Haruki Murakami fans discussion

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message 1: by Christine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Christine Our group description includes writers similar to Murakami, and I read a mention of a similar writer in someone's post. But I don't know of any similar writers. Can anyone help out? Who are similar writers? Thoughts on this?


message 2: by Christi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

Christi (christi_r_suzanne) | 5 comments I think that Kobo Abe is similar to Murakami, in that his novels take a somewhat ordinary situation and then twists it into something extraordinary. A lot of his themes are about isolation, feeling opressed and trying to get out of a difficult situation. When I read something by this author, I often feel all of those emotions. He does a great job at evoking those emotions in the reader. Some novels I've read by him are Kangaroo Notebook and Woman in the Dunes. Most memorable was Woman in the Dunes.

I think Murakami has also been compared to Vonnegut. A more reaching comparison might be Chuck Palaniuck (sp?).


message 3: by Kelly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Kelly Wondracek (mirume) | 17 comments Mod
Paige, I've read Kangaroo Notebook and I can see what you mean by Abe having similar traits to Murakami's writing. (Also started reading Face of Another but never finished.) Abe's writing is really cool conceptually, but maybe not as moving as I was hoping it would be.

Considering Chuck Palahnuik (not sure about my spelling either, hehe) is also one of my favorite writers, I think he shares a lot of the same fans as Murakami. I don't think his writing is as evocative, and it's definitely more grotesque, but there are certain likenesses. And I also saw a book jacket where Chuck P. was compared to Vonnegut!

The average-Joe narrators who experience surreal things that Murakami commonly uses remind me a lot of Paul Auster's narrators. Similar tone and subtle humor, too.


message 4: by Chilly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Chilly SavageMelon (chillysavagemelon) I believe I am the 'someone' you mention from the "First Murakami" thread: I made the point that the Japan section of David Mitchell's 'Ghostwritten' felt very much like a Murakami homage.
I would want to read more Mitchell and re-read select Murakami before building this case further. At the time though, I was definitely thinking "I like this AND this is SO Murakami"


message 5: by Christine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Christine Hello "someone"! Sorry I didn't remember your name. Thank you for your thoughts.


message 6: by Walter (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

Walter (vlodko) OK - I've just joined, but I'm here from the opposite direction. I'm a fan of David Mitchell's work (I've read Cloud Atlas, I'm currently reading Ghostwritten), and I'm wondering if I'd enjoy Murakami. I haven't yet read anything by him, but it sounds as if I might...


message 7: by Chilly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Chilly SavageMelon (chillysavagemelon) Walter - not knowing what brought you to Mitchell, that is - sci fi, or modern literature or whatever, I'm gonna say: yes. You will like Murakami. Start with stories or a novel, but if you think you aren't liking his stuff, try two before you decide for sure-


message 8: by Walter (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:39PM) (new)

Walter (vlodko) Thanks, Chilly - if I were to start with one of the novels, which would you recommend? I've read descriptions of "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" and "A Wild Sheep Chase," and both sound interesting.

I'll be looking for my next novel once I've finished Mitchell's "Ghostwritten." It will either be "number9dream" or something by Murakami.


message 9: by Janelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

Janelle | 1 comments Walter, I would recommend you start with "A Wild Sheep Chase". While "Wind-up" may be more Mitchell-esq I believe "Sheep Chase" to be a very good introduction to Murakami, it also seems to be the favorite of most readers I know.


message 10: by Jeannine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Jeannine | 3 comments Osamu Dazai's short stories - in Blue Bamboo and Crackling Mountain and Other Stories - remind me of Murakami quite a bit. Same dark sense of humor, pop culture references, magical realism.


message 11: by Alison (new)

Alison | 1 comments I have never read anything like Murakami, and I think that's why I'm addicted to his books! But I'm glad someone started this thread, because these are the authors I'm going to be looking for. Thanks!


message 12: by Steve (new)

Steve | 9 comments sorry if this is a little off-topic, but does anyone know when david mitchell's new book is coming out?



message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Steve wrote: "sorry if this is a little off-topic, but does anyone know when david mitchell's new book is coming out?
"


Some time next year...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bi...


message 14: by Dean (new)

Dean | 10 comments One of my favorite authors that I would consider to be the most like Murakami is definately Paul Auster. I would recommend the New York Trilogy to anyone who hasn't tried him out yet.

