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Sputnik Sweetheart

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  119,962 ratings  ·  7,086 reviews
alternate cover can be found here

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel.

Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual de
Paperback, 229 pages
Published October 3rd 2002 by Vintage (first published April 20th 1999)
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Nikolaos Kantanas It's worth reading. It really doesn't get very interesting until the last third of the book. The the wordplay of Murakami and the ideas he expresses m…moreIt's worth reading. It really doesn't get very interesting until the last third of the book. The the wordplay of Murakami and the ideas he expresses make the book worth reading through to the end. Also there is an interesting ending.(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  119,962 ratings  ·  7,086 reviews

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Dasha H
Aug 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Murakami virgins
Shelves: 2009

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is, by any chance, a bad book. My low rating can be easily explained by the fact that I've already read too much Murakami.

I used to like him quite a lot, but come on, doesn't he get tired of writing the same book over and over again? Let me show you the pattern. A simple guy who likes to 1.cook 2.listen to music/read books 3. think about the meaning of life meets an ordinary girl who turns out to be totally extraordinary, which gets her into trouble soon a

"Reality was one step out of line, a cardigan with the buttons done up wrong."

I have come to realise that reading a Murakami book is not quite an act of reading itself but an act of dreaming with your eyes open. What you see is a series of surreal images barely held together by threads of reason. What matters however, is the feeling these images leave you with; an aftertaste that lingers and intensifies even as the world within these pages turns stranger and more disconcerting; until what yo
“I dream. Sometimes I think that's the only right thing to do.”
Sputnik Sweetheart ~~ Haruki Murakami


As I've stated previously, my friend, Srdjan, is obsessed with Murakami. Srdjan is so passionate about Murakami's writing that it is infectious. We've had many discussions about Murakami, and he kept prodding me to read one of Murakami's novels. He suggested Sputnik Sweetheart, or as I call it, Lust and Longing in Japan . So, I took up his challenge, & plunged into this, strange, magical, lyri
Jim Fonseca
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: japanese-authors
My sixth Murakami.

About three-fourths of the way through the book the magical realism kicks in. We have a woman who has an experience where she sees herself “on the other side.” There is also a disappearing woman in a situation where it is impossible for her to disappear; a tiny Greek island -- no well to fall into; a tiny town only accessible by ferry; a drowned body would wash up.


The story is told from the points of view of two young people: a male teacher and a female would-be author. He lov
“Being all alone is like the feeling you get when you stand at the mouth of a large river on a rainy evening and watch the water flow into the sea… I can’t really say why it’s such a lonely feeling to watch all the river water mix together with the seawater. But it really is.”

I hope that Haruki Murakami is a forgiving sort of guy. I’d like to apologize for abandoning him several years ago. I had picked up Kafka on the Shore, set it aside, and just like that never came back to Murakami again. I d
Kevin Kelsey
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This is my first time reading a Murakami novel. It was very good, and very weird. Either large sections are entirely metaphorical, or we've got some heavy unreliable narrator action going on. Honestly, either way or any combination of the 2 is totally fine with me; this book was beautifully written.

It was eerily similar to Christopher Priest's The Affirmation in themes and quite a few plot points. I can't help but think that Murakami is a fan of his.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, mystery, romance

She said: I really wanted to see you. When I couldn’t see you any more, I realized that. It was as clear as if the planets all of a sudden lined up in a row for me. I really need you. You’re a part of me; I’m a part of you.

He thought: We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.

I might be doing a disservice to Haruki Murakami with my attitude, but the desperate romantic in me, romantic
Kelly Wondracek
Why does Haruki Murakami hit the spot so well for me, and for thousands of other readers worldwide? There's a common element in all his works; it's a bridge of fantasy and reality that has just the right delicate balance. There's something about that balance that's so mesmerizing. You can connect with it on a level that you can’t in pure fantasy, and there’s enough of a disconnect from solid reality to leave you in wonder. Of all the other writers that have been categorized as magical realism th ...more
Seth T.
May 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys Murakami's special brand of genius.
After the excellent Kafka on the Shore and the perhaps much better Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I've been on something of a Murakami kick. I find his storytelling fascinating, both in device and in style. His use of the extraordinary-as-mundane is a tasty joy for me to indulge. Sputnik Sweetheart, while not as wonderful an experience as the two aforementioned works, was quite a bit of quick fun.

