Tag Archives: Knopf

Review: Men Without Women (Stories)

Men Without Women

Men Without Women
By Haruki Murakami, Translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780451494627, May 9, 2017, 240pp.

The Short of It:

A collection of stories that embody everything you love about Murakami.

The Rest of It:

Murakami’s new book came out in Japan not long ago but those of us in the US must wait for the translation before we can eagerly dive in.  Somehow, the Murakami Gods heard our cries and delivered to us a “new” story collection to tide us over.

However, it’s not all new.

One story in particular, which also happened to be my favorite, previously appeared in The New Yorker. As I was reading Scheherazade,  it was vaguely familiar to me but you know what, it really didn’t matter that I had read it before because every time I pick up Murakami’s work, there’s always something new to discover.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a bookstore and there is a finely curated shelf full of recommendations? That’s how I feel about this collection. I don’t know how much input he actually had in putting these stories together, but they all complement one another and include everything you love about Murakami. The angst, the food talk, the weird little quirks and it was just good to get this little taste of Murakami before the big release of his new book. This collection centers on men and their relationships with women. Some of the stories are more complex than others but all of them leave you pondering relationships in general.

Murakami is what I recommend any time someone says they are in a reading rut and I think many of you have read some of his books based on my eternal gushing. BUT IF YOU HAVEN’T,  you must. I can’t accurately describe the feeling I get when I read one of his books but there’s this sense of one-ness that comes over me and suddenly nothing matters but the story in front of me.

Read this collection and then read Killing Commendatore when it comes out. No details on the US release as of yet.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Wintering

Wintering

Wintering
By Peter Geye
Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9781101946466, June 7, 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

One man escaping his past, another man revisiting it to find closure.

The Rest of It:

In the dead of winter, Gunflint, Minnesota is a harsh, unforgiving landscape of ice floes, waterfalls and treacherous rivers. For Harry Eide, the landscape calls to him and reminds him of a trip he took years ago with his son Gus. Harry leaves his sickbed and vanishes into the surrounding wilderness, forcing his son Gus to remember the first time Harry ran off into the wilderness thirty years earlier. That time, to escape a bad marriage.

The story alternates between two timelines, the past and the present as Gus remembers that trip he and his father took over thirty years ago and the impact that Harry’s disappearance has on the present day.

What a book.

There’s heartache and longing, family secrets and feuds. There’s a lot of manly stuff going on in the way of survival (low rations, an encounter with a bear, finding shelter) but even if that’s not your thing, you’ll find yourself being pulled in by this story that spans 60 or so years.

Geye has a way with words and he’s a master at pulling the reader in. His novels tend to be on the quiet side but this one has a little bit of action and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat for the last third of the book.

If Geye’s name sounds familiar, you may have read Safe from the Sea or The Lighthouse Road. Well, if you haven’t you must and if you have, then you need to pick up Wintering because it’s another solid read. I’m confident that Geye could write anything and I’d love it. I enjoy his writing that much.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.