Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is certainly a book you can judge by its…
This is echo chamber writing. Murakami is setting up a thematic resonance. Your mind is being primed by these little anecdotes.You are being set up for what happens later. Writers think with a special associative logic. They pull images together as if they were assembling a site on Pinterest. You can think of a short story as a page on Pinterest where items are pulled together from which the reader constructs a surprising gestalt.
Someday, a graduate student will do a catalog of every cultural reference in the book: every Hollywood movie, every piece of music high or low, every pop culture reference, writer, philosophical and religious concept that Murakami has included and form a snapshot of Murakami’s brain.
What moved me most about the sometime diffident Tengo was his caring relationship to his dying, dispirited father. The patient, day-by-day attentiveness to that cryptic and silent lost man who may or may not be Tengo’s biological father, the worked-to-the-bone retired TV fee collector, whose is a keeper of family secrets. And whether he was truly Tengo’s father or not, Tengo cared for him as if he were.
The opening of 1Q84 grabbed me immediately. A businesswoman is trapped in a taxi in gridlock on an elevated expressway. She will be late for an important appointment. We wonder what kind of an appointment it is. I have been tempted to ditch a gridlocked cab in the middle of the street to make my appointment. But I’ve never been tempted to climb down a service ladder to the street below.