Thematically not dissimilar from Wind-up Bird, this short novel revels in questions of identity, conscious
B Schrodinger
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, japan
I sat down to read ‘Sputnik Sweetheart’ the night David Bowie died.
It was a humid,still antipodean January night where you knew sleep would not come easily. My partner, less accomodating of the heat than I am, nevertheless went to bed around 11 leaving me to late night reading. Unusually for suburbia, the only sounds were the crickets chirping their mid-summer thrum, a white noise, innocuous and soothing. It was a sombre evening and so it, and I, felt Murakami-like. Lost.

‘Sputnik Sweetheart’ i
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ranee
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-non-core
This is my 2nd novel by Haruki Murakami and just like Kafka in the Shore, this still amazed me. I even enjoyed this more than Kafka.

For me this is the best unrequited tragic love story I've read so far. As this is said to be the most openly emotional novel of Mr. Murakami, the prose is really haunting and the scenes are dreamy and surreal. Again, because Mr. Murakami uses a lot of metaphors and symbolisms, there can be layers of interpretations. I am not really fond of love stories (this just ha
Daniel Clausen
Nov 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Reading Sputnik Sweetheart is like returning home. As the saying goes, you can't step in the same river can go home, but the home isn't the same home that you left. So it is with books. You can read the same words again and again, but since you are different, the book is different too.

This time, as I read this book, I dwelled on the topic of lost things.

"I closed my eyes and tried to bring to mind as many beautiful lost things as I could. Drawing them closer, holding on to them. Kn
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
This first half of the book gave me equal satisfaction as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
But I thought the second part was really ridiculous.

Murakami's writing is different in the sense that this one is a little mainstream compared to his other novels. Nevertheless this book is so charming. The characters are so realistic and character development is so damn amazing.

It's the writing. Yes, his writing. It seems really simple but I have not come across many authors who wo
Helene Jeppesen
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This turned out to be quite an interesting read. For the most part, I was utterly bored when reading this book. It contains long passages of bland thoughts and descriptions, and I was starting to think that I had grown away from Haruki Murakami and his story-telling which I used to absolutely love (I have read quite a lot of his novels through the years).
However, halfway through the novel I encountered what was to become one of my favourite literary scenes (it contains a ferris wheel), and from
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laika is my dawg
Recommended to Mariel by: Be my 3am valentine
A moment in my life that has come back to haunt me during times of communication difficulty is when I told my grandmother that I hated to repeatedly shout out what I'd said for my mostly deaf grandfather because it made what I'd said sound stupid. Her response was that it was stupid all along, or something like that.
I've decided that reading translated works and translating them again with one's mind, experiences, what have you is like doing a cover song. Jeff Buckley actually used another Leona
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
“The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart


A disappearing woman. Classical music. Cats. Dreams. Yup, I just finished another Murakami novel. I'm going to sleep and dream on this one tonight and write the review tomorrow. No really. I fully intend to write a real review, I'm just uncertain how I feel. Half of me wants to write a review, but the other half just wants to l
kwesi 章英狮
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I asked my friend if she had tried to read Murakami's works, and she said no and she let me borrowed her one and only copy and it was given to her by her couple friend. And I was in doubt accepting her offer, because (1) It was given to her as a birthday gift and she didn't read it yet, fresh in the box; (2) some of my friends in Goodreads always talks about Murakami and his works so I decided to look for a free copy and lastly, (3) my insecurity works when I saw the cover, look, a nude wom ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4+] Sputnik Sweetheart is a wistful novel about unrequited love and yearning. As usual with Murakami, reading it infused me with wonder and hope. Towards the end (I listened to it) I found myself chanting "Don't End, Don't End! That's is why I'm only giving it 4 stars. I wanted more! ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I suppose you could say this book is sort of Murakami "lite" - less intense in terms of non-linear narrative and the characters are a bit more concrete and the plot easier to discern. Nonetheless, it is a wonderfully beautiful book and one of Murakami's best. A must read if you are going to give Murakami a spin.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t always read Murakami, but when I do I prefer reading slowly and letting the writing carry me off like I’m having some kind of lucid dream I never want to wake from. Stay thirsty my friends.

