All of Murakami's novels have been amazing, but with The Elephant Vanishes, the writer shows that he can handle the short story as well as his longer works.
With the exception of "The Wind Up Bird and Tuesday's Women," each of these stories stands alone as fantastic. (Note: the only reason I say this is because I can't break this story away from the masterpiece novel it later became.)
Moving on to "The Second Bakery Attack," this story relates just how little we sometimes know our significant others, albeit in an exaggerated way.
Probably my favorite story, however, was "The Last Lawn of the Afternoon." By the time this story ends, the ambiguity of the drunken housewife's motivations paired with the facts we know about her past leaves us wondering what kind of emotional pain she's really going through, and how our narrator helped her ease that pain in the long run.
Easily, this collection of 17 short stories can be seen as Murakami's best. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy their literature with a bit of strangeness added.
King is known for his horror, but 11/22/63 exemplifies his ability to tell a story that hits on all themes of the human condition. This book is not only a fantastic King tale, but a fantastic example of American fiction.
This book is a little too much for a lot of people, but I like how Auster riffs on identity issues and then pairs it up with the classic icon of the private detective. If you're looking for something that will take you back to Chandler, this might not be up your alley, but if you're seeking something a bit experimental and somewhat quirky, check out the NYT.
This book kept me interested, but served mainly as an easy listen. I'm a big fan of the Showtime series, and thought I'd give the source material a shot, expecting it to be about the same in style and mood, and Lindsay's book met the goal. Exactly what I was hoping it would be.
Dostoyevsky imparts his experiences from a Siberian prison camp, and during this narrative, we find out again why this writer is regarded as the best in fiction. Through his techniques in presentation and methods of characterization, Dostoyevsky delivers another great read.
I entered this book expecting to find some great satire, remarkable writing, and a lot of violence. I'd read Ellis's Rules of Attraction earlier and found it very enjoyable, but with American Psycho, all that seemed to be conveyed was boring lists and repetitive routines and details.
I get what the author was shooting for, but—with me, at least—I wasn't convinced that his work hit the mark.
Ellis has talent. I don't see this as his best, but that doesn't mean prospective readers should disregard him entirely.
Never before have I encountered a book that went so far over my head the first time I read through it, but Blood Meridian passed by so high, it's taken me quite some time to reach a point that I could appreciate the work for all its accomplishments. This book is a chore, plainly stated, but - like so many difficult yet great books that are out there - it will be worthwhile for those who decided to take up the task.
As for the reading, Poe did a fantastic job in his narration. Not over-the-top but not a monotonous drone, his choices in the voicing of these characters allowed for the text to really speak out.
I've found the Murakami's nonfiction can be both insightful and lacking depending on the section you read. With WITAWITAR (whew!), I found the book meters above Underground, which was a bit repetitive. With Running, you get anecdotes that come across as both touching and insightful. These two words are often used to describe Murakami's fiction (along with weird, surreal, etc.), but here they come across through the effort of journaling.
I will say, however, that HM's nonfiction doesn't hold a candle to his novels, or even his short stories, but for the price they're asking here, you can't go wrong with this selection.
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