614 Followers
25 Following
amberf

Amber's Thoughts

Reviews and updates from Amber Foxx, author of the Mae Martin Psychic Mystery Series

 

 

Shaken—from a Distance

After the Quake - Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin

How could something be so beautiful and yet so easy to put down? If I hadn’t come back, it would have been all right. Sometimes, I could wait days, and then reengage and become hypnotized. And yet it didn’t seem to matter if I ever came back. I felt like a Murakami character, exquisitely aware and simultaneously detached.

 

Each of the stories in this collection reflects a reaction to the Kobe earthquake, somewhere other than Kobe. The quake is related, but indirectly. It changes something, but not everything. If you like closure, you won’t like this. Murakami is a master of ambiguity and ambivalence, of inner lives not fully understood by the characters, yet deeply experienced. The first few stories are full of dropped threads, no doubt intentionally dropped. Possible story lines fade into nothingness; edges of mystery are left unexplored. It’s the nature of the characters’ lives that this happens. The energy increases in the later stories. My favorite two were the last. Superfrog Saves Tokyo is a perfect little myth, so peculiar and touching at the same time, such an ordinary humble man and such a heroic frog, joined in subterranean courage and tragic sadness. Honey Pie, in comparison, is realistic and familiar. It rings true of everyday life. And for once, a man of unfinishedness seems poised to actually reach a little further. But not yet. Not yet.