again; he finds this session more passionate than any other.
Upon returning for her fourth break-in, Scheherazade notices that the locks have changed and reluctantly goes back to her regular schooling.
Eventually, she begins to forget the boy, but during nursing school, she saw the boy again through the boy's mother. Noticing that evening is upon them, she tells Habara that she will tell him the circumstances during her next visit. Eager but careful, he acquiesces, but that night in bed, he worries that he will nev

"Kino" Kino, with the help of his retiring aunt, decides to open up a bar after he finds his wife cheating on him. At first no one shows up but a cat, which he lets stay indefinitely. A week later, a mysterious man, Kamita, begins to frequent the bar because he finds the establishment a soothing place to read.
Some time after, two customers cause a ruckus and Kino asks them to leave. They react threateningly, but Kamita insists and they redirect their enmity towards him. The three customers go outside, and shortly afterwards, Kamita returns and says that those men will not disturb Kino again.
A week later, Kino notes a particular woman who frequents the bar, but on this occasion, her male companion is absent; she interests him because of their mutual fondness of jazz. After everyone else has left, she reveals her body to him; she has many scars, the result of cigarette burns. They subsequently have sex all night in Kino's upstairs bedroom.

"Samsa in Love" Gregor Samsa wakes up in a bedroom of a two-story house, sure of who he is but unsure of his surroundings. He is hungry, so he slowly goes downstairs to the kitchen, getting accustomed to moving his body. Food is already prepared on the table, so he eats everything. He then notices that he is naked, so he searches the house until he finds a gown.
When the doorbell rings, he opens it to find a young, hunchbacked female locksmith who says that she is here to fix a lock in the house. Hesitant, he tells her that one of the room's lock upstairs needs fixing.
As they interact, Samsa notices that he is unable to understand some of the common words she uses. When she tells him that she needs to take the lock to her family of locksmiths for further work, he asks her why she rotates her arm so often.
She says that her brassiere is uncomfortable on her; while telling him this she notices that he has a visible erection. Offended, she scorns him before he says that he has no idea what he is doing.
Before she leaves, he asks her if she could return so that they could talk, as he is still confused about most of the world. She says perhaps they can do so when she returns the lock, before she walks back to her family through military-occupied Prague.

"Men Without Women" An unnamed narrator receives a phone call in the middle of the night telling him that his former lover, who he dubs M, has committed suicide, the caller being M's husband. He is unbearably anguished upon learning of this news.
The narrator tells of how he imagines himself meeting M when they were fourteen and in junior high school. He asks her for an eraser in class and she breaks hers in half and gives the piece to him; this meeting warms his heart. She then breaks his heart by running off with sailors who promise to show her the world. He chases her, but is never able to catch up.
In reality, he knew her for only about two years in his adult life and they only saw each other a few times a month. She loves elevator music, and always plays "A Summer Place" when they have sex. He notes that because of her death, he now considers himself the second-loneliest man in the world, after her husband. He is also in a state called "Men Without Women," a period of sudden and intense misery after a man learns of the death of a beloved woman.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و نهم ماه مارس سال 2015میلادی

عنوان: شهرزاد؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی، مترجم: فرزین فرزام؛ مشخصات نشر: مجله نیویورک فا، اسفند 1393؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ژاپن - سده 21م

عنوان: شهرزاد؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی، مترجم: مریم حسین نژاد؛مشهد، بوتیمار، 1395؛ در 45ص؛ شابک9786004042321؛

عنوان: شهرزاد؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی ؛ مترجم مهناز ولی؛ کرج، آثار برتر، 1397، در 133ص؛ شابک9786006945767؛

از متن ترجمه جناب «حسام امامی»: (هرچه بود، «شهرزاد» استعدادی در قصه‌ گویی داشت، که قلب آدم را متأثر می‌کرد؛ داستان هرچه بود، «شهرزاد» آن را ویژه می‌کرد؛ صدا، زمان‌بندی و ضرباهنگ‌ اش همه بی‌ نقص بودند؛ ذهن شنونده را درگیر می‌کرد، به‌ کارش می‌گرفت، به تفکرش وامی‌داشت، و بعد دست آخر دقیقاً همان چیزی را بهش می‌داد که «هابارا» دنبالش بود، «هابارای» مفتون می‌توانست حتی اگر شده برای یک لحظه واقعیتی را که دوره‌ اش کرده بود فراموش کند؛ مثل تخته‌ سیاهی که با پارچه‌ ی نم‌دار پاک شده باشد، از دغدغه‌ ها، از خاطراتِ ناخوشایند خالی می‌شد؛ مگر بیش از این چه می‌خواست؟ در این مرحله از زندگی‌ اش، این شکل از فراموشی چیزی بود که «هابارا» بیش از هر چیزی می‌خواست.)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 28/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews601 followers
July 28, 2017
I LOVED THESE STORIES!!!! They penetrated through my ears and my thoughts. I was hanging on to every word walking around town completely captivated.

The only thing I didn't like -- only for a couple of minutes-is when switching to a new story... I wasn't ready to transition. Yet, they were 'all' fascinating & amazing!!!

Quick question? Do you think women drive different than men? And...
MEN: do you feel less at ease in the passenger seat with a woman driving - than when a man is? Paul said yes...'usually'!

To my 'audiobook' friends.....( even if you mostly only listen to non- fiction audiobooks)...this was an EXCELLENT WALKING COMPANION...( Esil)... lol
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,080 reviews619 followers
September 17, 2023
When you delve into a Murakami book you’re never quite sure what you’ll find – will it be surreal and mind bending, like The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, or darkly realistic like Norwegian Wood? Well this collection of short stories certainly has more in common with the latter, though not entirely so.

The title gives away the linking theme, but that’s too simplistic. There’s longing and loneliness here but also a desire to understand, to discover. The tones are often deeply melancholic and are told – in typical Murakami style – in a matter of fact, somewhat unemotional way, but are totally beguiling nonetheless. As you would expect they are beautifully written, containing lines that stopped me in my tracks to ponder the pure truth of the statements.

An actor has lost his wife after 20 years. She died after a short illness and as he is driven to and from the theatre in which he is performing he is quizzed by his female driver. It appears that he knew his wife had had affairs and at one stage took the strange step of befriending a fellow actor purely because he suspected he had had trysts with his late wife. Was his motivation just curiosity, as he sought to understand his wife’s motivation to seek out other male company? Or was he looking to exact revenge in some manner? A young man talks to his friend about his own girlfriend. They met when they were quite a bit younger and have been together for some time, but they don’t have a sexual relationship. He attempts to persuade his friend to take his girlfriend out on a date. What is the spur for this and where does he expect this to take his own relationship with his girlfriend?

In both of these stories I was struck by the apparent strangeness of the actions taken by the lead protagonist, yet as the narrative developed these actions seemed to make more sense. Murakami regularly introduces me to people who not only live in a very different culture but who also seem slightly off-kilter. It’s unsettling… but stimulating. Sometimes I can reconcile myself to who they are and why they do what they do, but not always.

A cosmetic surgeon seems to have everything a single man could want: money, a good career and an abundance of willing female company. He’s careful not to put himself in a position where he will become too emotionally involved with these women, in fact his favoured route is to liaise with women who are already in a steady relationship. He enjoys their company relishes the conversations and, of course, the sex. But then it happens - he falls in love. This certainly wasn’t in the plan and it throws his whole life into turmoil. In the title piece a man receives a ‘phone call advising him that an ex-girlfriend has committed suicide. He’s not sure why he received the call as he’d had no contact with her for a long time. However, he reflects that this is the third ex-girlfriend of his that has committed suicide. And then there’s the account of a young man in confinement, who is visited by a housekeeper who also provides sexual favours and talks to him about reincarnation (she was an eel in a previous life) and a boy she secretly stalked.

These stories spoke to me of introspection and addiction and of a yearning for relationships lost. I don’t think I’ve worked out the true underlying message in any of these tales (if, indeed, there is one) but the story of the surgeon, in particular, has a haunting and compelling unexpectedness to it.

