Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

Nothing gives me more pleasure these days than reading Haruki Murakami’s words blend in a story which might constitute of fantastical world along with realism. There are not much books left written by him that I haven’t read such that I can count on my fingers, the remaining titles now. A whole weekend is more than enough to finish exploring a new account of Murakami’s realism.

The story is woven of Hajime, a 37-year-old owner of two jazz clubs, married with two kids and seemingly happy in a relationship with his wife. He recollects memories of his childhood, early teenage days, being a twelve-year-old, falling for a wise girl in his class who was inflicted with polio, and shared memories with her. Reality takes over in one of the jazz bar he owns, the girl whom he was dreaming of in his memories is in front of him, full of mystery. 

South of the Border, West of the Sun is Murakami’s usual business with a tidy plot, interesting characters, soothing Murakami’s words and prose style. The significance of the title itself is described in the book very beautifully and with genuine resemblance. Hajime will have to make a choice between his past and his present. However his personal story, elements of which are quite autobiographical, is a moving tale of teenage romance and anxiety, and of mid-life crisis and nostalgia.

It’s simple, one day read. The prose is strong enough to dupe you into reading the whole book once you have started it.

4 out of 5

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17 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami”

  1. Wonderful review, Aman 🙂 I loved this book very much when I first read it a couple of years ago. Even though its plot is nothing special, it really struck me – especially the last couple of pages.

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      1. After Dark, Underground, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage & Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World are the only titles as I remember are left to read. I am going take my time to read them. What about you?

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      2. After Dark is a brilliant short tale, quite different from the usual Murakami. I read Tsukuru Tazaki fairly recently and I loved it. I hope you enjoy them when you get the chance to read them 🙂 I haven’t read his earlier work mostly, but I plan on changing that slowly. I like the feeling that I still have something of Murakami’s left unread, so I can resort to his books any time I feel like reading his works 🙂

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