Book Seventy Two 2014:
The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
I’m not sure why I still continue to torture myself with collections of short stories. Invariably even the greatest ones (I include Joyce’s Dubliners in this too) are always made up of a few dull ones, a few decent ones and a few stellar ones, it’s only the proportion of each that changes.
Here it’s a bit more complex.
I love his work (read 1Q84 last year, click here for my reviews of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and the new one Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years Of Pilgrimage) and one of the stories here is the genesis for Wind-Up Bird, but I’m not sure how what he does translates to short form.
He’s at his absolute best when he writes long, sprawling, gentle, detailed things and in some cases here, the constraint of 20 pages just makes what he writes seems weirs for the sake of weird.
There are a few beautiful perfect stories here though and it’s overall a very decent read.