South of the Border, West of the Sun

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After more than half a year, it’s again time for a book by Haruki Murakami today. One surprising aspect of “South of the Border, West of the Sun” is that it doesn’t contain any fantastic elements. There are no weird parallel worlds, no talking cats and also no strange sheep men.

This book is rooted in the world of here in Japan of the eighties. It’s a story about a man and his different relationships with women. It starts in his childhood and ends in his adulthood.

After reading it, I felt oddly reminded of “Old Boy”. The book is different. The pain inflicted and the vengeance — if it really is vengeance at all — is different, but somehow the feeling of sorrow is very similar.

It’s a book that lives in its dialogues. In that way it reminds me of another favorite Murakami book “After Dark”. Like “After Dark” it’s also a rather short book. So it’s a nice fast read that doesn’t branch out into any side narratives.