Kino, about a man who opens a small bar after he splits with his wife is the only story I’d read before A short enigmatic story from the master of the surreal. It’s a freebie (just follow the link accompanying this book on the Goodreads site) and if you’re a fan of Murakami’s work you should take a look; it’ll see you through a morning cappuccino.

Kino owns a small bar in a back street of Tokyo. He doesn’t get many customers but one man does visit a couple of times each week and always sits in the same place, the most uncomfortable spot in the bar. They rarely talk. There’s a cat and jazz music and whiskey, of course – all staple ingredients in any Murakami tale.

As is his way, the story exists between the lines. Murakami tends to create a mood as much as he writes a story and there’s plenty of mood here. It’s simple and sad and I had to think about it a bit to extract its message, I believe it's one of the strongest offerings in this book.

The final story is the most surreal, it’s a reversal of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis in which Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself transformed from insect to human. As he stumbles about his apartment trying to get used to this new, strange body he is visited by a hunchbacked woman to whom he becomes attracted.

It’s my first foray into the world of the author’s short story collections and it’s one I found hugely rewarding. As always with compendiums of this sort, some pieces attracted me more than others but I enjoyed the fact that each felt very separate and different to the last. Murakami has a hugely fertile mind and an uncanny ability to put words on a page in a way that excites, confuses and disturbs. I’m off to find more like this.
Profile Image for Nishat.
27 reviews415 followers
August 19, 2018
Seven stories. All about pitifully isolated men, struggling with the loss of women in their lives, coming to terms, although at a snail's pace, with death and heartbreak - some even failing miserably at that. It seems to me, Murakami has been writing about them forever.

Merging all the characters that Murakami, over the years, breathed life into, we invariably discover a man, always the same man, the ultimate loner. Murakami has given him new names and effaced older ones. But there's no question that it is the same, alienated man, we, from time to time, find ourselves reading about. Until now, I didn't mind, nor did I ever find myself bored on account of my hitherto incorruptible loyalty to the author. I have been always, what you call, a fan.

This time, I loathed his repetitiveness, and the weakness and frailty of his characters. Disgusted by their apathy towards others and their nonchalant way of going about life, I became increasingly indifferent as to how their stories progressed. Besides, from the outset, I was uncomfortable with the misogynistic undertones.

There's a certain, unmistakable charm to loneliness, to detachment. It is entirely possible to feel compassion for characters who have severed ties with their surroundings, characters completely robbed of love. But in this case, Murakami's men lack sincerity, their stories significance. Except 'Kino', the book's probably one saving grace.

Only a reader, relatively new to Murakami's world, should consider reading this book. As for me, I will be taking a short break from his otherwise colorful world, which kept me entranced, admittedly, for a long time now.
Profile Image for Candi.
622 reviews4,715 followers
June 22, 2020
“Loneliness is brought over from France, the pain of the wound from the Middle East. For Men Without Women, the world is a vast, poignant mix, very much the far side of the moon.”

I couldn’t get enough of Haruki Murakami after my passionate fling with him and his Sputnik Sweetheart last month. I hadn’t intended for it to be just a fleeting, casual flirtation. I knew I’d be going back for more after he accepted my apology for abandoning him several years ago. And I did just that, less than two weeks later. I quickly downloaded this collection of seven short stories and surrendered myself to his prose once again.

The theme of all seven stories is self-evident from the title. In each, Murakami writes of men suffering from loneliness and isolation, primarily from women but also from much of society in general. They have suffered a breaking of relationships with women either due to death, abandonment or disintegration of marriages or love affairs. The yearning of these men to make connections and the despair they endure is palpable. With few and simple words, Murakami conveys to the reader exactly what they are going through, and the reader experiences the same heartache. At least this reader did.

“Life is strange, isn’t it? You can be totally entranced by the glow of something one minute, be willing to sacrifice everything to make it yours, but then a little time passes, or your perspective changes a bit, and all of a sudden you’re shocked at how faded it appears.”

One thing I realized, despite the title, is that this collection doesn’t just highlight the men but also points to the women that in many cases are experiencing pain as well. Some of them are in adulterous relationships, others have passed on from this world due to disease, and yet others are solitary souls themselves, set apart from love and companionship for various reasons. It is not the fact that they are simply without men, but rather their isolation has made their various cuts and bruises stand out more clearly.

“I was their only child. If I’d been prettier, Father never would have left. That’s what Mother always said. It’s because I was born ugly that he abandoned us.”

Of course, I didn’t love all seven stories equally. But for the most part, I was hooked. I took something away from each of them, but there were a couple of clear favorites with “Kino” and “Scheherazade” at the top of my list. Surprisingly, I loved “Kino” for its magical realism vibes. Murakami masterfully utilizes this stylistic device in such a way that I, a rather unimaginative reader, can wholeheartedly swallow with no hesitations. “Scheherazade” enticed me with its allure of ‘bedtime stories.’ Who can resist the idea of someone storytelling after sex?! Yes, please!

“The other thing that puzzled him was the fact that their lovemaking and her storytelling were so closely linked, making it hard, if not impossible, to tell where one ended and the other began.”

I would not hesitate to recommend this collection for anyone interested in sampling Murakami’s writing. I perhaps should have read this before Sputnik Sweetheart, because it paled just a tad in comparison to that enchanting novel. But that’s okay, it’s a tasty little morsel and I’m happy to have read it. I’m certainly seeing a clear theme to his splendid writing and can’t wait for more.

"But the proposition that we can look into another person’s heart with perfect clarity strikes me as a fool’s game. I don’t care how well we think we should understand them, or how much we love them. All it can do is cause us pain… Examining your own heart, however, is another matter. I think it’s possible to see what’s in there if you work hard enough at it. So in the end maybe that’s the challenge: to look inside your own heart as perceptively and seriously as you can, and to make peace with what you find there. If we hope to truly see another person, we have to start by looking within ourselves."
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,627 followers
June 27, 2022
كانت تقدم له ما ينشده..تنسيه الواقع مثل☆
سبورة سوداء ممسوحة بقماشة مبللة..لقد ازيلت عنه المخاوف و الذكريات..من يمكنه ان يطلب اكثر☆؟ اليس هذا ما ننشده جميعا من قراءاتنا للقصص ؟
اليابانيون. .لغز حياتي
ظل أبي يسافر اليابان سنويا لعشرين عام
و بعض أقاربي سافروا ايضا
و انا تعاملت مع بعضهم منذ دهر حيث كنت المادة الرئيسيةلعدة استبيانات و أجبتهم عن مئات الأسئلة العجيبة
الكل و انا معهم اجمعنا على انهم ليسوا بشر مثلنا على الإطلاق. .بل هم المادة الخام للأدب و والضمير و الاجتهاد و الدقة

حتى جاء موراكامي ليقنعني انهم بشر:يخرفون. .يضعفون..يخونون. . مع الاحتفاظ بدقتهم التي تثير كل احقادك الدفينة
قصتنا تغوص في 3مستويات من النفس البشرية. .مبدئيا لو كنت تتساءل عن أدق مشاعر شهريار تجاه قصص شهرزاد ستجد الإجابة في هذه النسخة العصرية

هنا نتعرف على { هابارا }شاب وحيد حبيس منزله؟ تتعهد شهر زاد؛ ممرضة معتزلة بأداء متطلباته {كلها!! } و تقص عليه شذرات انطباعية من حياتها على حلقات ..حتى تعترف له بهوايتها الشاذة في اقتحام البيوت الخالية منذ الصبا. .ينجرف معها هابارا في قصصها

يتألق هاروكي في تفاصيل لا تصدق وضحت الهشاشة الإنسانية للمرأة اللغز شهرزاد ..لكني اضطررت لخصم نجمتين لانه استعمل معنا نفس اسلوب شهرزاد هنا
..و لان القصة" 20 صفحة" ذات طب��عة إباحية

