One of the thinnest Murakami's book I've read; Sputnik Sweetheart (229 pages), this took around 3 days of commuting to work. I bought it from Border's discounted book (*2nd book 50% off) with Dance, Dance, Dance - as the second book. Other than guiltily buying his latest "Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", the hardcover version with free stickers to put on the cover even though I told myself that I'll wait for the paperback version. *failed*
In short, this is a story about a girl, Sumire, who wants to be a novelist, narrated by her best-friend K. She did everything in her life to be a writer but even though how good she was in writing, there was something missing in her work : a work that is just typically 'good' but not 'genius'.
And then she fell in love, with a woman 17 years her senior.
I love how it connects me to the love of writing, all the metaphors and narration. Simply put, it's another Haruki's work, and everything expected in his writing. Detachment, books, writing, silence thoughts, love, lost, confusion, missing part. Not sure how I can relate to the feelings with an older woman, but how he wrote it was by showing something as pure and innocent as how we fall in love, beyond anyone's control. So it wasn't that all weird and awkward much.
I noticed that I've read 6 of his books and countless short stories over the internet, written by him. None can I possibly recommend to people as something worth read except for "What We Talk About When I Talk About Running". But, what got me hooked with his writings at the first place were the way he writes things, the emotions he puts up in such simple words, and the dreamlike-odd-super-weird storylines. He's too fascinating to be ignored, so I can't stop.
I totally understand if people can't keep up with his works and I don't really recommend you to read them too :D
Some excerpts from the book :
"At this stage in your life I don't think you're going to write anything worthwhile, no matter how much time you put into your novels,' said Miu, calmly but firmly. "You've got the talent. I'm sure someday you'll be an extraordinary writer. I'm not saying this, I truly believe it. You have that natural ability with you. But now is not the time. The strength you need to open that door isn't quite there. Haven't you ever felt that way? "
"And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions, but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal on their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing. "
We each have a special something we can get only at a special time of our life. Like a small flame. A careful, fortunate few cherish that flame, nurture it, hold it as a torch to light their way. But once that flame goes out, it's gone for ever. What I'd lost was not just her. I'd lost that precious flame.
So that's how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that's snatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer of our skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.