Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Men Without Women: Stories” as Want to Read:
Men Without Women: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Men Without Women: Stories

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  52,820 ratings  ·  5,369 reviews
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 thi
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Vintage (first published April 18th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Men Without Women, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kate The lines that appear in the book are not part of the actual Yesterday song by The Beatles. The Japanese phonetic translation of:
Yesterday / Is two da…more
The lines that appear in the book are not part of the actual Yesterday song by The Beatles. The Japanese phonetic translation of:
Yesterday / Is two days before tomorrow / the day after two days ago
is: Kinō ashita no nichi maedesu nichi go no yokujitsu.
Lynn I don't think it's an actual legit job. That story was about illicit underworld activities, and I got the feeling Schehehazade was hired as a "support…moreI don't think it's an actual legit job. That story was about illicit underworld activities, and I got the feeling Schehehazade was hired as a "support liaison" by the criminal group who was providing the guy a safe house to lie low until the "heat" dissipates. The source of the heat isn't explicitly stated that I can recall, but I think the reader can presume they're trying to evade law enforcement or else another gang. I don't know that it's wise to draw assumptions about the whole culture based on a short story about criminals.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,820 ratings  ·  5,369 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Men Without Women: Stories
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
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 Ja ...more
Sean Barrs
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
Elyse  Walters
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrew Smith
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
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
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, short-stories
“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 wee
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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 registe
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 ...more
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 ti
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 t
Mutasim Billah
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, short-stories
"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, betr
Sam Quixote
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
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019, modern-lit
I read a lot of Murakami when I was younger but I have not read a new one since deciding that I couldn't face 1Q84. So this is the first I have read in the four years since joining GoodReads, and although I found these stories enjoyable to read, I don't think they are his best work and they won't change anyone's mind about him. I recall one GoodReads friend saying that Murakami is incapable of describing female characters without mentioning their breasts, and yes, there are plenty of those gratu ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Haruki Murakami’s work and I’m glad I started with this beautiful collection of short stories. The men depicted are mostly lost and lonely souls, the women that float through these stories are quite progressive independently spirited, I think that speaks well to my sensibilities ;) I think I shall delve more deeply into the wonderful world of Murakami as I enjoyed these a lot.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Murakami never fails to surprise and please my sense of reading!!
Aya Hamza
I don't read lots of short story collections because most of them feel too rushed, but in this one every single story is well written and complete.
I read many short stories by Murakami and really enjoyed it, but never read a complete collection by him. Now, I want to dive into the rest of his collections!
The stories are beautifully written. Murakami has such a way with words. He never disappoint me!
The stories themselves are amazing. There is no plot to them, but as usual Murakami writes chara
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Men Without Women is a collection of seven short stories about men suffering from loneliness and grief because of the loss of a woman or lack of them in their lives. Unable to move on, the men spend the rest of their days lamenting what they will never again feel. Individual stories and my thoughts on them are as follows:

DRIVE MY CAR- 3.5/5 🌟
It follows an elderly actor who hires a female driver to take him to rehearsals. On the journeys he reflects on his life; in particular the affairs his wife
Matthew Quann
It’s that special time of year where I return to the works of Haruki Murakami to see how I feel about the guy. For those of you who have been following my slow reading of Murakami, I loved the first novel I read by him, 1Q84, was ho-hum about The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle , considered abandoning Murakami after really disliking Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage , and had my faith restored when I listened to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running .

So, having felt the
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short story in the New Yorker magazine. Kino lives a life that is not quite buttoned up right. There is something askew with his life, but he can't put his finger on what is wrong. With the help of the mysterious Kamita and a small gray cat, Kino struggles to find his heart. A charming and very different story.
Betsy Robinson
I am a Murakami fan (I’ve loved his novels), so I was surprised that I didn’t love this collection of short stories. I know they are said to be “new work,” but some of them seemed immature, and I wondered if they were earlier pieces that had been pulled out of a bottom drawer. Here are briefs written right after I finished each story—a very uneven mix:

“Drive My Car” is really a story about how we are all actors, briefly playing roles, then resuming something else which is different each time we
[3.4+] The first three stories were good and solid but didn't make me feel buoyant like a Murakami novel. And the rest of the stories just left me feeling deflated. That's it? Yet they were all well written. Maybe he just needs more pages. I hate to give Murakami less than 4 stars but how much favoritism can I show?
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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."

