This novel was not what I was expecting!
However, it was very, very good. I devoured it as quickly as I could, flipping page after page in total disregard for the clock or anything on my to-do list. But, it’s nice to get completely swept up in a book every so often, especially in the summer, and it was a pretty quick read so I’m now able to move on a concentrate on other things in life once again.
I found myself on several occasions putting the book down for a moment or two just so I could sort through everything that I had read. It was easy to read, Murakami’s writing style is beautiful and thorough – like taking a deep drink of cool water on a hot day, but the metaphors were tangled amongst the prose in such a way that I had to stop and think because I didn’t want to miss out on anything!
I recently read Mrs. Dalloway, so the parallels between these two works were pretty clear to me. Both focus on human isolation even amidst a bustling city. The satellite metaphor Murakami uses to describe people on different paths, orbiting the same Earth, but completely isolated reminded me of Woolf’s image of the woman across the street from Clarissa – they could see one another through the windows moving about in their respective rooms, and all that stood between them was air, yet they were removed from one another and completely alone. It was the same comment, but each speaks distinctly of its own era.
While reading this, I was suddenly inspired to open up my NaNoWriMo novel from last year, and add a little more character depth! Sumire, a main character in Sputnik Sweetheart, was an aspiring novelist herself, and there are several discussions that take place amongst the characters on the subject of plot development, novel writing, and style. It’s wonderful to feel entertained, inspired, and inquisitive all because of the same book – well done, Murakami, well done.
If you’re itching for a good book to read, this’ll do it for you.