What we have here, at least in the beginning of the book, is what New Order would likely describe as a bizarre love triangle. There is even a paragraph where the narrator takes the time to break down how messed up his situation is: he’s in love with a girl, but she’s in love with an older woman, the o
Mutasim Billah
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
“In dreams you don't need to make any distinctions between things. Not at all. Boundaries don't exist. So in dreams there are hardly ever collisions. Even if there are, they don't hurt. Reality is different. Reality bites. Reality, reality.”

A young girl who falls in love. A friend who is always there. A mysterious disappearance. And no clues left whatsoever.

Murakami's absurdist themes allow you to read a book with the eerie feeling of being a part of a dream sequence. Sputnik Sweetheart is a re
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: haruki-murakami
*re-read July 2018, rating changed to 4*

I know I may sound like a broken record but Murakami is the man! Don't let the 3 stars fool you. For a Murakami book, 3 stars means it's more than just good whereas for others it means mediocre to just good. I don't know why but he is the only writer that can be repetitive as hell and still create a riveting atmosphere in each of his stories not letting you care about the cliches.

Sputnik Sweetheart takes a glimpse into the deepest aspects of human psychol
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit, translation

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb: Haruki Murakami, the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, plunges us into an urbane Japan of jazz bars, coffee shops, Jack Kerouac, and The Beatles to tell this story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited loves.

K falls in love with Sumire but a devotion to an untidy writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments - until she meets Miu, an older sophis
“Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer. Meanwhile Sumire's best friend K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire.

Murakami is a
Gabrielle Grosbety
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
“[D]on’t pointless things have a place, too, in this far-from-perfect world? Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life, and it’d even lose its imperfection.”

The prose of this book is marked with a feverish, dreamily ethereal passion. As its poetry spills from the soul in an excitable, delighted aliveness, filling each word with a spellbinding potency that shimmers. It is about being forlornly lonely, untethered at sea, waiting to find a companion, which is what Sputnik translates to
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
There are certain books you shouldn't read to get the TRUE flavor of a writer. Haruki Murakami is wildly popular--but what is really look like are the thoughts of a fan of Americana, not a participant of the Japanese empire--his ONLY 2 novels you should busy yourself with are:
1) Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
2) Kafka on the Shore
Everything else is a distillation of the themes in these two superior experimental novels. Don't let this be your first foray into Murakami. He is usually pretty good: just not
সালমান হক
A near perfect exploration of lonliness.

Lost in the immense metropolis of Tokyo, three people desperately seek each other trying to break the eternal circular journey of loneliness; a trip similar to that of the Russian satellite Sputnik, where the dog Laika revolved around the Earth and directed her astonished gaze towards infinite space. The narrator, a young primary school teacher, is in love with Sumire, whom he met at the university. But Sumire has only one obsession: to be a novelist. She
Ivana Books Are Magic
Sputnik Sweetheart was my first Murakami. If I recall well, I read it when I was about thirteen. Back then, I liked the novel, but not immensely so. I suppose my teenage self was a bit more judgmental than my present self and thought K. was a jerk. But them my teenage self didn't know what it meant to long for somebody you could never have or about the horrid heartbreak it can incite. The frustration and the pain of being friends with someone you desire more than everything. Not really. It is so ...more
Daina Chakma
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew that Sputnik is the first man-made satellite that had been launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. May be most of you know exactly the same thing. But wait, Murakami is telling us a whole new story. He said, Sputnik means travelling companion! Isn't it Sweet?!

Sputnik Sweetheart is a story of a girl, Sumire, who fell in love with a married person in her early twenties. There's nothing wrong with that though. But what if that person is 17years older?! What if that person is a woman actually
That's my first reading for Haruki Murakami, and won't be the last :)
I wished I could read it in Japanese, but my Japanese is still not that good!

Haruki Murakami's book seems different from other books I've read! It's a mixture of magical realism, love, books and music!

 photo sputnik-2-1_zpsfjte7vak.jpg
“The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.”

What a tragic love story! Could it be considered a "love triangle"? Maybe!

So i
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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 Am

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