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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami August 14, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Books.
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A quirky young woman in love with an older woman. A lonesome teacher in love with the younger woman. A mysterious incident on a foreign island. Sputnik Sweetheart has all the hallmarks of Haruki Murakami, but somehow fails to sparkle.

If I were to be harsh, I would call this minor Murakami. It feels a lot like one of his short stories, strung out over 200 pages. That’s not to say that it’s terrible; a cruising Murakami is still Murakami. It just lacks that completeness to supply a sense of satisfaction at the end. This is particulary frustrating since the main character is the same young man we see in most of his stories. We’ve seen him done before and in more interesting circumstances. Murakami’s stories always have an ephereal quality about them. That’s always intoxicating, and his trademark musings on life, love and loneliness still hit the button. But they’re too few and far between to hide the meandering story. Again, had this been a short story, perhaps this would have worked. But in a longer story there are just too many loose ends.

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1. After Dark by Haruki Murakami « Canned Memory - May 31, 2010

[…] Sun is one of my favourite novels. But I found this ‘Murakami-lite’, much like I did Sputnik Sweetheart: mysterious, but ultimately unsatisfying. Like Sputnik, some of the plot strands don’t go […]


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