Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Blind Willow Sleeping Woman is a collection of 24 short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The book explores a handful of themes that are common in Murakami’s works, including silence, memory, pain, deja vu, and time – all of which are invisible. The ideas of the French phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, are also evident in this book.

The stories in Blind Willow Sleeping Woman reflect the narrative skill and favorite themes of this successful writer. Darkness lurks everywhere, and the characters are often haunted by their pasts. The book starts in a moment suspended in time and paralyzed in space before the narrator is physically transported to a world promising new phenomena. One that remains unseen for the narrator – one that remains unseen for the reader.

Murakami examines many of the prominent themes readers have come to expect from him—love, loss, spirituality, dreams, the power of music, redemption, and sexual identity—but he also further investigates Japan’s World War II heritage, the notion of reality, and the authority of prophecy, fate, and nature.

What I Liked

I really don’t know – I’ve read every book that Murakami has written and I still can’t put my finger on why. There’s something – it’s a weird mix of setting, character, and something that draws me to read all of his books. Same with this one. It’s brilliant, but strange.

What I Did Not Like

Ok. Murakami is weird. Like really, really weird. I don’t think I can recommend any of his books to anyone. So, I don’t like that. But I also don’t think he can be any less weird without losing some of his books’ magic (they do a lot of magical realism anyway).

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