Another favorite who's writing style is nothing like Murakami but who can also put in sort of absurdist-metaphysical elements as well as some noir-ish elements is Jonathan Lethem.


message 15: by Tara (last edited Dec 26, 2008 10:27AM) (new)

Tara (TaraKHubbard) | 3 comments I'm excited to check out the authors mentioned so far. Another that comes to mind as far as "magical realism" is Chuck Rosenthal who wrote the wonderful 3 volume "Loop Trilogy", a coming-of-age story that takes place in the slums of Erie Pa. Book two, "Experiments with Life and Deaf" is a favorite of mine.


message 16: by Yen (new)

Yen (yen_chu) | 2 comments Agree with David Mitchell as a recommendation. I'm reading "Raw Shark Tales" by Steven Hall right now and am finding similarities.


message 17: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony This reminded me a bit of Murakami, but my perception may be colored by the fact they're both Asian writers...

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/79...


message 18: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers Randomanthony wrote: "This reminded me a bit of Murakami, but my perception may be colored by the fact they're both Asian writers...

I read this a while ago and don't remember being especially dazzled. I might reread it, though. It was a quick read.




message 19: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers Another recommendation- not necessarily similar to Murakami's style, but you will definitely like it if you like Murakami: The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa. I know I've mentioned it in another thread, but it's worth a repeat. A strange, spare, satisfying, surreal read. I'd be interested to hear what others think.


message 20: by William (new)

William Graney | 29 comments Following in the vein of "not necessarily similar" I tend to lean towards a similar type of self-reflection when reading David Guterson.


message 21: by Mark (new)

Mark | 7 comments I also recommend 'The Diving Pool'. It's a little darker, but there's definitely something Murakami-esque about it.


message 22: by Ricky (new)

Ricky | 2 comments I would have to agree with Dean...Murakami reminds me of Paul Auster. A Wild Sheep Chase and The Locked Room (from the New York Trilogy) are similar reads. However, Murakami is funnier, and not as pretentious (see Travels in the Scriptorium by Auster).


message 23: by dannymac (last edited Feb 06, 2009 07:24PM) (new)

dannymac | 7 comments I have to say first of all, that I haven't read many of the writers previously mentioned with the exception of Vonnegut and Pahluhniak. Vonnegut, I've read sparsley and it took place way back in high school. Through my foggy memory I can see the similarities. On the other hand, Pahluhniak; I can't even read that shit it's so repulsive and inane. To put him in the same league as Murikami is like giving Anne Coulter the same credability as Maureen Dowd.

He reminds me of TC Boyle or like Tim Robbins, only less absurd.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim | 4 comments dannymac wrote: "I have to say first of all, that I haven't read many of the writers previously mentioned with the exception of Vonnegut and Pahluhniak. Vonnegut, I've read sparsley and it took place way back in hi..."

couldn't agree more
Pahluhniak is a lightweight
if there is a worse descriptive word than inane, I'd use that for describing Pahluhniak




message 25: by dannymac (last edited Feb 07, 2009 05:42PM) (new)

dannymac | 7 comments Jim wrote: "dannymac wrote: "I have to say first of all, that I haven't read many of the writers previously mentioned with the exception of Vonnegut and Pahluhniak. Vonnegut, I've read sparsley and it took pla..."

Yeah, I bought two books by him; Haunted and I think Diary, both unreadable. What a waste of money. I don't know why he's popular, it's beyond me. He writes well but the subject matter and all that stupid imagery, it's like, why?


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim (ktran29) | 5 comments Jim wrote: "dannymac wrote: "I have to say first of all, that I haven't read many of the writers previously mentioned with the exception of Vonnegut and Pahluhniak. Vonnegut, I've read sparsley and it took pla..."

