Earlier this week, a glitch in the Amazon matrix caused some readers of Haruki Murakami’s new novel 1Q84 to mistakenly conclude that the Kindle version of the book is only available for reading on one device rather than the usual six. This turned out to be a mistake, but before the problem was resolved a half dozen readers left one star reviews on the page for 1Q84.
The pleasures of reading Haruki Murakami could easily be mistaken for a list of his vices. His heroes are lonesome, underemployed everymen with casually refined tastes and plenty of time on their hands to be drawn into precarious intrigues or dispatched on romantic quests. But a friendless bachelor who likes nothing better than to crack open a can of beer while stirring a pot of spaghetti and listening to classical music in his Tokyo apartment you might also call a nonentity. That is, until the phone rings and on the other end is some mischievous operator or femme fatale. (Mr. Murakami’s female characters are hard to distinguish from common male fantasies.) These tend to get Mr. Murakami’s plots moving, to the extent that his one-thing-after-another books relay the impression of being plotted; indeed, they are often better when they don’t.
On the occasion of his 25th anniversary of designing book covers for Knopf, Chip Kidd discusses the design for the cover of Haruki Murakami’s new novel, 1Q84. Mr. Kidd engaged in “positive-negative play with the cover and the binding” that allows the subject on the cover to “exist in two different planes of reality.”
Williamstown High School in New Jersey has removed two books from its summer reading list after complaints from parents. According to the Gloucester County Times, at issue was “a graphic depiction of a lesbian sex scene between a 31-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl” in Haruki Murakami’s bestselling novel Norwegian Wood and “a drug-fueled, Read More
Marilyn Manson takes on the role of fine artist, a Velazquez parades as basement junk, and Louis Vuitton purses and porn are reconfigured into fine art with varying results. This week in art news: Come as you’re not!
1. Ukranian Billionaire Selects Art-Prize Nominees
Victor Punchuk’s PinchukArtCentre announced the nominees for his Read More
The New York Times‘ Paper Cuts blog has an item today by Jennifer Schuessler headlined "What We Search for When We Search for Books About Running."
What’s strange about the piece is that it ends with an apology to a semi-anonymous reader called "Jacob S." who complained the day before about editors and Read More
Gotta question for the hippest Japanese novelist (and memoirist) around? Log in to Time magazine’s Web site, where you can ask Haruki Murakami a question and possibly read the answer in a subsequent interview. Be careful what you ask for. Your question will be posted underneath the submission form after you enter it, along Read More
By Haruki Murakami
Alfred A. Knopf, 191 pages, $22.95
Haruki Murakami works wonders with daytime. In the Japanese novelist’s very best books—Dance Dance Dance (1988) and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994)—un- or semi-employed protagonists discover that, when the rest of us are stuck at work, the everyday world turns out to Read More
Gentle and enchanted, the 24 stories of Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s latest collection, are frequently brief, unassuming and understated—but never flat or vacant. Mr. Murakami presents new variations on familiar preoccupations: brooding mid-20’s or -30’s male narrators, adulterous lovers, and a panorama of jazz records, cats, whiskey and well-furnished apartments.
Many Read More
Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Alfred A. Knopf, 436 pages, $25.95.
This is the way these things happen, don’t ask why. Nakata has a mind that works simply, even if he’s not exactly a simpleton. He forgets a lot; he doesn’t understand everything said to him; Read More