Happy Birthday, Haruki Murakami!

A post from last year…

Undoubtedly one of my favourite authors, he makes me wish I could read Japanese. He is a true God of magic realism, my favourite genre of writing. People like Marquez are on my list too, but I do believe that it is much harder to be this imaginative in today’s world, monotonous and black-and-white.

Murakami began writing fiction when he was 29. “Before that”, he said, “I didn’t write anything. I was just one of those ordinary people. I was running a jazz club, and I didn’t create anything at all.” Can you imagine, waking up one day, and producing masterpieces? His tales look at such minor nuances of human nature, the complexities of love, the surrealism of existence…

This picture, though it trivializes his work to a great degree, always brings a smile to my face; it is so representative of his work! I love how he deals with everyday object and turns them into things with life, much like how I think.



My recommendations would include Sputnik Sweetheart (my favourite), Kafka on the Shore, and After Dark. Of course, 1Q84 has been on everyone’s radar for a while and is a good read as well. If you are not the voracious I-can’t-fall-asleep-without-reading kind of person, then try The Elephant Vanishes, it too has all the elements of his longer novels.

Live a long life. And keep writing!

The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean …a review

This is a children’s book. Much like Treasure Island, but far less known. Mum happened to see it together with the latter and picked it up for my tenth birthday. It is written by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne, who I don’t know has written what else. But I read this book before I read Treasure Island, and I remember that I loved it. Three boys are marooned on an island in the South Pacific when they are in a shipwreck.

The novel goes on to narrate from a first person narrative, the author is the cheeky Ralph Rover, the story of how they manage to survive a long time. They eat all sorts of things, build a house, swim in the sea, and encounter savage tribes. But the style of writing is very simple, the jokes and humour is very very pre-teen, and it is a lovely read overall. To be honest,  Treasure Island is a dark book. It brings children face-to-face with deceit, trickery, mutiny, and violence. This book has none of that but is equally adventurous. Apparently, as per Wiki, it was the inspiration for William Golding’s dystopian Lord of the Flies (1954). I had no idea!

I recommend it as a read for those with kids. Read it to your child when he/she is maybe seven, it will make many a day exciting!

I smell Adventure!

Quote: “When we awoke on the following morning we found that the sun was already a good way above the horizon, so I came to the conclusion that a heavy supper is not conducive to early rising.  Never-the-less, we felt remarkably strong and well, and much disposed to have our breakfast.  First, however, we had our customary morning bathe, which refreshed us greatly.”

You readers

No one reads this, fine, hardly anyone reads this blog. I hate you when you don’t care.

But the ones that do read, that leave comments and likes and thoughts, those are the ones I write here for. Those are the ones I wish good books for.

The rest of you are mean!

Y U No read my blog?


Through the Looking-Glass … a review

Psychedelic Book Cover

Hmmm… so Alice, as we know, is a girl of about seven, who goes about having all sorts of weird adventures.  In this very famous Lewis Carroll book, she ends up in a parallel world trough a looking glass. In this world, she meets Queens and Kings, Humpty-Dumpty, sheep, frogs and whatnots! She must play a game of chess to find her way out and that too, backwards. Things are not what they seem and topsy-turvy is the rule of the game. There’s some brilliantly creative nonsensical poetry too.

Two things struck me about this book. First, although it was a little difficult to understand when I began reading it; I told myself to be a child in the head. Things seemed simple enough the. The trick is to not over analyse the book. The happenings are strange enough, our thoughts only blur logic further.

Second, I did feel that somewhere towards about 75% of the story, if Alice had figured out the fact that everything in the world was happening backwards, I should have liked it much better. Although, it is so not my place to comment upon one of the greatest writers to have lived; I do do think it would’ve been more fun. Sigh, strange how difficult it is to write and how easy to criticize another.

Also, as I promised here, Jefferson Airplane!

When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low

Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head

(No, the dormouse does not say it. If anyone tells you otherwise, don’t believe then!)

PS: An old friend (who wasn’t a friend then, we had ‘history’) from school said she liked this space. Another relatively newer friend linked it. I’m feeling a wee bit happy 🙂

After Dark …a review

What Murakami never fails to do is to fill me with amazement. There is not a single thread in this book that was tied, not a single question was answered, not a single mystery solved. And yet, I was satiated. I was happy and content at the loose ends, satisfied with the unknown and the unanswered, at peace. Another one of those themed books, this time, the chapters are named as per time. It is the story of a single night when a young girl Mari takes a break from home and wanders about a city. She meets a boy, oh yes. But then, she also meets a hooker, a ‘love hotel’ owner, and of course, cats.

Her older sister sleeps a deep sleep, she has been asleep for the last two months. Nothing has aroused her. But as night creeps in, as the wind faintly disturbs the curtains, is there a sound? Is a portal to another world opening? Is there someone there? Chapters progress as time goes on and the night gets bitter. What eerie business is going on?

Quote: “You know what I think?” she says. “That people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Advertising fillers in the newspaper, philosophy books, dirty pictures in a magazine, a bundle of ten-thousand-yen bills: when you feed ’em to the fire, they’re all just paper.”

“Unimpeded by other schemes, this hint of things to come takes time to expand in the new morning light, and we attempt to watch it unobtrusively, with deep concentration. The night has begun to open up at last. There will be time until the next darkness arrives.”