Saturday, November 16, 2013
60. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
A tale of unrequited loves, at the surface, Sputnik Sweetheart tracks the disappearance of a young girl from a remote Greek island. This being a Murakami book, the use of adjectives like mysterious, before disappearance would be superfluous - in the world of Murakami, an action as mundane as climbing stairs can be mystifying and an event as big as the disappearance of a cat or a human being, full of possibilities, all of them uncanny if not paranormal.
In this world, overnight changes like, appearance of a blue-black mark on the face, or losing the ability to speak, or all the hair turning white, are taken in stride - we would know that each of such changes have an implication, most of the times, a supernatural one. We learn to appreciate the shape of an ear and in the background of everything else, infidelity holds no shock value or indeed gossip value.
In the undercurrent are, several small pieces woven together, stories in their own, discoveries, characterisations, all neatly bundling into Sputnik Sweetheart, one of his shorter works. And if you were still looking for more, this book will also give you a lesson or two in classical music and wine tasting.
And yet, with the high standards and expectations, I hold Murakami to, this book somewhere fell short of delivering the satisfaction that ordinarily comes from reading a Murakami. This would seem to be an easy way out, but the works of Murakami are too exotic and my skills too rudimentary to even attempt a dissection to establish my lack of satisfaction with the book.