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Thursday, July 24, 2008

“Youíve got a reputation in avoiding interviews, would you share the reason with us?”

posted by on July 24 at 13:00 PM

Time Magazine is collecting reader questions for Haruki Murakami. I suspect that maybe the question I used for the title of this post might be why he has “a reputation in avoiding interviews.”

If you ever had a question for Murakami, now’s your chance. It’s not as if the competition is that tough:

Posted by Frederick Do in Riverside, CA:

I have never read any of your books but if you could only choose one for me to read, which one would it be?

Posted by t.b.:

ur gay right

Posted by Frederic Turner in Cambridge:

Why are your novels so awful?

Posted by gracie rosen in Brooklyn, NY:

Nothing was sure when I was 27 or 28Ö. but what about when Iím 29?

The publicity-shy Murakami is doing this as a promotion for his new memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It’s kind of a how-to-write book, but mostly it’s a history of his relationship to running. I didn’t like it, but a friend of mine who has become a compulsive runner thought it was pretty interesting.

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I am falling in love with you, Paul Constant.

Posted by Andy | July 24, 2008 1:07 PM

1) please refer to question 3
2) right
3) please refer to question 1
4) for each year of your age, place a drop of ink into a syringe. jam said syringe into the heart of your true love. in a short brandy glass, weep a tear for each year of your true love's age. use the tears to moisten a one foot section of a ten foot length of heavy-gauge nylon rope. tie a noose with the moistened section - look through the loop for certainty.

Posted by Ziggity | July 24, 2008 1:10 PM

I loved Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and have been eager to read more of his work, but the running book sounds like too much tedium for the few nuggets buried within.

Posted by lostboy | July 24, 2008 1:12 PM

@3: It's totally too much tedium. You should read Sputnik Sweetheart, or Kafka by the Shore. After you've read all the novels of his that you're interested in, that's when you should read Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, because it's the best thing he wrote and everything after that seems a little paler.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 24, 2008 1:16 PM

I have read all of his stuff that's been translated except this new one. I really do enjoy it although he tends to repeat himself conceptually from one novel to the next. Underground was really interesting because it was so different from his other stuff. So for lostboy I'd suggest the wind up bird chronicles as a next read. Its got all the good stuff in it. His short stories kick ass too. They are lighter and more flexible than the novels.

Posted by nicole | July 24, 2008 1:19 PM

@ paul. hmm. I guess I felt the opposite, the wind up bird chronicles made it possible to be a more generous reader with the other novels. Kind of like you were part of the clique and could get all the in jokes then. Yours is probably not a bad suggestion though. So Lostboy, I revoke my next-book-advice in favor of Paul's...

Posted by nicole | July 24, 2008 1:22 PM

My question(s) would be: Have you ever had an idea for a novel you started and then abandoned? What was the idea, why did you abandon it, and what was that experience like? I'm generally more interested in understanding a writer's full process -- including both their successes and their failures -- than specific things about specific books.

Posted by bookworm | July 24, 2008 1:29 PM

@7 - that's a really good one; you should post it. I mean, it's no "ur gay right," but they can't all be gems at that level.

Posted by Levislade | July 24, 2008 1:35 PM

Murakami is gay?

Posted by toby | July 24, 2008 1:46 PM

bookworm @7, I second Levislade.

Posted by lostboy | July 24, 2008 1:53 PM

Does he enjoy Norwegian wood?

Posted by kinaidos | July 24, 2008 1:54 PM

First thing he needs to do is recognize he has an addiction, and admit it.

I say that as a recovering marathon runner.

Endorphins - they make heroin look like soft drugs.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 24, 2008 2:09 PM

i told time out new york in an interview i was haruki murakami's 'god son' and they believed me then i said i was lying and we were both disappointed that i admitted i was lying

Posted by tao | July 24, 2008 3:31 PM

Kafka on the Shore is my favorite of his so far. I started reading Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last year and got diverted. I should pick it up again - I think I tried before a bit too soon after finishing Kafka.

Posted by genevieve | July 24, 2008 3:38 PM

Do you believe, Mr. Murakami, in the stream of consciousness?

What author has chiefly influenced you?

In what category would you put Mr.James Joyce?

Posted by 3rd man | July 24, 2008 4:04 PM

I adored Kafka on the Shore. I tried reading his short stories, but I find I have very little patience for short stories as an art form, so I abandoned the book halfway through.

Posted by arduous | July 24, 2008 4:20 PM

Do you think Sheila have slept with one of her colleagues or bosses? Don't you think Sheila is hot, but that she has a bad taste in men? Why is she only attracted to loser white hipster douchebags? Is it because she's one of these transplants from the mid-west who thinks that they own NYC?

Posted by sheila'sgawker | July 24, 2008 5:16 PM

@14 - Same here, Kafka is my favorite of his so far. It held me from start to finish and I looked forward to picking it up every time I had to put it down. After Dark was ok. I started on Wind Up Bird Chronicles recently - it didn't grab me and it took 3 weeks to get 70 pages in, and then I wasn't allowed to renew it because someone put a hold on it. Some of the characters reactions didn't seem to fit, and the conversations didn't ring true to me. I'll give it another try though, as I really really liked Kafka.

Posted by nightlifejitters | July 24, 2008 6:29 PM

Norwegian Wood was a little too flaccid for my taste as was After Dark. I prefer the more muscular novels like Kafka and Wind Up Bird Chronicles and the the most of the short stories are quick, intense and fun.

Posted by pairustwo | July 24, 2008 10:44 PM

the next night we ate whale

Posted by ryan | July 25, 2008 5:01 AM

ripping a whales head off

Posted by nola | July 25, 2008 5:50 AM

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