Sputnik Sweetheart


I’ve managed to get this far in my life without reading any Murakami, despite seemingly everyone I know being in love with him. So Alice’s recommendation a couple days ago was merely the proverbial last straw, and I’ve picked up Sputnik Sweetheart… You know how sometimes, before you even open a book, and you’re holding it in your hand and its heft and color and texture and smell and energy just tells you it’ll be wonderful?

Okay, I admit it, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover. But this is a beautiful one (and set in Futura, no less!). So please don’t be too harsh.

Oh, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this!

Installed Brad Choate’s OnThisDay plugin (thanks, cygnoir!), although for now the “also on this day” sidebar only shows up on individual entries. Also, since I’ve not exactly been a regular-as-clockwork poster, not every day has them. Anyways, I’ve had fun revisiting the old me, so even if no-one else looks, it’s been worth it.

Finally, I think… I think my last entry was more about terror (also see Breakfast in Oyama) than optimism, but you, lovely readers, have managed to make me feel better about everything. Thank you so much.

  • Dave

    Congratulations on picking up your first Murakami novel. I haven't read Sputnik Sweetheart but it's on my list. My personal favorite was Hard Boiled Wonderland, mostly because it's set in some weird not-so-distant yet strangely foreign future.

  • Oh, yuck. I don't necessarily think that everyone is into Murakami, but a lot of friends that I do trust have recommended him. Whereas, I'm not sure I'd trust Oprah to point out a book I'd like if I gave her a list of my favorites and told her she had to pick one from it.

  • I choose most of my books by look and smell. So far I've only been wrong once. I hadn't read any Murakami either, until a friend gave me The Elephant Vanishes. It wasn't bad, but I don't plan to read any more of his work.

    This stubborn Luna Bull in me refuses to do what "everyone else is doing". So, for instance, the Oprah's Book Club seal is the kiss of death for a book in my eyes. I know, I'm too contrary.

  • You're quite welcome, re: OnThisDay. I loved peeking backwards into my documented life.

  • ooooooh, sputnik sweetheart is one of the sexiest. mmm, sputnik sweetheart. although i am admittedly quite partial to the books involving the Sheep Man.

    i didn't like the wind-up bird chronicles at all, though. curious.

    if you get the chance, read "The Second Bakery Attack". it was in playboy - we had to read it for my harvard east asian studies tutorial class, to the great amusement of both professors and students. (the issue in question also features the swedish bikini team.)

  • I have yet to read Sputnik Sweetheart, but I loved the other four Murakami books I have read. The Wind-up Bird Chronicles is still my favorite so far. Hope you like it!

  • Oh, I will, I will!

  • mary

    i hope you keep us posted on how you like this one. i haven't read it but i keep hearing people relate how great it is. :)

  • Is your copy the blue Vintage Books edition or an older version? I've only seen the blue cover stateside but I recall seeing some amazing non-US edition covers posted in the Murakami community on Livejournal.

    I'll warn you that you may have to read it a few times before you catch everything, most of Murakami's books are like this but this one was especially elusive for me. It was a year after I first read it before I understood the final paragraph. borne back ceaselessly into the past indeed.

    For me, Spunik Sweetheart encapsulates all that I love about Murakami into a tightly woven story. It's got his trademark oddities, nothing as odd as the sheep man or the crow boy, and it has the rich, deep characters. The common themes are there, loss of a loved one being prominent in many of his books, but they aren't as muddled by extravagant occurences or the "things just happen" events that tend to fill his books. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood (both of which I'd definitely recommend next if you like Sputnik) are more emotional, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and the short story collections are much more strange, but Sputnik Sweetheart hits all the high notes without the bad aftertaste. This is just my opinion though, and I know it varies for all Murakami fans as everyone interprets things differently.

    In any event, I hope you do enjoy the book. I think you will.

  • shadows

    You know how sometimes, before you even open a book, and you’re holding it in your hand and its heft and color and texture and smell and energy just tells you it’ll be wonderful?

    But of course!!!

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