Dance Dance Dance – Haruki Murakami.
This is my Fifth book from Murakami and I can very well now claim that I have actually understood what to expect from him or where exactly his stories are gonna go and end :). First book that started my Murakami journey was of-course “Kafka on the Shore”, as I finished it, I decided to take Murakami’s works from the first to last. Yes, I am madly in love with his works and the man himself too, I always go nuts like that pretty often on an Author and don’t rest till I have finished all his works. Now the book in subject is the fourth of a Trilogy (read Epilogue of the series) which I finished last weekend and still am in its hangover. As I said earlier in my Trilogy reviews (if you cared to read) that this series was special as he refuses to give character names, even the protagonist who is taking the story forward is unnamed. On top of that the series is called the “Rat Trilogy”, this guy “Rat” too has no name 🙂 can you believe that. I finished all three and the Epilogue and was desperately looking forward to get at least the names in the end, but did he give out the names? You’ve got to read the book(s) if not, message me personally I will tell you if he does or does not. But that was one of the so many reasons that kept me hanging to go through the books which made up for superb reading as usually all his books do without fail (so far). As the title suggests this one too gets quite philosophical but never preachy (I hate those preachy types).
Taking the story further forward in the fourth part is our Unnamed Hero in search of multiple things including his Friend who had turned into a Sheep in the last part (or did he die?), his lost Girl Friend who was with him in the pursuit of the Sheep-man (his friend), the vanished Dolphin Hotel where they stay and decode the suspense etc etc. Now he is divorced, out of business, even quits his job as he has enough to survive a year or so longer as he needs to clear the mystery behind the things happening with him. How he goes forward to unravel the mystery or gets into further mysterious circumstances is the final book from the series which I hoped will give me a sort of closure by the time it ends :). Murakami seriously has a very good sense of humor this book proves that as our Hero comes across rather takes care of a teenage girl in this one who father happens to be a guy called “Hiruka Makimura” who is crappy writer, who know one likes in Japan but is a blockbuster hit commercially, plays Golf, is Gay, has left his wife (who is a professional photographer) and pays enough to anyone who can take care of his daughter. How our Hero gets entangled in their life and how his own story gets crisscrossed with all this is the rest of the fantastic story all about. Individually I will say this one is the best of all four parts but one has to read the first three for the fourth to make more sense.
Again, as it is said so many times that Murakami is highly influenced by his western counterparts, this was an easy read as so many movie, music and book references made by him say the same. His books and stories do not talk nothing about Japan or anything to do with Japan but just the names of people (that he does discloses) and places otherwise it could be based anywhere in the world and will make no difference to the narrative. Whatever said and done, fortunately his stories are written in such an engrossing way that I just couldn’t put it down as it seems like a never ending chase with so many surprisingly elements cropping here there and everywhere. He actually takes his readers in a kind of trance state too, almost after doing 80% of the book I was asking myself “Could this all be real?” “Is it really happening in the book” or “Has he taken me into a ride again to shock me in the end and give no answers?”. Terrific I will say. I so much wish I could disclose anything or a little more but then that would be called a spoiler. Also, as all his books do (I guess), I so much look forward to come across a person who has read this, so I can talk on and on about it. So if you have read this, do let me know if you liked it and if you haven’t, I guess its high time that you got the Trilogy and the Epilogue and read them back to back. If you survive in the end, do ping me, I would love to chat with you about the whole experience.