Meet any serious book-reader from anywhere in the world and they would most likely recognise Haruki Murakami. The Japanese author has become a sensation in the last few years and his works have been translated into almost all major international languages.
What makes Murakami and his books special is, how he is able to engage with his readers and how he allows them to enter his world, which keeps alternating between the surreal and real, and is often weaved with a theme of melancholy. And like most art forms, the melancholic theme has all the power to heal its observer emotionally.
If you are looking to read Murakami’s works, here is what we would recommend to you:
- If you would like to enter the surreal world of Murakami, you may start with ‘Kafka on the Shore’ or ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’. 1Q84 is often recommended, but it would be a good idea to read it later, since it is going to be a lot more intense; besides, we would like you to be prepared before you venture into 900+ pages.
- Most people like to start with ‘Norwegian Wood’. This is for two reasons: first, because romantic tragedy seems to be a popular genre; and second, it eases you into the Murakami’s world, instead of making your reading a bit too difficult, which some readers do not appreciate. Sputnik Sweetheart is another book that a lot of people enjoy reading as the book explores another popular theme (of unrequited love).
- You may consider reading his short stories. Quite a few of them are available here. Tip: Do not miss the short story titled Scheherazade. You may get a copy of one of his short-story collections, depending on the theme which interests you the most. For instance, Men Without Women tells the tales of men dealing with the loss of an important woman in their life.
- There are a few non-fiction works as well which are as refreshing as any other Murakami’s work. But, we would like you to go through them only when you have had a taste of his fiction.
Good luck! Enjoy the reading adventure.