Thank god. I never understood the fascination with Palahniuk. I couldn't even get through one book.



message 27: by Nate D (last edited Apr 22, 2009 08:28AM) (new)

Nate D (rockhyrax) I think the common ground is probably that they're both common entry points into post-modern lit, but besides that they're completely different. For some reason I went through a period years ago where I was practically alternating between the two, but even at the time I thought that was sort of ridiculous, given Murakami's dreamlike subtlety and Palahniuk's pulp gratuity. Years and many novels later, Murakami is certainly the one that holds up better, though I wouldn't entirely discount Palahniuk's uses as a stylist and satirist (I'm probably okay with mostly discounting them, however).

Personally, I found myself reminded of Murakami, specifically Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, most recently while reading Roberto Bolano's 2666. Similar feel for dreams and the subconcious, and similarly arranged as a chorus of sub-stories whose resonance was more thematic than narrative.

Oh, and also, there's a quote on the back of many Murakami editions comparing him to Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo and responsible for getting me, initially, to check out both of those authors. Which was very worthwhile, despite their not being strictly similar.


message 28: by William (new)

William Graney | 29 comments A review of Salmonella Men on Planet Porno by Yasutaka Tsutsui mentioned that the book of short stories would be a good one for Murakami fans.
I picked it up and have read one of the stories so far. Based on that one story I would have to agree, enjoyable reading.


message 29: by Megha (new)

Megha (hearthewindsing) I came across a 'Literature-Map' website on another GR group. According to this map Paul Auster and Banana Yoshimoto are most similar to Murakami.

http://www.literature-map.com/haruki+...


message 30: by Lewis (new)

Lewis (theterminalbeach) Roberto Bolano has been compared to Murakami a fair few times. I can't see the comparison myself, however.


message 31: by William (new)

William Graney | 29 comments I don't see the Bolano comparison either. They couldn't be more different in my opinion.


message 32: by dannymac (new)

dannymac | 7 comments Bolano and Murikami? I think they both excel in their own capacities. I'm a huge fan of Bolano having read Distant Star, Longest Night on Earth and the Savage Detectives. But similar in style or subject matter? No, I don't think so.


message 33: by Christi (new)

Christi (christi_r_suzanne) | 5 comments I love Banana Yoshimoto!


message 34: by Steve (new)

Steve | 9 comments I read The New York Trilogy by Auster a few weeks ago. As others have said, it shares some of the motifs of Murakami novels. Highly recommended!


message 35: by Misty (new)

Misty | 3 comments Chilly wrote: "I believe I am the 'someone' you mention from the "First Murakami" thread: I made the point that the Japan section of David Mitchell's 'Ghostwritten' felt very much like a Murakami homage.
I would ..."


Read everything by Mitchell, definitely get a Murakami feel from him. I don't know whether its an homage or just coincidentally similar styles and subject matter, but he's flipping fantastic either way...


message 36: by William (new)

William Graney | 29 comments It seems like almost every Japanese writer gets compared to H.M.
From the L.A. Times review of Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor, “This novel has all the charm and restraint of any by Ishiguro or Kenzaburo Oe and the whimsy of Murakami.”
The review of the book in Bookmarks Magazine has intrigued me and I will likely pick it up at some point.




message 37: by Natasa (new)

Natasa | 26 comments I've so far read 7 Murakami novels plus 2 books of short stories. Just now I've finished Paul Auster's The book of illusions. Seems nothing like Murakami at all in any way to me.. Did I pick up the wrong one out of P.A.'s books?


message 38: by Pete (new)

Pete Lawley (laughdata) | 2 comments I don't think I've come across any authors whose writing has really reminded me of Murakami's, although I must admit I've never read any Vonnegut. Raymond Carver, Franz Kafka and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are often said to have influenced Murakami's work. Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (a great book) is probably the closest in style to Murakami that I've read, although Murakami generally writes in shorter, simpler sentences.


message 39: by Natasa (new)