هابارا انت لست جزيرة معزولة ..انت السلمون. .وقعت في الشرك

Merged review:

عندما تتكور على نفسك في احدى زوايا العالم و تتمنى لو تركك الجميع لشانك ..تتمنى لو عبروا جسدك بابصارهم كما لو كنت شفافا ..و يظل احساسك بالضألة و عدم الاستحقاق يؤكد لك انك لم ترتكب خطأ لكنك ايضا لم تفعل الأمر الصائب

احتاج ان أتعلم الصفح وليس النسيان🌚

هو لم ينجز شيئاً في حياته، في نهاية الأمر، ولم يكن منتجاً على الإطلاق. لم يستطع أن يسعد أحداً، كما لم يسعد نفسه بالـتأكيد. السعادة؟ لم يكن يعرف معناها. لم يكن لديه معنى واضحاً أيضاً لعواطف مثل الألم، أو الغضب، الخذلان، والاستسلام. وكيف ينبغي أن تشعر بها.⬇

احتاج ان أتعلم الصفح وليس النسيان..
و لكن من يحتاج الصفح ؟ أنا ؟ ام من أخطأوا في حقي ؟
كينو رجل في منتصف العمر يتعرض لصدمة عمره: زوجته تخونه على فراشه مع صديقه و زميله في العمل لكنه يكبت مشاعره..يتعالى عليها
هناك أحيانا صدمات و اهانات تخرسك لشهور بل لاعوام
و هناك مخاوف تلتهمك حرفيا ولا تترك سوى حطام
تدمر الواقعة حياته القديمة تماما يترك عمله و بيته و يرحل باسطواناته الفينيل ..و عندما تستقر حياته الجديدة ..تنقلب من جديد

يا للمكان الجميل،” قالت..زوجته التي خانته ” هادئ، نظيف، وساكن-يشبهك.”ا
و من قال ان الكل يحبون الهدوء و النظافة؟ الكل يطمعون بها من باب الطفاسة ..و لكن يكتشفون انها مملة لا تثير احدا ..فيرفسونك في اول فرصة

نحتاج جميعا ان نتعلم الصفح وليس النسيان.


🔝في الأساطير، الأفعى الأكبر والأذكى تخفي قلبها في مكان ما خارج جسدها. وبهذا لا يمكن أن تقتل. إذا ما أردت أن تقتل تلك الأفعى، عليك أن تذهب إلى مخبئها عندما لا تكون فيه، وتجد القلب الخفاق، وتقطعه إلى اثنين. ليست مهمة سهلة، بالتأكيد⬇

و فجاة يسفر موراكامي عن وجهه الرمزى المجنون و تمتليء القصة بالافاعي ..و" اتذكر انا فولدمورت و الهوركروكس الاكثر صعوبة : الافعى ناجيني"ا

هل الأفاعي هي: الالم المكبوت؟
الغفران المفقود ؟
الكينونة المهترئة؟
الذكريات القاتلة؟

اذن: نحتاج جميعا ان نتعلم الصفح وليس النسيان..و لكن للاسف النسيان هو ما نتوق اليه

شكرا لاختيار و اكتشاف في اناقة صديقنا كمال ذو الذوق الموسيقى و الادبي الرفيع
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,271 reviews2,439 followers
April 27, 2022

(Throwback Review) I still remember the day I read this book. I read two books with the same name by two great authors in one single day. The first one was Men Without Women, written by Ernest Hemingway and the second one was Men Without Women written by Haruki Murakami. I don't know which one was the best. Both are exceptional books, and I loved both of them. This book is a collection of seven short stories written by Murakami. Loneliness is one of the important topics discussed in this book.

“There were times he thought it would have been far better to never have known. Yet he continued to return to his core principle: that, in every situation, knowledge was better than ignorance. However agonizing, it was necessary to confront the facts. Only through knowing could a person become strong.”
Profile Image for BookHunter محمد.
1,430 reviews3,346 followers
January 17, 2023

صفحات قليلة للغاية و اسم مشوق للغايه و افكار غريبه لللللـ... لللللـ... للغايه ايضا مشيها كده

هو فعلا كاتب مختلف استطاع ان ينسج عدة قصص فى قصة واحدة تماما كألف ليلة و ليلة

كان من الممكن ببساطه ان تكون قصة فتاة تروى لمحة من حياتها كمراهقة ... ستكون قصة غريبة و مشوقة و لكنها لن تكون رائعة. أما هنا فهو يجعلك تحبس انفاسك و انت تتقافز بين عدة اقصوصات غير مكتملة و كلها تشحذ خيالك و تملأه بالصور التى تتناثر كقطع البازل الغير مرتبة.
الكاتب الجيد هو هذا الذى يجعلك جزء من القصة و يجعلها جزء منك فتكون رؤيتك لها شىء يخصك وحدك و ربما لان يفهمه شخص اخر
أغلق هابارا عينيه وتوقف عن التفكير بشهرزاد. وبدلاً من ذلك فكر بثعابين البحر. بالمخالب التي تلصقها ثعابين البحر على الصخرة. مختفية بين أعشاب الماء. تتأرجح جيئةً وذهاباً في التيار. تخيل أنه كان واحداً منها ينتظر ظهور السلمون. لكن لم يمر أي سلمون. لا يهم كم انتظر من الوقت. لا سلموناً سميناً ولا نحيلاً. ما من سلمون على الاطلاق. أخيراً غربت الشمس وكان عالمه يتلاشى في الظلام.
لينك النوفيلا
من مجموعة حدائق موراكامي - الجزء الثاني
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,100 reviews7,194 followers
March 7, 2023
[Revised 3/7/23]

It turns out that Murakami is an excellent short story writer too. I’ve read six of his novels but this is my first collection of his short stories.


This is not a book about monks. There are plenty of women in the seven short stories. It’s about how men react to the loss of women.

“Suddenly one day you become Men Without Women. The day comes to you completely out of the blue, without the faintest of warnings or hints beforehand….Once you round that bend, this is the only world you can possibly inhabit…You are a pastel-colored Persian carpet, and loneliness is a Bordeaux wine stain that won’t come out.”

The title story sets the tone. One night (actually like 3:00 am) a man gets a call that a former lover, a woman he knew years and years ago, killed herself. He has not seen or heard from her for years. The caller is her husband. Why did he get this call?


The story Kino is structured like a Murakami novel. A man leaves his unfaithful wife and his dull job and opens a bar. His cat disappears. (Definitely a Murakami touch – the only thing missing is a deep well!). How are all these threads going to get knit together?

In Scheherazade, a man calls his lover by that name because she likes to tell him stories in the intimate moments after sex. She never tells him her real name because she is married and has a couple of kids.

An Independent Organ is the story of a fifty-ish, wealthy cosmetic surgeon. He has multiple women friends and seems to have a formula for balancing them all without getting too close to any of them. Suddenly he falls in love and his life changes in a devastating way.

Other stories are about an actor whose unfaithful wife just died, and about a man and a woman who meet years after they had a one-time date. Samsa in Love is a parody of Kafka’s story.

Some lines I liked:

His auto mechanic “…is running his palm over the dashboard as if stroking the neck of a large dog.”

“Her large, protruding ears were like satellite dishes placed in some remote landscape.”

“TV can be pretty useful when you have time, you ought to watch more TV. Don’t underestimate it.”


Good stories. I would read more of Murakami’s short stories. He has a more recent collection out titled First Person Singular which I have also read and reviewed. By the way, one of Hemingway’s first books was a collection of shorts with the same title, Men Without Women.

