Haruki Murakami is unquestionably Japan's leading novelist with his many works - fiction and non-fiction - consistently reflecting contemporary Japanese life while, unusually, sustaining an international appeal through a deeply human perspective.
Sputnik Sweetheart is his ninth novel, written in 1999, and tells the story of a young woman - Sumire, an aspiring writer - who falls in love with an older, successful businesswoman and wine expert, Miu. Their relationship is told through the eyes of Sumire's close (male) friend. It is a curious, mysterious tale, told with the compassion and quirkiness that is the hallmark of Murakami's writing. Translated from Japanese to English by Philip Gabriel.
©1999 Haruki Marukami (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
Murakami seems to deliver beautiful stories so effortlessly. It's like listening to a great Haiku that lasts a long time. I loved this little indulgence, so beautifully crafted with such full characters and a delicious whimsy that is like McEwen at his best and Rushdie at his poetic standard. And all of this about something so mundane, yet so extraordinary as the disappearance of a treasured friend, a search and an ending. Of course, there are the recurring themes of loneliness and not fitting in and even a cameo cat. Simple and wonderful.
I'm not convinced about Adam Sims. I see he has read other Murakami and that he's got acting credentials from serious theatre in the UK. The latter intrigued me given the US accent he used for this performance. I like his men and I am indifferent about his women.
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