Beware, kind of follows "Wild Sheep Chase".
I came to this book for the beautiful couple "Murakami-Degas", and again, I loved this perfect combination, I loved Murakami's characters and enjoyed so much the way Rupert Degas brings them to life, loved his many voices.
Though the story is rather long, I was totally absorbed and so into it. I prefer to listen to Haruki Murakami's titles rather than read, because they have lots of conversations, and his way of writing is as if he's really talking to himself. The narrator is wonderful about keeping comfortable pace, and balancing passion and calmness. I already repeated several times, and will listen again and again, especially the scenes in Hawaii.
If you're looking for deep cuts, that's one thing. But this is no Kafka. The book has lots of the same tropes as Murakami's later work but it doesn't hang together as well. It has that 80s post-modern feel to it--and the usual end-that-doesn't end of a pomo novel. I haven't read Trilogy of the Rat, so there were clearly some references to a past that I couldn't put together. It's fun, though, and the I can't get enough of the idea of the two superimposed Dolphin Hotels--one moldy and busted and one gleaming and expensive and new. So again, if you can't get enough of Murakami, this is reasonably satisfying. I liked Degas' reading a lot: it's easy to follow dialogue and he has the right Murakami deadpan, so three stars for the novel but four for novel-plus-reading.
Wonderful, chill narration by Rupert Degas.
I liked this book but after reading several other of Murakami's books I am getting rather tired of the 30-something male narrators who are looking for direction in their lives. As a 20-something woman who has no trouble finding her direction, I have no patience for real-life peers who are listlessly wandering about, much less for characters like Haruki.
Yet the book had some redeeming qualities. Like Murakami's book "Kafka on the Shore", which I also listened to on Audible, "Dance Dance Dance" has many psychoanalytical elements to it, which kept me interested. While "Kafka" was a retelling of the Oedipal myth -- and thus the illusion to Freud -- "Dance, Dance, Dance" is more subtly analytic. Take the character of Gotanda, for instance, the actor who always plays nice guys, and yet is secretly a murderer -- or is he? It's not clear if he really murdered a prostitute or if he merely /desired/ to kill her, and is wracked by the guilt of his own aggressive impulses. Similarly, the narrator's relationship with Yuki has something of the paternal, something of the lover-ly about it -- is he her father or her lover? At one point he says "I don't want to be talked about at your wedding as the companion of the bride-to-be when she was 13. I want to be talked about as the /boyfriend/ of the bride when she was 13." A flattering comment or an allusion to something else? As with so much in Murakami, it isn't clear how to interpret this. Yet, it is this kind of ambiguity that leads to complexity in Murakaim's books, and is what keeps me reading.
This is both a strange and wonderful audiobook to listen to. The main subject of the book seems to be dealing with loss and getting over grief, but the work as a whole does much more than that as it is filled with believable characters, and a great deal of suspense and mystery. What will remain with me from this book is the main character's recurrent metaphor of "shovelling cultural snow" which is so apt in so many ways. I'm now looking forward to listening to some other of Murakami's books as this was my first.
All though not as good as After Dark and Kafka on the shore, this is a really good book. It has the mystic that characterizes Murakami's work and the Narrator - with his calm, informing form of narrating, and an immense variety in the characters' voices - is simply perfect.
If I could I would give this book a 4,5 rating, but I can't, so its a 5.
Haruki Murakami. A nice name. I once met a girl with a similar name. What was it? I can't remember, but I feel that I should. We were at a restaurant near the bay. San Francisco. She wore pink lip gloss and drank White Russians. She had a run in her hose, but didn't seem to care. It was near dark. After several drinks we ordered food. I wasn't very hungry, so we ordered a green salad. She had an abalone appetizer. After dinner we walked along a dock. I wanted to kiss her, and the scent abalone didn't make me want to kiss her any less. She wanted to talk. "What's the matter," I asked, "are you bored?" "No!" she exclaimed, "not bored. Yes! Yes! I am bored. I'm so weary of the weary, and so bored with the bored. And a writer who is bored," she said, "should take up another profession."
Need I say more?
Stupidly thought it would get better...it never does. Totally a waste of those hours of my life!
Too bad the star scale rating doesn't allow 0 or negative, because this certainly doesn't rate anything positive.
I have read the back of cereal boxes that were more engaging.
If you are looking for self-involved banality, this is the book for you.