Realization, when takes seed inside, never leaves before blooming in full. While a part of us wants it to get trampled beneath a thousand confused thoughts bubbling within, a part of us does everything possible
~ A rather bookish
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-love-love-love
This was my first delve into Murukami's works, and I thoroughly the experience. This is a wonderful collection of short stories, all based on men suffering from varying degrees of loneliness, despair and grief, because of the loss of a woman, or a lack of them in their lives. Murukami is certainly a master wordsmith, and his characters are dynamic and interesting, and the amount of depth he goes into with the actual character development, is truly astounding. A couple of the stories, I just coul ...more
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)(RK)
A somewhat disappointing book of short stories by Murakami. I suppose that this will be the last of his books that I shall read. After a great start, Murakami seems to have become a bad emulator of Murakami. Those quirky little things like the disappearing cat that once entertained me now stroke me as non sequetors that merely frustrate me. Seven stories that neither left an impression nor entertained. They shall quickly fade.
Leo Robertson
Quick! Name a famous Murakami! Haruki will be the first, sure, but please don't forget about Ryu, Takashi, and I'm sure there are others. LIKE, it's not even like Ryu and Takashi are like, a famous 90s Honda CEO and the inventor of sashimi respectively; they're both ALSO famous ALIVE artists with the surname MURAKAMI! There may be many other talented artistic geniuses named Murakami, but my copy of this book brazenly disavows their cultural existence with its shiny fucking font declaring MURAKAM ...more

I guess you never run out of books to read. I've read good chunk of Japanese books. Ryu, Higashino, Kirino, Dazai, Nakamura, Minato, Mishima, but never got into Haruki Murakami. Just a hunch that he wouldn't be my thing.
Out of a whim I picked this short story collection to atleast know what all the fuss is about and I think I'm about to read his whole bibliography now. For one thing, i see Japanese being real crazy about Beatles in every single book.
As the title says, this collection has bunc
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always love Murakami's work. I sometimes do not understand it fully but his flow of words, his use of metaphor, and his writing is mesmerizing. Putting together seven short stories in this book, underlines this most talented author. Each one of them is a story of a man alone, without a woman to be their guide through life. Told in his usual mysterious style and with always a nod to humor, Marakami presents the reader with lots to think about as he takes us on this journey that his male charact ...more
L.S. Popovich
Beginning a series of reviews I will do for Murakami, though I'm arriving late to the party, what with the plethora of reviews out there.

I've been a fan since high school and through college. His short stories have a very different feel than his novels in my opinion. With his stories, it is best to "feel" them, rather than to analyze them. Often, they are puzzling, eccentric, funny, and almost always enjoyable in some fashion. His 4 collections of stories in English so far, this being the latest
Vicky "phenkos"
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, really enjoyed this!

My first encounter with Murakami was several years ago when I read Audition. I remember disliking that book intensely because I found it conveyed an unoriginal and problematic view of women - women as dangerous predators - so I decided never to read another book by Murakami again. However, the front cover and title of this one appealed to me (my copy has a different front cover from the one depicted on here, it's a circle cut in two halves that don't fit together,
Additional Note: Hemingway also wrote similarly titled book which was also a set of short stories. His approach is different, and to me it was better (three star review from me) than Murakami's effort.
Original Review:
This is the tenth book I've read by this author, and thus Murakami enters a small group of writers with whom I've shared/read at least ten works. But none of them have won a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize (I have read nine books, though, by John Updike, and he has won two very deserving Pu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
International Rea...: * Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami 6 12 Jan 17, 2020 01:18AM  
Haruki Murakami f...: Japanese Culture References 1 38 Sep 10, 2019 11:49AM  
Indian Readers: March 2019- MEN WITHOUT WOMEN 54 140 Apr 18, 2019 10:01AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong language information text 2 14 Jan 13, 2019 07:51PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Convenience Store Woman
  • Normal People
  • Girl, Woman, Other
  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold
  • Kitchen
  • Exhalation: Stories
  • The Memory Police
  • Conversations with Friends
  • The Vegetarian
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Men Without Women
  • On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
  • Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, The Little Book of Lykke, Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living
  • 82년생 김지영
  • If Cats Disappeared from the World
  • Strange Weather in Tokyo
See similar books…
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:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am

Related Articles

Clear some space on your bookshelves, readers. Another packed season of irresistible books is just around the corner! To help you find your...
145 likes · 107 comments
“Like dry ground welcoming the rain, he let the solitude, silence, and loneliness soak in.” 69 likes
“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.” Takatsuki” 45 likes
More quotes…