Thursday, June 14, 2018
The Elephant Vanishes: Stories
Last weekend I was prompted by another blogger to finally pick up one of the many unread Haruki Murakami books I have here at home. The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories and it had its strengths and weaknesses. I liked about half of the stories and was really weirded out when the first one seemed incredibly familiar. (How many cats named Noboru Watanabe can there be?) It turns out that it became the first chapter of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle!
The main weakness of the collection was that too many of the stories were written about the same essential guy -- early thirties, smokes constantly, drinks almost as much, and likes to bed college students/twenty-somethings. The plots varied but this guy kept showing up and, well, I didn't find him very interesting. However, sometimes he still ended up in a story I enjoyed so who knows. The bottom line is that the mind of Murakami is sometimes predictable, sometimes special, but almost always worth a visit.