Top photo from flashpack.com
Middle photo from livejapan.com
The author from nymag.com
Profile Image for leah.
311 reviews2,013 followers
May 22, 2022
we all know murakami’s portrayal of women is questionable at best and pure misogyny at its worst, for instance in this book two of the main takeaways seem to be:
1. women are bad drivers
2. women are evil and will cheat on you any chance they get

(but somehow life without women makes for a lot of miserable men? hmm very interesting)

murakami is definitely a male author who writes his books for a male audience, but i like to think that me still enjoying them, as a woman, serves as some kind of feminist reclamation of power. at some point you just have to laugh about it and move on.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,729 followers
July 21, 2017
"That's what it is like to lose a woman. And at a certain time, losing one woman means losing all women. That's how we become Men Without Women."
-- Haruki Murakami, Men Without Women


This is a soft Murakami. A lot of his novels are dreamlike, but this one seems more like an emotional smell than a memory. There just isn't a lot to grab onto. It reminded me of petting a sea anemone flower at a local aquarium. I knew I was doing it. I was even thrilled a bit as I was doing it. It just didn't register in the way I predicted.

Anyway, the book is a series of short stories, I've included my ranking for each:
1. Drive My Car - ★★★★
2. Yesterday - ★★★
3. An Independent Organ - ★★
4. Scheherazade - ★★★★
5. Kino - ★★★★
6. Samsa in Love - ★★★
7. Men without Women - ★★★
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
November 24, 2020
I wish I’d notated the moment when I realized how comfortable, almost swaddled, I felt as I read these Haruki Murakami tales. It is like meeting up with an old friend in a train station that I haven’t seen for a long time, and as we talk, I realize how much I miss the cadence of his voice and the specific way he shares with me the story of his life. I have a long reading history with Murakami so I’m not sure why I am so surprised. It isn’t a shocking surprise, but a pleasant surprise, like discovering that you love somebody whom you’ve been friends with for decades. These stories are about men without women, or we could say men without a person they love most dear in their lives. These men are not marooned on a deserted island or incarcerated for crimes or cold and dispassionate people. They have through design or mishap found themselves bereft of close female companionship.

These stories are ethereal. I feel like I am slowly drifting downward from above into the middle of events already begun. I am to only listen and learn what I can so I can piece together the dangling fragments of details in order to ride the slipstream of plot. These aren’t tidy stories in the sense that there is a beginning and an end. There is no ribbon wrapping the tendrils up into a nice big bow. The stories continue beyond what Murakami chooses to share with us. They are succulent, dainty appetizers that remind readers of the abundant feast that awaits us when we open one of his novels.

Drive My Car
”The most excruciating thing, though, had been maintaining a normal life knowing his partner’s secret--the effort it required to keep her in the dark. Smiling calmly when his heart was torn and his insides were bleeding. Behaving as if everything was fine while the two of them took care of the daily chores, chatted, made love at night. This was not something that a normal person could pull off. But Kafuku was a professional actor.”

Kafuku needs a new driver for his car, and he hires this enigmatic, quiet young woman with a slightly shady, mysterious past. It is always good for us to meet new people who we can tell our stories to. They are fortunate because we’ve told the story many times and have cut superficial parts, tidied up the main plot, and can present them with the most entertaining version of events. As the two of them develop a trust between them in those daily drives, a friendship begins to flourish. He talks to her about the woman he shared with others long before he lost her for good.

”The more I thought about my life up to then, the more I hated myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a few good memories--I did. A handful of happy experiences. But if you added them up, the shameful, painful memories far outnumbered the others. When I thought of how I’d been living, how I’d been approaching life, it was all so trite, so miserably pointless. Unimaginative middle-class rubbish, and I wanted to gather it all up and stuff it away in some drawer.”

I’ve certainly had those moments when I wanted to step outside myself and be someone brand new, someone of my own particular creation, based on avoiding all the past failures of my old self. This story is about a young man who meets a friend who is completely oblivious to how things are supposed to be done. He does everything...weird. It is invigorating to know someone like this, but also extremely annoying because he is doing exactly what you wished you had the guts to do. His friend even encourages him to go out with his gorgeous girlfriend because he feels he just isn’t right for her. This story is an ode to The Beatles song Yesterday. I know it is impossible for younger generations to understand how influential The Beatles were on the minds and souls of those who first listened to their music. I was three years old when they broke up, so I was the second generation of listeners, but I still remember the first time Revolution came on the radio.

An Independent Organ
”I’ve been out with lots of women who are much prettier than her, better built, with better taste, and more intelligent. But those comparisons are meaningless. Because to me she is someone special. A ‘complete’ presence.”

Our narrator for this story has always admired Doctor Tokai for his carefree lifestyle. He has never been interested in getting married, but instead prefers to borrow married women from other men. He isn’t attracted to beauty as much as he is those women possessing a quick wit and a brimming intelligence. He has an aptitude for extracting himself from these situations the moment the woman starts to feel too attached to him. He is a clever fox indeed, but as we know from our childhood fairy tales, sometimes the fox is so clever he traps himself. When the Doctor falls in love and is rejected, we start to understand why he was living such a life to avoid such debilitating feelings.

”While the sex was not what you’d call passionate, it wasn’t entirely businesslike, either. It may have begun as one of her duties (or, at least, as something that was strongly encouraged), but at a certain point she seemed--if only in a small way--to have found a kind of pleasure in it.”

He is housebound, but a woman brings him food and supplies and stays to have sex with him. He thinks of her as Scheherazade, as she reminds him of that famed storyteller from One Thousand and One Nights as she shares with him stories from her life. She tells him of this boy she admired...lusted after, in school. She would break into this boy’s house and take something from his room. She would leave something of her own in exchange. He has no idea how she feels about him. It is one of those one-sided love affairs that can be so wonderful because the dialogue and the lingering looks are written into the script perfectly. This is one of my favorite stories from the collection. It has the right balance of spice and longing.

”It was obvious what they were up to. His wife was on top, crouched over the man, and when Kino opened the door he came face-to-face with her and her lovely breasts bouncing up and down. He was thirty-nine then, his wife thirty-five. They had no children. Kino lowered his head, shut the bedroom door, left the apartment, lugging his shoulder bag stuffed with a week’s worth of laundry, and never came back. The next day, he quit his job.”

I have to say I could only hope that I would have the presence of mind to handle such a horrific revelation as well as Kino did. He cuts through the unspooling fabric of his married life and moves on. He opens a bar in some property his aunt owns and starts to enjoy doing the things he didn’t have time for before, like reading books and listening to music. He is somewhat mystified that he doesn’t feel more anguish over his wife’s infidelity, but the bouquet of memories he’d made with her died the moment he opened the door. Things are going great, and then the cat he inherited with the place disappears, snakes begin to appear everywhere, a ‘yakuza’ takes to reading a book at the bar everyday, and a woman with cigarette burns begins to haunt him. This is an interesting supernatural story that goes in unexpected directions.

Samsa in Love
”Samsa looked down in dismay at his naked body. How ill-formed it was! Worse than ill-formed. It possessed no means of self-defense. Smooth white skin (covered by only a perfunctory amount of hair) with fragile blue blood vessels visible through it; a soft, unprotected belly; ludicrous, impossibly shaped genitals; gangly arms and legs (just two of each!); a scrawny, breakable neck; an enormous, misshapen head with a tanel of stiff hair on its crown; two absurd ears, jutting out like a pair of seashells. Was this thing really him?

Gregor Samsa! I about fell out of my chair. Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, quite possibly one of the most famous characters to ever emerge from a short story, is back. Only this time the metamorphosis is reversed. I’ve been thinking about rereading Metamorphosis for some time now, and I can only assume that the universe thought I needed yet another reminder. Murakami does not reveal what insect Samsa has metamorphosed from, but needless to say, this is one insect that is very confused to find itself trapped in such a useless body. The world outside has descended into chaos, and the news of the disruptive world is brought to him in the form of a hunchback woman who has come to fix a lock on the upstairs room. The very same room that Samsa found himself in this morning. The repartee between the woman and the childlike Samsa is permeated with quirky honesty. I was not ready for this story to end, and it is certainly one of my favorite stories of the collection.

