The Elephant Vanishes (stories)
By Haruki Murakami
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679750536, June 1994, 336pp.)
The Short of It:
The Rest of It:
I think this is the third short story collection that I’ve read by Murakami and it might be one of his tamest. These stories are a bit longer than the ones I’ve read in the past. Some of them almost had a novella feel to them, but what they all share is that these are normal folks doing or experiencing very strange things.
In one story, a women goes about her life without sleeping and she is perfectly fine with it. In another, TV People come and go delivering large TV screens to a man’s home and office, without anyone noticing them except him. My favorite one had to do with a man who has decided to mow his last lawn. I should also mention that one of the stories in this collection was the basis for The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, one of his more popular novels.
This is a great collection to read if you want to escape from the day-to-day. I read it very slowly, right before bed over the course of several months and it never failed to lull me into a deep sense of relaxation. Something about Murakami’s writing leaves me utterly calm and at peace with the world. He has a way of taking “normal” and twisting it just enough to make it interesting. Some of his stuff can be overly sexual in nature but this collection was not. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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