This is my second Haruki Murakami’s short stories collections, the 1st was After the Quake. After the Quake contains 6 stories that share same connection while Blind Willow Sleeping Woman contains 24 stories that has no connection at all.
Here are the stories:
- Blind Willow Sleeping Woman
The story is about someone’s memory, he remembered how his best friend’s girl friend made up a fairytale about Blind willow that causes a woman to sleep eternally
- Birthday girl
A girl who had to work on her 20th birthday was suddenly given one wish…a wish that will come true. This is one of my favorite stories.
- New York Mining Disaster
Up to this day, I can’t find the connection between the title and the story. The story is about a man whose friends died one by one in a short interval.
- Airplane: Or, How He Talks to Him Self as If Reciting Poetry
It’s about a young man who was having an affair with an older married woman. He sometimes spoke to himself without realizing it.
- The Mirror
This is my most favorite of all 24 stories. A man who worked as a night guard suddenly has a vision that made him so terrified.
- A Folklore for My Generation: A Pre-History of Last-Stage Capitalism
It’s another story about someone’s memory in the past. It was a relationship of a lonely popular boy with another lonely popular girl. They filled each other heart and cast away their loneliness. The girl wanted to keep her virginity till she got married.
- Hunting Knife
I don’t understand this story, it was about a couple of mother and son who stayed in the same hotel as the central character, I think the central character was Murakami himself.
- A Perfect Day for Kangaroo
A 5 pages story that show how looking at simple thing like baby kangaroo inside his mother’s pouch can make a better day.
A 7 pages story that I find really interesting, it was about a man who was coming to his 1st day on his new job. He was stopped by a guard who won’t let him in unless he knows the password.
- Man-Eating Cats
I enjoy it reading this shirt story…at first!! But this story is 100% Murakami’s style…which mean I ended up saying ‘eh?? What??’ (It was about a romantic exile in Greece)
- A “Poor Aunt” Story
Another favorite of mine 🙂 . A bit bizarre but totally enjoyable. I love the idea how you can create something visible just because you think about it a lot.
- Nausea 1979
It was about a friend of Murakami who enjoy sleeping with his friend’s wives or girlfriends. From June 4 to July 14, he was having a series of nausea and vomiting.
- The Seventh Man
I really like this one 🙂 It was about a man who has a bad past experience when he was a kid, he finally reconcile with his quilt after years of avoiding his hometown.
- The Year of Spaghetti
A 6 pages story that told about a lonely man who kept making and eating spaghetti to fill his loneliness.
- Tony Takitani
It’s a story of a man who was so lonely. He found his happiness with a woman who became his wife…but loneliness won’t let him escape. This is also one of my favorite stories. It’s like reading a life story of a man, simple and yet captivating.
- The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes
A very peculiar story about Sharpie cakes and Sharpie Crows. Peculiar but enjoyable 🙂
- The Ice man
It’s a love story of a girl with a man made of ice.
Just like man-eating cats…I ended up saying ‘ee…too, nani??’
It’s a story about an unusual relationship of a boy with a girl who happened to be his late friend’s girlfriend.
- Chance Traveler
This is one of my favorite too :). It’s about Murakami’s piano tuner and his series of coincidences that led him to reconcile with his sister.
- Hanalei Bay
This one is also my favorite :). Sachi was a mother who lost her surfer son because of shark attack. After cremating her son, she kept of coming to Hanalei bay every year for about 3 weeks.
- Where I’m Likely to Find It
It’s about a search for a man who suddenly disappeared without trace.
- The Kidney-Shape Stone That Moves Everyday
This story contains two stories that somehow related to each other..One is the Junpei’s real life story and the other is the story that Junpei made up for his new short story.
- A Shinagawa Monkey
The last story is somewhat surreal and yet very interesting. It’s about a woman who lost her name because a monkey stole it from her.
Just like most collections of short stories…we will find some good stories, okay stories and bad stories, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman is not an exception. From little description I’ve wrote on each story, you can tell that I really like some of them and you can also spot that I couldn’t find the excitement on some other stories.
But…Overall, I truly enjoyed this book…as I always did when reading Haruki Murakami’s work :), and therefore I rated this book 4 stars out 5 (I really Like it)
I also include this review for my 5th post for Japanese Challenge Literature 3