Men Without Women
”It’s quite easy to become Men Without Women. You love a woman deeply, and then she goes off somewhere. That’s all it takes. Most of the time (as I’m sure you’re well aware) it’s craft sailors who take them away. They sweet-talk them into going with them, then carry them off to Marseilles or the Ivory Coast. And there’s hardly anything we can do about it. Or else the women have nothing to do with sailors, and take their own lives. And there’s very little we can do about that, too.”

It all begins with a phone call in the middle of the night from an emotionless voice informing him that his ex-girlfriend has committed suicide. I’m sure most of us have had a death call, and for some reason it usually comes between one and four in the morning, as if the dying person did her best to make it to a new dawn, but the oppressive black night just went on too long. The man is discombobulated by the news, and as he struggles to understand all the whys, he begins to move their relationship back to when they were both fourteen, as if he is trying to remember his time with her in more innocent days. He talks about his fourteen-year-old self being gone forever, and I often think about, when we lose someone who was close to us or who used to be close to us, who we were with them dies with them. We mourn them, but we also mourn the missing part of ourselves.

Murakami, throughout these stories, dangles some thoughts in front of you, and it is up to you to make of them what you will.

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Profile Image for Henk.
875 reviews
October 1, 2022
Started enthusiastically due to having much enjoyed the Drive My Car 2021 movie, but ended up rather disappointed by this bundle. Men and women are in limbos, unable to meet in this book which is full of tell and little show
All he saw was the kind of stillness you might expect from someone who had recently lost his wife of many years. Like the surface of a pond after the ripples had spread and gone.

This was for me a clear case of the movie being better than the book.
Haruki Murakami offers stories of loner men, who struggle to find connection to the world in general and women in particular. The world they inhabit is dreamlike and has some very interesting imagery (that the Oscar nominated movie managed to capture expertly). Still in general I was hardly compelled to read on and felt in many instances rather cold about the main characters, with the storytelling being clumsy at times.

Drive My Car
Words, they felt, could only cheapen the emotions they were feeling.
Kafaku and his female driver develop into interesting enough characters, but I was primed by many of the elements from the movie, that don't come back in the 40 page story, and was left a bit disappointed after finishing is.

Because, in final analysis, the language we speak constitutes who we are as people.
Taking its name from the Beatles song, focusses on dialect, with one of the main character (Kitaru) having a Kansai dialect.
Erika, a beautiful girl the narrator is set-up to date by her current boyfriend. This date has profound impact on both parties involved, even years later.
The sense of melancholy, to not a necessary perfect time, in this story is very strong, expertly expressed in the next sentence:
But when I look back at myself at age twenty, what I remember most is being alone and lonely.

An Independent Organ
A Dr. Tokai, 52 year old bachelor is centre of this story. He inherited the plastic surgeon clinic from his father, which makes me question how long this has been an industry in Japan.
He grows madly in love, something the narrator observes from a far. For a story of obsession this is oddly detached and left no real impact with me.

Why is every story in Men Without Women about affairs?
And this story starts really with an enormous amount of descriptions and no show, just tell. We have a mysterious women, lover to the main character, being a story teller. She compartmentalised her inner life, and has bizarre stories of remembering to have been an underwater creature in a past life.
This story is incorporated at the start of the Drive My Car movie.

Also has a scene I remember from the start of the Drive My Car movie
A man trying to wrap his head around his divorce. Dreamlike, not totally coming together but intriguing, one of the stories I enjoyed more of the bundle.

Samsa in love
A reversion of The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka. Surprisingly touching how a former cockroach falls for a hunchbacked girl, while he finds out human life is far from easy.

Men without women
Bit of remembering more than a story, starting off with a late night call.
Again a man looking back on lost opportunities of happiness.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
464 reviews604 followers
January 4, 2015
There I was, on vacation in Florida, when I received the email from The New Yorker with “stories to enjoy during the holiday.” Sure, as if I needed more stories to add to the ever-growing list. But the stories were right there, just a fingertip away on my iPad, and they were free. So I did what any other story addict would do: I opened the email and clicked the first link. Up popped Haruki Murakami. I didn’t know what to think about this. Was I to read another Murakami, only to become frustrated with the translation and story again, and in turn, feel as if I was downgrading the prized Murakami storytelling, just as I felt I did after reading, The Elephant Vanishes? No thanks. And then I saw these first two lines: “Each time they had sex, she told Habara a strange and gripping story afterward. Like Queen Scheherazade in ‘A Thousand and One Nights.’”

He had me at the first five words.

I haven’t read the original version of this story, but if it’s anything like Lahiri’s New Yorker version of “Sexy,” or Adichie’s “Birdsong,” you know that the translation has been fine tuned through some copious editing. I remember an instance in a graduate writing workshop, when we went over the form of Lahiri’s “Sexy.” That day, one of my workshop mates tried to follow along with the actual short story collection, but soon, we were all fascinated when we realized that The New Yorker’s version was shorter and a better read.

You start by thinking this story is about Habara, the male narrator trapped in his home and his mind, until you realize that it is about the woman he calls, Scheherazade. You see her through Habara’s eyes, you see her in his bed. You see her as a thirty-five-year old woman, and as a seventeen-year-old girl. There is also the story of her past, which tells you that she too, is a mental prisoner.

“She was a lamprey eel in a former life,” she tells him as they lay in bed. Lamprey eels have suckers, “which they use to attach themselves to rocks at the bottom of a river or lake. ”They float there, just waiting to attach themselves to something (or somebody if you’re looking at this in symbolic terms). Once they spy a trout, “they dart up and fasten on to it with their suckers. Inside their suckers are these tonguelike things with teeth, which rub back and forth against the trout’s belly until a hole opens up and they can start eating the flesh, bit by bit.” (Note to self: rethink ordering eel for sushi).

Scheherazade attaches herself to Habara and he to her, and it makes you wonder if she, the eel, is determined to suck something out of him. No pun intended. She tells him:
Lampreys think very lamprey-like thoughts. About lamprey-like topics in a context that’s very lamprey-like. There are no words for those thoughts. They belong to the world of water. It’s like when we were in the womb. We were thinking things in there, but we can’t express those thoughts in the language we use out here.

Scheherazade is a surface idiosyncratic but beneath it all, you sense she is more and so you wait for something disastrous to happen. Yet nothing does happen. Or does it? Is this layered suggestiveness Murakami’s way of giving his readers the power of ending a story for themselves? Sure, Scheherazade was a stalker in her past, an obsessive person who was so fatally attracted to someone, she broke into his home to smell his dirty sweatshirts, but what of the present?

This is a story of companionship and void sexual encounters, where the backstory informs the main story and pulls you along for the ride: “their lovemaking and her storytelling were so closely linked, making it hard to tell where one ended and the other began.” At its core, it is about a man who is losing his freedom and fearful that someday, when he loses it completely, he will lose what he cherishes the most: the companionship of a woman. You don’t read this story and take a break; you read it in gulps, because this is the way Murakami intended.
Profile Image for PopiTonja.
97 reviews11 followers
September 22, 2017
Ja prosto obožavam ovog čoveka!
Savršeno, na njegov svojstven način upakovano.
Svaku sam priču doživela kao jedan mali roman.

❤️ Imam osećaj da su njeno i moje srce nečim čvrsto povezani. Kad se njeno srce pomeri, ono sa sobom povuče i moje. Kao dva čamca vezano konopcem. Čak i da želim da presečem tu vezu, sečivo kojim bi se ona dala preseći nigde ne postoji. ❤️

Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,541 reviews12.9k followers
August 13, 2018
Haruki Murakami’s latest short story collection is also my least favourite of his so far. Out of the seven fairly longish stories, only one of them was half-decent while the others ranged from bleh to agonisingly dull.

Kino is the ok story where a recently heartbroken man opens up a bar and plays host to a strange man who comes in every week, reads a book and drinks his booze. Its focus meanders quite a bit from Kino to the stranger to some random woman and then back to the stranger, though it’s never boring, and I liked the hint of magical realism dancing on the edges of the tale. However I would’ve preferred a less self-consciously literary, vague ending which left me unsatisfied and wondering what the hey I’d just read.

