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Publisher's Summary

A dazzling new collection of short stories - the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed Haruki Murakami since his best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.

©2017 Haruki Murakami (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Murakami Being Murakami

A man meets his wife's lover and finds out he likes the guy. A Tokyoite teaches himself to speak with a Kansai accent. A bug turns into Gregor Samsa. People disappear. Men and women remain enigmas to each other. Sadness. Loneliness. We're in Haruki's World. There's a familiarity to all these stories, and yet, they never fail to entertain.

Murakami doesn't top himself here, but neither does he show a loss of talent. If you liked his other short stories, you'll most likely enjoy these. The converse is also true.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 07-27-17

That's how we become Men Without Women

"That's what it is like to lose a woman. And at a certain time, losing one woman means losing all women. That's how we become Men Without Women."
-- Haruki Murakami, Men Without Women

This is a soft Murakami. A lot of his novels are dreamlike, but this one seems more like an emotional smell than a memory. There just isn't a lot to grab onto. It reminded me of petting a sea anemone flower at a local aquarium. I knew I was doing it. I was even thrilled a bit as I was doing it. It just didn't register in the way I predicted.

Anyway, the book is a series of short stories, I've included my ranking for each:
1. Drive My Car - ★★★★
2. Yesterday - ★★★
3. An Independent Organ - ★★
4. Scheherazade - ★★★★
5. Kino - ★★★★
6. Samsa in Love - ★★★
7. Men without Women - ★★★

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • sgonk
  • New York, NY USA
  • 06-20-17

Not a place to start with Murakami

This collection was inconsistent. Some high points, some low points, but mainly in the middle. While Murakami's style comes through, I don't think this collection shows him off very well. I would think a person new to Murakami might think "what's the fuss?" after reading this.

Many of the main characters have strange but strongly held beliefs. That isn't unusual for Murakami characters, but most of them had little to offer otherwise, so some of the stories came off as just strange.

Of the stories, I thought "Kino" was the best.

Kirby Heyborne has a neutral, flat delivery; seemingly perfect for Murakami. The problem is that in the (rare) instances where the text called out for an emotional reading, Heyborne couldn't or didn't follow through.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disapointing for Murakami lovers

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, this is the only Murakami I would not recommend, and I love Murakami. Clearly some of his books are better than others in general. This one is a waste of time in my opinion. I've listened to nearly every offering, and this one is populated on his fixation on his sex organ, flat and boring short stories. Not very interesting ones at that. I kept going thinking the next story would be an improvement, but sadly they all had similarities.

Which character – as performed by Kirby Heyborne – was your favorite?

They all blend together, I don't think there was enough of a break between stories. It would have been better to state the name of the story if there is one before just jumping in, in the same breath. Also would have helped to alternate readers, so there would be more of a break to distinguish the stories.

Could you see Men Without Women being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Raleigh
  • greensboro, NC, United States
  • 07-31-17

modern male uncertainty and mystery and doubt

? does modern urban life seem uncertain, mysterious and almost "inhuman" at times
? would it help to read an author who can lovingly tease out these struggles
? if haruki murakami wins the nobel prize one day, would it surprise you

by its' title, murakami's wonderful book invites comparison to ernest hemingway
he tells us about a series solitary men struggling to understand and interact with women
each of the men finds this task slow, difficult, enigmatic and, at times, defeating

i suspect murakami believes men's true selves are ground down by modern life
their awkward attempts to reach out to women are really attempts to find themselves
murakami's tender insightful text lends an all-embracing nobility to these struggles





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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boring

I'm sorry I tried to like it. I like endings to a story but I guess it makes you think about .....

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

not his best is an understatement

I like murakami, really love 1q84 and wind up bird. they are two of my favorite books all time. but this work is a serious flop. there are some interesting stories in it but overall it lacks subtlety and there's a feeling at the end that he tried to force cohesiveness into the series that was unnecessary, particular with the last piece which is by far the worst published story I've read from Murakami. I would read a couple of these stories again but some of them are just so dreadful that I had to give this 1 star, sorry haruki

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great performance

i enjoyed listening it, great performance and read well. it goes very fast and enjoyable

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Take a fulfilling ride with curious characters.

Curiosity, in Murakami’s supremely enjoyable, philosophical and pitch-perfect collection of short stories is what motivates his characters. The mix of humor and melancholy in Murakami’s writing is extraordinary. The stories have been outstandingly translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen with fluent, colloquial grace. The stories mostly take place in Tokyo’s noodle shops and cheap bars. Yet despite the forlorn situations and the dreary settings, the best of these stories hold the excitement of a quest. Highly recommended. This is a quick read. “AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

At times gripping, deeply fascinating; at other moments eye rollingly indulgent, I'm sure it will take time to finish digesting the complex offering Murakami provides here. I enjoyed it and though it didn't go places I was expecting I'm glad I selected this.

I had to stop playback several times because I was so distracted by the cringe worthy mispronounciation of certain Japanese words. Aiko, yakuza, Shinjuku, and for chrissake the author's name and the original title of the book ...I am dumbfounded that those are so difficult to get right. Otherwise the narration was neutral and inoffensive. On the bland side, with limited range for interpreting female characters.