I have finally finished Book 1 and although I felt terrible for putting it off for too long, it was a good thing that I took in only a few chapters at a time. The stories are really interesting and they are meant to be savored, not devoured. Stopping every once in a while gave me time to fully digest each chapter and doing so only made me want to learn more about what would happen next.
The characters are introduced in the first book with the chapters alternating perspectives from Aomame and Tengo. The writing is deceptively simple but as in all Murakami novels, nothing is always what it seems, which is basically what the cab driver in the first chapter tells Aomame.
Countless notes have been furiously written down during the course of reading the first book. Here are a few snippets:
- “Please remember: things are not what they seem.”
- Motifs: classical music, unusual ears (misshapen left ear), name: Eriko.
- Komatsu on Tengo’s work: “You still haven’t grasped exactly what it is you want to write about. Which is why a lot of your stories are missing something at the core. I know you’ve got something inside you that you need to write about, but you can’t get it to come out. It’s like a frightened little animal hiding way back in a cave – you know it’s in there, but there’s no way to catch it until it comes out. Which is why, I keep telling you, just give it time. (This is exactly how I feel about my ability to write and the stuff that I’ve written so far. It’s frustrating. It’s been several years now and I still feel as if I’ve just been fooling myself into thinking that I could really write.)
- Tengo likes order and takes comfort in it but he also realizes that the real world is not that simple and therefore needs something – writing – to make him feel that he does exist and to confirm his existence.
- I can’t pin down Fuka-Eri yet. She’s odd and seems mature for her age. I like her.
- Who is the Professor and what are his real intentions??
The first book raises a lot of questions and does not offer any answers. Instead, it whets the appetite of the reader and paves the way for the second book, which I shall begin reading soon.
This was a post by Hanna, who is eating chocolate-covered biscuits and listening to Guided by Voices.