And self-consciously literary, vague, unsatisfying and what the hey basically sums up the rest of the stories! In Drive My Car, an actor gets a female driver to drive him to and from the theatre, along the way telling her about his dead philandering wife and the friendship he struck up with one of her lovers. Yesterday is about a man who goes out with his friend’s girlfriend who dreams of an icy moon. Scheherazade is about a man seemingly held prisoner in a house visited by a woman he calls Scheherazade (though it’s not her real name) who tells him about her odd dreams after they sex. A wealthy plastic surgeon starves himself to death after falling in love in An Independent Organ.

Uh… huh? I guess the theme is weird relationships but I don’t know what I’m supposed to think about it - Murakami’s women is cheating ho-bags? The stories feel like they’re trying to seem deep and profound but they come across as really shallow and pointless. I get the literary references - 1001 Arabian Nights (Scheherazade), Kafka (Samsa in Love), Hemingway (Men Without Women), and of course the near-obligatory Beatles nods (Drive My Car, Yesterday) - but so what? I have read Hemingway’s collection, also called Men Without Women, though it’s been years and I can’t remember it so I’m not sure if it ties into this in any meaningful way.

The worst stories were Samsa in Love and Men Without Women. A man wakes up to discover he’s Gregor Samsa - haaaah, geddit?? Like an inversion of Kafka’s Metamorphosis when Gregor Samsa woke up to discover he was a giant bug! Gregor Samsa falls in love with a hunchback locksmith and… that’s it. I guess it was all about that opening line. In Men Without Women some guy rambles on about a woman he used to love who’s just died. Awful, boring rubbish.

Kino was ok and the writing in general is of a high standard, and I liked certain elements of some of the stories like the odd, ambiguous scenario of Scheherazade - why is that man trapped in a house and can’t leave? On the whole though this is a very weak collection with a series of instantly forgettable crap. I’d recommend either after the quake or The Elephant Vanishes over this fans-only book.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,066 reviews1,759 followers
December 5, 2015
وقتی فارغ التحصیل شدم، عشقش از سرم رفت. اینقدر سریع و آسون که عجیب بود. چی داشت که منِ هفده ساله اون جوری عاشقش شدم؟ هر چی زور می زنم یادم نمی آد. زندگی عجیبه، نه؟ یه دقیقه مدهوش یه چیزی می شی، می خوای همه چی رو فداش کنی تا مال تو بشه، بعد یه کم وقت می گذره، یا نگاهت یه ذره عوض می شه، یهویی می مونی که چه جوری همه ی جذابیتش رو از دست داده. آدم از خودش می پرسه، پس داشتم به چی نگاه می کردم؟!
Profile Image for Ellie.
1,493 reviews378 followers
Want to read
February 11, 2021
As usual, there is a bar, jazz music, and a cat. Along with a repressed man (Kino), out of touch with his feelings, and some supernatural happenings.

I loved this short story by Murakami (you can read it for free by following the GR link).

It is filled with his classic themes, soothing and haunting at the same time. Beautiful sentences:

“This was ambiguity: holding on to an empty space between two extremes.”

“The roots of darkness could spread everywhere beneath the earth. Patiently taking their time, searching out weak points, they could break apart the most solid rock.”

“He had to extinguish the ability to imagine anything. I shouldn’t look at it, he told himself. No matter how empty it may be, this is still my heart. There’s still some human warmth in it. Memories, like seaweed wrapped around pilings on the beach, wordlessly waiting for high tide. Emotions that, if cut, would bleed. I can’t just let them wander somewhere beyond my understanding.”

“All he could do was wait like this, patiently, until it grew light out and the birds awoke and began their day. All he could do was trust in the birds, in all the birds, with their wings and beaks. Until then, he couldn’t let his heart go blank. That void, the vacuum created by it, would draw them in.”

A willow tree outside hishouse-laden with meaning, an echo of something in Kino.

Trust in the birds.

Merged review:

Loved it! I always love Murakami, even his less than perfect works but this is an excellent addition to his oeuvre. I generally prefer his novels to his short fiction but these stories are wonderful.

The stories all center around the loneliness of the male protagonists. There are missed connections and losses and a general inability to connect or stay connected to anyone, especially women. But these men seem generally isolated and lonely. Even their male friendships tend to center around lost or unattainable women. The men particularly yearn for a woman to assuage their pain. Love-or the lack of it-is the empty center around which their lives revolve.

In the title story, the narrator learns that an old lover of his has killed herself. The writing in this story is the lyrical and moving as he contemplates their relationship and his loneliness (despite, apparently, his marriage!). I wanted to memorize long passages of this beautiful story (although I think the beauty of the writing was stronger than the story itself).

In "Scheherazade", a woman beguiles a homebound man (the reason for his being homebound is never explained, he's one of Murakami's men without the will to go into the world, in the most literal sense) with stories. In her tale of her adolescence, she talks of a boy she was obsessed with and where that obsession led her. Like the men, the women in these stories are also unable to form lasting connections with others.

"Samsa in Love" is the oddest, funniest, and yet also frightening/touching stories in the collection. In a riff off Kafka, a roach wakes up to find himself Gregor Samsa, a human. He has difficulty adjusting to his new body (as did Samsa) and vague memories of his perhaps once being a man named Samsa. He too is confined to his house where a hunchbacked woman comes to fix a lock. He is fascinated by her. But alongside this story of possible love is the presence of tanks in the city (the invasion of Prague by the Germans?) and the ominous absence of his family.

I had read the story "Kino" before but was happy to reread it. It is reminiscent of Murakami's earlier work, complete with a jazz bar and mysterious strangers. I was filled with a longing to reread his early novels.

Murakami remains, for me, a master of literature. Always interesting, always filled with beautiful writing and interesting stories. There is none of his literal magical elements in these stories but there is the magic of the stories themselves.

This would be an easy beginning for readers new to Murakami but perhaps not the best. I would still recommend Kafka on the Shore, IQ84. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World or A Wild Sheep Chase. And for short stories, I would recommend After Dark. But this would be almost as good a place to being: accessible, moving stories filled with Murakami's distinctive touches and themes. A new reader would certainly get a sense of Murakami's power as a writer. If he or she liked this book, there's a whole world of Murakami out there.

And, of course, for those of us already in love with Murakami, this is a must and rewarding read.
Profile Image for capture stories.
113 reviews65 followers
April 26, 2021
“Here’s what hurts the most,” Kafuku said. “I didn’t truly understand her--or at least some crucial part of her. And it may well end that way now that she’s dead and gone. Like a small, locked safe lying at the bottom of the ocean. It hurts a lot.”

The title of the book caught my attention. The design on the cover depicted a man with a missing puzzle removed from his heart. What does it mean? Thus, my interpretation of the stories is as follows.

The empathetic tale of seven men whose confusion never came to understand the women. These were lonely men who never get to hold on to the “missing puzzle.”

The first story was about a veteran actor who’s still grieving over his dead wife. He never fathoms the reason for his wife’s affairs with other men despite the beautiful marriage. Or so he may think so.

The second story comes with Kitaru, a youthful man in his early twenties with a comical character. Pleasant looking until he opens his mouth. The perceived delicate appearance falters after he speaks. Kitaru has been dating his gorgeous childhood girlfriend, but their relationship could never go all the way to the end, left her baffled, and compelled to look for love somewhere else.

Thirdly, a strange story about Scheherazade? I find it difficult to relate to “Men without Women.” Scheherazade talks about a middle-aged woman who can have the gift to tell stories that keeps Habara addicted, wanting for more, each time after sleeping together. She cared and tended to Habara’s daily needs. Habara was so intrigued by her companion, care, and storytelling that he shudders at the thought of losing her.

