Sputnik Sweetheart is a novel by Haruki Murakami that tells the story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited love. The protagonist, K, is madly in love with his best friend, Sumire, but her devotion to a writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments. Part romance, part detective story, the book explores themes of conformity, knowledge, change, and metaphysics through a story that is both surreal and compelling.
The main themes of the book include transformation, loneliness, love, loss, spirituality, dreams, the power of music, redemption, and sexual identity. Murakami examines Japan’s World War II heritage, the notion of reality, and the authority of prophecy, fate, and nature. The book also explores the idea that desire, love, and loss can break more than your heart: it can split you in two.
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).