Andrew's Reviews > The Elephant Vanishes

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Apr 11, 2011

bookshelves: haruki-murakami, japanese-fiction

This is my first stab at Murakami's shorter-length work. I loved the four novels of his I'd read before (Kafka on the Shore, Hard-Boiled Wonderland, The Wind-Up Bird Chroncile and Norwegian Wood) even though they're fairly disparate. A lot of Murakami fans hate Norwegian Wood.

There are two kinds of stories in this book. There are the realistic (or, rather, realistic enough-- no unicorns or malevolent spirits) stories about mindless consumer culture and gritty reality. And then there are the ones that are set in Murakami-land.

I was a little afraid that he would be a much stronger novelist than short-fiction writer. Especially in his stories that are pretty much set in the real world. When he's not relying on his usual bag of surrealist tricks, he's actually a damned good architect of character. But his short stories actually manage to be meaningful throughout.

Except for the one that's pretty much the opening to the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. That was all extra flaccid by comparison.
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