As the stories progressed, and landed on Dr. Tokai- bachelor, cosmetic surgeon, and a player. Dr. Tokai was a gentleman with elegance and sophistication. Of all the stories, this one left an impression on me. How should I put it? Fascinating but tragic… After being a professional player, was never once burnt. He unexpectedly falls in love with a married woman. This one slip took his life. Yes, he died!

There are seven short stories. The next three stories weave around a bartender who’s wife left him for other men, his mysterious encounters with a man named Kimata, a quiet frequent to the bar. Kimata provided wise guidance and shelter when Jino met with dangerous encounters. Followed by Gregor Samsa, a newly born man who enters the world with utterly pure innocence. Hilarious conversations took place between him and the hunchback girl. Samsa experienced gullible physical reactions when his body reacts to love for the newly met girl. Last, the chapter ends with a man who got a call from his ex-girlfriend’s husband informing him about her suicidal death. The call triggers an entire history of memories of the time he spent with the ex, M. The memories of events how they got together, seeing each other, and the things they did together, eventually broke up, flooded his thoughts. He lost M, the woman he once loved dearly.

Murakami extended his acute diagnosis of men's vulnerability and helplessness when faced with LOVE's same cruel disposition. Men who also made from flesh and blood to feel and touch like women. They can love and hurt as deeply as women with their way of expression.

Murakami’s intention for this book may be to shift his readers' view to see the world from a distinct point of view: men’s inner, the suppressed pain and turmoil which we rarely see, at the dreadful fate follows losing the love of their life.

I am fascinated by the wry senses of humor, melancholy, and exceptional understanding of youth and age portrayed by Murakami. The failures of each man depicted in Murakami’s writing was unforgettable. It was a thrilling read from the start to the end.
Profile Image for Panagiotis.
297 reviews112 followers
October 28, 2018
Υπάρχουν δύο τρόποι να κοιτάξει κανείς τον Μουρακάμι: μέσα από το βλέμμα της δημόσιας, άμυαλης γνώμης, που σχηματίζεται αυθαίρετα, και θέλει τον Μουρακάμι εσαεί ηττημένο υποψήφιο νομπελίστα. Και υπάρχει και η άλλη, του αναγνώστη που θα δει τον Μουρακάμι μέσα από τα μάτια αυτών που αγαπάνε την ��ραφή του.

Αυτή η συγκρατημένη γραφή του, κάτι το μελαγχολικά ψυχρό πολλές φορές στον τρόπο που οι ήρωές του κινούνται και μιλάνε, ακόμα με κάνει να εκπλήσσομαι με την αναγνώριση που έχει παγκοσμίως. Αν και καθόλου δύσκολός στο διάβασμα, δεν έχει γνωρίσματα εμπορικού συγγραφέα. Και όμως, αποτελεί τον πιο αναγνωρισμένο Ιάπωνα μυθοπλάστη.

Νομίζω πως προτιμώ τις μικρές του ιστορίες. Εκεί που τα μυθιστορήματά του ελλίσονται σε αινιγματικούς δαιδάλους, τα διηγήματά του έχουν αρχή, μέση και, αναπάντεχα, τέλος. Και τούτες οι μικρές ιστορίες εδώ νομίζω είναι οι καλύτερες που έχω διαβάσει από τον Μουρακάμι.
Profile Image for B.
123 reviews168 followers
October 20, 2017
Mua cuốn này đúng vào mùa Nobel công bố các hạng mục. Năm nay bác già lại trượt cái giải văn chương, không bất ngờ gì mấy. Bác là một thiên tài kể chuyện, không thể phủ nhận gì về điều ấy nhưng chỉ thế thôi là chưa đủ. Bác vẫn "thiếu", vẫn chưa thể đạt tới tầm của giải Nobel (mặc dù thiết nghĩ bác đã đạt tới tầm của một số người từng đoạt giải Nobel).
Trước ngày công bố, Svetlana Alexievich dẫn đầu trong danh sách của các nhà cái, cuối cùng bà ấy ăn giải thật. Thực sự thì chưa từng nghe tên bà ấy trước đó nhưng tìm hiểu sơ qua về tiểu sử thì Nobel năm nay đúng là bà ấy hoàn toàn ko có đối thủ.
Một nhà văn (nói đúng hơn là thiên về nhà báo) có khuynh hướng chống Cộng và bài Nga sâu sắc, từng phải hầu tòa nhiều lần vì những bài viết phỉ báng chế độ, sách bị cấm lưu hành, bị kiểm duyệt nghiêm ngặt ngay tại chính quê hương, là cái gai trong mắt Putin và chính quyền Belarus, từng phải sống lưu vong và cấm xuất hiện trước công chúng...
Còn gì toẹt vời hơn khi chọn đúng năm nay để trao giải cho bà ấy. Mùi chính trị cũng giống như mùi dưa khú. Rất dễ sực lên và tất nhiên cũng chẳng thơm tho gì :3
Quay lại với Haruki Murakami. Nếu bạn bảo tôi review về một cuốn nào đấy của bác thì thực sự trong tôi luôn thường trực sự bất lực tràn trề. Văn chương của bác toàn những chi tiết mơ hồ, kỳ quặc, khó tìm thấy sự liên quan nhiều khi là vớ va vớ vỉn. "Tác giả viết khi đang ngáo đá à" - đó là câu tôi buột miệng ra khi lần đầu tiên đọc cuốn của bác (biên niên ký chim vặn dây cót).
Cốt truyện thì nhiều khi còn chả có cốt truyện. Cuốn trước với cuốn sau có khi lặp lại y chang nhau về nhiều chi tiết. Tập truyện ngắn này còn đỡ hơn chút khi ko xuất hiện mưa cá, mưa đỉa hay giếng nhưng vẫn có mèo, rượu và nhạc cổ điển.
Nói chung là có thể nhiều người sẽ thấy nhàm nhưng tôi vẫn mê (và có vẻ nhiều người cũng mê như tôi). Tôi gạt phăng tất cả mà ngồi nhẩn nha đọc. Văn chương của bác giúp tôi thoát mình ra khỏi cái guồng quay điên cuồng như cắn thuốc lắc ngoài kia. À thỉnh thoảng tôi nghĩ bác già là một nhà thôi miên có hạng cứ bắt tôi lần giở hết trang này tới trang khác, đắm chìm vào nó, khơi gợi lên những thứ bị chôn vùi dù nhỏ nhoi hay to lớn. Và cuối cùng đọc xong là tôi cũng...coi như xong :3
Có 1 người bạn hỏi tôi rằng mày thích truyện nào nhất trong tập truyện ngắn này. Tôi miên man 1 lúc. Yesterday à? Hay Cơ Quan Độc Lập? Cũng ko thể bỏ qua Scheherazade được. Chẹp, sau đó rốt cuộc tôi trả lời Drive My Car là truyện tôi thấy...không thích nhất.
...mặc dù tôi vừa thi đỗ bằng lái xe xong :3


Bác già liếm não người đọc, hoặc thậm chí là ngoạm, bằng cách chơi luôn 7 khúc cải lương não nề, nẫu ruột với ý đồ : trong thế giới không có đàn bà, đàn ông mê man, chuếnh choáng.
Làm gì mà ghê :|

Ừ thì cũng hơi ghê, nhớ hồi...xem.

Trong cuốn này có rất nhiều những suy tư của đàn ông về đàn bà (vẫn như thường lệ), những suy tư cực khó diễn tả thành lời (vẫn như nó vốn dĩ). Nhưng dù sao đi nữa thành lời hay ko thì khi bạn là đàn ông, bạn cũng ko nên lắm lời, nhiều chuyện. Bạn chỉ được quyền thỉnh thoảng tắt đèn tối om, bí mật ngồi khóc trong 1 góc nhà, cọ cái đầu gối đầy lông vào cái cằm chưa cạo.

Thế vẫn tốt hơn là biếng ăn như ông bác sỹ.

Thật ra thì có 1 số gã đàn ông vẫn đc quyền nhiều chuyện, nhưng mà là nhiều truyện. Ví dụ như Andersen.