Natasa | 26 comments Pete, Marquez is one of my favourites since I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude. I agree with you. At Murakami I like the feeling that life simply goes on no matter what strange things happen to you; that small things are the important ones and nothing actually is strange. At Marquez sometimes I could not distance myself from the characters' feelings, but I also really like reading him.


message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve | 9 comments Natasa wrote: "I've so far read 7 Murakami novels plus 2 books of short stories. Just now I've finished Paul Auster's The book of illusions. Seems nothing like Murakami at all in any way to me.. Did I pick up the..."

try the new york trilogy


message 41: by pearl (new)

pearl (fruitslee) I'd like to recommend Jonathan Carroll. Try: The Wooden Sea, and Glass Soup. His works possess a similar sort of magical realism, as well as a knack for describing our every-day lives with grace and humor.

Also this is rather interesting:
http://www.nypl.org/comment/reply/1443


message 42: by Natasa (new)

Natasa | 26 comments Interesting indeed..
I am at the moment reading Birthday stories with Murakami's comments. Some of the stories are really good, I'm looking forward to going into the writers a bit more later.



message 43: by Imofean (new)

Imofean | 1 comments Raymond Carver, George Orwell and Scott Fitzgerald .
They are Murakami's favorite authors as well.



message 44: by Misty (new)

Misty | 3 comments pearl wrote: "I'd like to recommend Jonathan Carroll. Try: The Wooden Sea, and Glass Soup. His works possess a similar sort of magical realism, as well as a knack for describing our every-day lives with grace an..."

I loved this:
"Carroll certainly flirts with magic realism, as does Murakami, though Murakami adds a healthy dose of believable absurdity to his magic realism…a kind of “magic absurdism”."

"magical absurdism" -- that's a great term for it, and that's exactly what I love about Murakami.


message 45: by Randall (new)

Randall | 10 comments ..Jonathan Carroll, yes absolutely


message 46: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 09, 2009 12:46PM) (new)

Imofean wrote: "Raymond Carver, George Orwell and Scott Fitzgerald .
They are Murakami's favorite authors as well.
"


Related to Imofean's comment, the following is the list of some authors whose works Murakami has translated into Japanese. His book "Honyaku Yawa (which means "Night Tales of Translation," I guess...), Murakami says he chooses books from which he can learn something through the translation process. (When Murakami does translation work, he decides what he wants to translate instead of getting offers from publishers.) They are not necessarily similar writers to Murakami, of course, but I thought it'd be interesting to know from whom he has had influence/inspiration.

********************************
Raymond Carver
John Irving
Chris Van Allsburg
Tim O'Brien
Truman Capote
Mikal Gilmore ("Shot in the Heart" incredible book!)
J. D. Salinger
Paul Theroux
Scott Fitzgerald
Grace Paley
Mark Strand
Raymond Chandler


message 47: by Dean (new)

Dean | 10 comments I've been reading some Raymond Carver and I can definitely see Carver's influence on Murakami's writing in retrospect.


message 48: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Clausen | 56 comments That's interesting that JD Salinger is mentioned. I've always thought that defining aspect of Murakami's writing is the intimacy that he establishes with his reader. Perhaps this is just because all of the books that I've read of Murakami are in the first person.

Wasn't it Holden Caulfield who said something along the lines of books being like best friends?


message 49: by Sarai (last edited Nov 27, 2010 09:08AM) (new)

Sarai (chrysalis_stage) | 6 comments While reading Blow-Up and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar I often find myself feeling how I do when I read Murakami. They are both labelled as magical realism.

I also came across a book that I keep meaning to buy by Scarlett Thomas called Going Out. One paperback version has a picture of a VW camper van on the front with the quote by Matt Thorne saying 'Fans of Coupland and MURAKAMI here is your new favourite author' I'm guessing it's Haruki Murakami he means :)


message 50: by Brian (new)

Brian Yatman | 1 comments Dean wrote: "One of my favorite authors that I would consider to be the most like Murakami is definately Paul Auster. I would recommend the New York Trilogy to anyone who hasn't tried him out yet.

Another..."

Agreed. I'm reading the NYT at the moment and the blend of noir and absurdity reminds of Haruki's work.


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