Criticism of Murakami most often targets the banality of the situations, the tedious pondering of self-ness, and the trite or simplistic language. It is true that many Murakami's themes are very common, but this is probably why he is so popular. However, his intentionally simplistic language brings out some of the more difficult to express problems of social isolation that his characters experience in a pomo info-age.
If the critics decry Murakami's simple language, it is that they focus on his short sentences with unpretentious vocabularly. This language, however, when understood beyond the word and sentence level, open up a structure of thought and awareness that was previously impenetrable with Buddhist and Western Philosophical complexities. Hooray for Murakami, then, for brining the experience that philosophy says we all feel, into a dialog with those actually feeling it!
That said, this recording is awful. This recording severs all connection to the paragraph or chapter, where the real meaning of Murakami's text lies, and leaves you with broken sentences. Yaegashi's voice has a good tone, but his reading of a sentence is as a Jr. High schooler reading the text for the first time. The tone of each sentence is nearly identical, starting with a stark emphasis, following the same pitch arch to the end of the sentence, without emotion or connection to what was spoken before, or anticipating what comes next. The sentences are 'read' rather than performed, with very frequent awkward pauses that do not flow with the grammar. Seriously lacking in performative quality, like a student in a classroom assigned to cold reading a passage that they hadn't seen before.
The result leaves Murakami's language sounding shallow and inane, rather than simply unpretentious. After 10 minutes, you feel the pattern may be intentional. At 30 minutes, this predictable pattern looses all connection with craft, and grates on the ears, and one looks for the ice-pick to relieve the pain.
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