Đọc cuốn này làm mình bất giác nhớ đến lời bài hát rất ko liên quan. Dịch ra tiếng Việt đại khái:

"Tôi nghe tiếng những bước chân xưa cũ như chuyển động của biển khơi.
Đôi khi tôi quay lại, có lần người đang đứng đó, những lần khác chỉ có mình tôi"

--------Đọc lại _ tháng 10/2017--------

Profile Image for grace  .
31 reviews241 followers
February 8, 2022
i’m gonna be honest. i’ve been reading for over a decade of my life. i’ve never found a male author that writes female characters in a way they deserve. they write women as an idea and something that is so easily tampered with, as if we are so malleable to what a man’s idea or what he wants of us is. even this collection of stories, about men losing women in their lives. this has so much potential to tell a great story of how women impact the lives of so many with their intuition, wisdom, and emotions. nonetheless all this boiled down to was repackaged misogyny.
Profile Image for Chris_P.
382 reviews269 followers
June 17, 2017
Dreams are the kind of things you can—when you need to—borrow and lend out.

You know how, for many people, reading books is like travelling without leaving the comfort of their living rooms? For me, reading Murakami is like returning home after a long and exhaustive trip. His prose, his style, all the little well known things that make up his stories, feel like a cozy, dim-lit room with dark corners and telephones that ring menacingly, like an unfortold dark turn of events, in the middle of the night. These beautiful antitheses is what I love about Murakami.

Men who are divorced, men who are married, lonely men, men in relationships, widowers, men who have undergone a sudden metamorphosis, all of them share a special world of their own. All of them have a missing jigsaw piece in the place of their hearts.

It's one of those collections that there's no need to rate the stories seperately. In fact, I think it would be a mistake to do so. In all seven of them, I experienced the same old feelings Haruki knows ridiculously well how to deliver. Favorite: Kino. Least favorite: An Independent Organ.
Suddenly one day you become Men Without Women. That day comes to you completely out of the blue, without the faintest of warnings or hints beforehand. No premonitions or foreboding, no knocks or clearing of throats. Turn a corner and you know you’re already there. But by then there’s no going back. Once you round that bend, that is the only world you can possibly inhabit. In that world you are called “Men Without Women.” Always a relentlessly frigid plural.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,403 followers
May 12, 2021
"When I should have felt real pain, I stifled it. I didn't want to take it on, so I avoided facing up to it. Which is why my heart is so empty now."

"No matter how empty it may be, this is still my heart. There's still some human warmth in it."

1. Drive My Car

4 🌟

2. Yesterday

5 🌟

3. An Independent Organ

4 🌟

4. Scheherazade

"He liked long books, especially those he had to read several times to understand."

3 🌟

5. Kino

"Like dry ground welcoming the rain,he let the solitude, silence, and loneliness soak in."

"He lay on his bed, reading. When he got tired of reading, he watched TV. When he got tired of watching TV, he read."

"I have to somehow get connected to reality again, he thought, or else I won't be me anymore. I'll become a man who doesn't exist."

5 🌟

6. Samsa In Love

"Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart."

3 🌟

7. Men Without Women

*The most disappointing story in the collection*

"You might meet a new woman, but no matter what how wonderful she may be (actually, the more wonderful she is, the more this holds true), from the instant you meet, you start thinking about losing her."

3 🌟

Overall, I love this collection. The writing is everything! Once I started reading this book, I just couldn't stop reading until the last page.

And that's what Murakami does with his books.
Profile Image for Mutasim Billah .
112 reviews199 followers
July 15, 2018
"But when I look back at myself at age twenty what I remember most is being alone and lonely."

Ahh Murakami and his endless alienated, lonely male characters! Men Without Women is a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami that came out in 2017 (not to be confused with Hemingway's short-story collection of the same name). Here, we have seven stories with male characters, each with varying degrees of despair, dread or loneliness from the lack or loss of women. There are themes of grief, betrayal, masochism or just complete alienation in this book. Some of the stories are really well-done, I particularly enjoyed "Samsa in Love", which is a reworked version of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and "Kino", which has some of the many usual Murakami elements I happen to love. Most of the stories are already available online on The New Yorker.
Profile Image for Amethyst.
185 reviews345 followers
July 15, 2017
کاری به بدنه ی داستان که بر اساس کنش های جسمانی و شهوانی که عادت بین شهرزاد و هابارا بود ندارم یا حتی داستان های شهرزاد که خودتان بروید بخوانیدش( داستان کوتاه هست اسپویل میشود ). با بخشی خاصی از داستان ارتباط خوبی برقرار کردم ، حس از دست دادن چیزی که دارد به اوج خودش میرسد که تقریبا همه ی ما تجربه اش کرده ایم . حسی خاص که تا سالها لحظه نرسیدن به آن اوج بیشتر از خود واقعه یادمان هست . لحظه ی نرسیدن و نفهمیدن ، لحظه ای که شبیه خماری و مستی و ندانستن و ناآگاهی میماند ، لحظه ای که شاید ناخودآگاه پسش میزنیم تا آن واقعه و آن اوج مثل زندگی کسالت بارمان از سکه نیفتد و بعدش همیشه یک قلابی در گوشه ای از گذشته باقی بماند که در مواقع سردرگمی مرورش کنیم و خودمان اوجش را با تخیل مان هزاران بار بسازیم و هزاران بار هم آن جریان را تمام شده فرض نکنیم و باز روز بعد پایانی متفاوت از آن بسازیم و ...

+بارها گفته ام که عاشق قلم موراکامی ام ، اما کم گفته ام ....
+ترجمه گیل آوایی مثل همیشه خوب بود ...
Profile Image for Zainab.
384 reviews529 followers
May 1, 2022
Some stories were good, some meh and some I did not understand (not the writer's fault, I'm just dumb as hell)
Profile Image for Fereshteh.
250 reviews577 followers
March 29, 2015
در عرض یک دقیقه می توانی از چیزی کاملا شیفته و از خودبیخود شوی چنان که حاضری همه چیز خودت را فدایش کنی اما بعد وقتی کمی زمان می گذرد یا چشم انداز ، کمی تغییر میکند ناگهان جا میخوری از اینکه شدت و گیراییش محو می شود.دنبال چه بودم؟ تعجب می کنی

از موراکامی تا به امروز غیر از همین داستان کوتاه چیزی نخواندم.داستان کوتاهی که به خواندنش می ارزید. داستانی که به این راحتی ها از خاطرتان پاک نمیشود و می ماند

هابارا مردیست که به دلایل نامعلوم توانایی خارج شدن از منزل را ندارد و زن قصه هفته ای دو بار به اموراتش رسیدگی می کند و هابارا اسم مستعار شهرزاد را برایش انتخاب کرده.زن، بعد از هر نوبت عشق‌بازی‌شان برای مرد داستان تعریف می‌کند. همیشه در نقطه‌ای حساس ،داستان را قطع می‌کند و او را تا دفعه‌ی بعدی که می‌آید منتظر نگه می دارد. موراکامی هم به‌نحوی همین کار را با ما می‌کند.این داستان را بدون اینکه بگذارد ما بقیه‌ی داستان او را بشنویم تمام می‌کند.

در «هزارویک شب»، شهرزاد جان خود را با قصه گفتن نجات می‌دهد. اینجا، گویا هابارا است که با قصه های شهرزاد حتی اگر شده لحظه ای از واقعیت زندگیش کنده میشود ،نجات می یابد و ذهنش به سمتی آرام تر راهی میشود

شهرزاد مثل یک چیستان است؛ فکرهایی که در سرش دارد و هدفی که دنبال می‌کند. او دارد به هابارا یک جور پیغام می‌فرستد. سعی می‌کند آن پیغام را هم از طریق داستان���هایی که تعریف می‌کند و هم از طریق بدنش به او برساند.

تم شرقی داستان که با استناد به شخصیت شهرزاد قصه گو تقویت میشد را هم پسندیدم
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