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Men Without Women

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  41,546 ratings  ·  4,296 reviews
A cosmetic surgeon is faced with love, and its imperfections , for the first time. A veteran actor finds himself beholden by his female chauffeur. A recently-divorced salesman opens a jazz bar as memories of an ex-lover riff and swell.

Across these seven tales Haruki Murakami brings his wry humour and quiet sense of the surreal to bear on the lives of men who, in their own
Paperback, 228 pages
Published 2018 by Penguin RandomHouse UK (first published April 18th 2014)
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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…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)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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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 ...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
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?
Andrew Smith
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
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
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
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
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 the
Mutasim Billah
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, japan
"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,
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
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.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2019
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 ...more
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
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
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction, japan

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
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 ...more
Paul Secor
Men Without Women is the second collection of Murakami's short stories that I've read. The first, The Elephant Vanishes, was the reading equivalent of receiving a mixtape of wonderful music which I'd never heard before. Reading each of them was like being caught up in a delightful whirlwind that took me to somewhere I had never been before.
Men Without Women was an altogether different experience. The stories, even though they might have had disturbing subject matter in some cases, left me
[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?
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 ...more
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)
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.
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 ebb
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,
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:

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
Well, he's no Tove Jansson. (Sorry, an inside joke).

There's a lot of homage going on here, at least by the titles of the stories. Two recall The Beatles: Drive My Car and Yesterday. Readers of Murakami will know this is not the first time he has gone down that well. In fact, the couplet I once had a girl/or should I say, she once had me could serve as the starting point for about everything Murakami writes.

But there's also a tip of the cap to Middle Eastern Literature (Scheherazade), Hemingway
Paul Fulcher
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
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 there 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.

Only Men Without Women can
Caro the Helmet Lady
Very Murakami-sh collection of six short stories. I waited for it soo long. And I loved it. If you're not in love with his writing style you should rather avoid it, haha.
My only problem with it was that I've already read two stories in New Yorker, so I got only four new ones to enjoy. Bitching much? But of course. :)
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murakami-mania
Let me quantify this low star rating.

1, I love Haruki Murakami, he is without doubt one of my favourite authors. This was my 8th book by him.
2, I have a really bad relationship with short story collections, although I am reading a classic short story/novel on a Sunday, to try and amend this. The only short story collection I've ever loved and given 5* to is In the land of Armadillos by Helen Maryles Shankman and all the stories in that book are connected.
3, My favourite books by Murakami tend
Murakami really outstepped himself this time with coffee-shop philosophy, meaningless sex, overuse of cliché and bland, meandering, empty sentimentality.
I wouldn't even say this collection is much worse than his usual work - though it's certainly his worst short story collection.
This review didn't begin so negatively because I hate the author and the kind of person who's attracted to his style; on the contrary, I've read his entire oeuvre, more or less, and enjoyed a decent majority of his
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International Rea...: * Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami 6 2 Jan 16, 2020 01:48PM  
Indian Readers: March 2019- MEN WITHOUT WOMEN 54 132 Apr 17, 2019 10:31PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong language information text 2 13 Jan 13, 2019 08:21AM  

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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
“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” 41 likes
“You are a pastel-colored Persian carpet, and loneliness is a Bordeaux wine stain that won’t come out” 30 likes
More quotes…