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Tuesday, September 09, 2003
My first Murakami 
Book cover of Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
Title: Sputnik Sweetheart
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Haruki, that is, not Ryu. I could tell you about Ryu Murakami too, but not today, even though I actually discovered Haruki Murakami whilst looking for a particular book by Ryu. I don't know what caught my attention; maybe it was the title, maybe it was the name. Sputnik Sweetheart has another cover, but this is the cover of one that I picked off the shelves that day, and it's my preferred of the two. I liked the cover, I liked the blurb, I bought it.

Here, my memory fails me. I might have begun to read it straightaway, or maybe I didn't. But I remember munching a sandwich, sitting cross-legged on the grass at Fawkner Park, book on one knee, reading until my neck began to hurt because I hadn't moved for half an hour. When it finally occurred to me to shift my body to get rid of the pins and needles in my feet, I used an old MET ticket to mark my place, and shut the book for a while.

It was a sunny day, a bit too windy, the kind of day that reminds you summer is leaving soon before autumn comes to take its place. The park was surprisingly quiet for the lunch hour. The story of Sumire through the voice of Murakami rang in my head long after I closed its cover. I held the spine in one hand, running my fingers along the edge of the pages - I love the feel of paper, once a tree - I am a keeper of a private garden of books. And it had been a very, very long time since I'd read a book like this. Words which coax you into a state of surrender and consume you. Murakami does not daze you with fireworks, he does not put on a show to impress. Simply, he speaks to you about the life you already know and catches you off guard, and before you know it, you find yourself caught in the tide, drawn out to sea, somewhere between a Mozart symphony and a Rodin, perhaps a Dali, a poem and a lullaby.

Since then, I would seek to read a book by Haruki Murakami every book or two. I am seriously hooked. Avoid him like the plague if you wish not to succumb.

steph  # 4:21 AM
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