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After the Quake: Stories

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After the Quake: Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780375713279
ISBN10: 0375713271
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1995, the physical and social landscape of Japan was transformed by two events: the Kobe earthquake, in January, which destroyed thousands of lives, and the poison-gas attacks in the Tokyo subways in March, during the morning rush hour. Following these twin disasters, Haruki Murakami abandoned his life abroad and returned home to confront his country?s grief. The subway attack led to his recent Underground. And out of the quake come these six stories, set in the months between natural catastrophe and man-made terrorism. His characters find their resolutely normal everyday lives undone by events even more surreal (yet somehow believable) than we have come to expect in his fiction.

An electronics salesman, abruptly deserted by his wife, is entrusted to deliver a mysterious package but gets more than he bargained for at the receiving end; a Thai chauffeur takes his troubled charge to a seer, who penetrates her deepest sorrow; and, in the unforgettable title story, a boy acknowledges a shattering secret about his past that will change his life forever.

But the most compelling character of all is the earthquake itself ? slipping into and out of view almost imperceptibly, but nonetheless reaching deep into the lives of these forlorn citizens of the apocalypse. The terrible damage visible all around is, in fact, less extreme than the inconsolable howl of a nation indelibly scarred ? an experience in which Murakami discovers many truths about compassion, courage, and the nature of human suffering.

Review:

"Spare yet richly mysterious and emotionally prismatic....Murakami magically links the mythical past, when animals spoke to humans and dreams mattered, to today's anxious world, where...people stand on ever-shifting ground and valiantly offer a hand, and their love, to one another." Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"The world Murakami's characters live in has an atmosphere a bit like that of the first season of Twin Peaks; it is both ordinary and spooked, trivial and full of portents....This is a slim book, but you'll need to read it twice....The subconscious is Murakami's natural habitat, and sometimes these stories seem to be dreaming of each other, their elements taking on different forms, picking up the threads dropped earlier. They are enigmatic without being obscure; by the second reading you'll know what the author is trying to say, even if you can't quite nail it down in so many words.....It is only superficially a story collection; seldom have I read another that feels more like a whole rather than a collection of parts. This is breathtakingly close to a flawless book, but in a very modest way....[I]ts perfection is there to be savored by those who know how to look." Laura Miller, Salon.com

Synopsis:

A collection of stories set in the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Synopsis:

The six stories in Haruki Murakamis mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakamis characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman.

An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package—and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or may not be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. As haunting as dreams, as potent as oracles, the stories in After the Quake are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

About the Author

Born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949, Haruki Murakami grew up in Kobe and now lives near Tokyo. The most recent of his many honors is the Yomiuri Literary Prize, whose previous recipients include Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Oe, and Kobo Abe. His work has been translated into twenty-seven languages.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

monica moniker, August 16, 2012 (view all comments by monica moniker)
I am a huge fan of Murakami and I love both his novels and short stories. This collection was beautiful and I thought that the link between them of the Kobe earthquake was perfectly emphasized. For most of the stories, it was barely mentioned at all, but lent a very subtle undertone to the piece. Murakami's characters continue to fascinate me in their sort of, ordinariness. It makes those times when their lives are touched by magic or imagination absolutely engaging. My two favorites of the stories were probably "All God's Children Can Dance" and "Honey Pie."
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Effie, March 28, 2009 (view all comments by Effie)
An intriguing blend of what is and isn't real--or sci-fi!
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375713279
Translator:
Rubin, Jay
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Translator:
Rubin, Jay
Author:
Murakami, Haruki
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
Short stories
Subject:
Japanese fiction
Subject:
Earthquakes -- Social aspects.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Series Volume:
no. 65.
Publication Date:
May 13, 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
8.00x5.04x.41 in. .37 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

After the Quake: Stories Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375713279 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Spare yet richly mysterious and emotionally prismatic....Murakami magically links the mythical past, when animals spoke to humans and dreams mattered, to today's anxious world, where...people stand on ever-shifting ground and valiantly offer a hand, and their love, to one another."
"Review" by , "The world Murakami's characters live in has an atmosphere a bit like that of the first season of Twin Peaks; it is both ordinary and spooked, trivial and full of portents....This is a slim book, but you'll need to read it twice....The subconscious is Murakami's natural habitat, and sometimes these stories seem to be dreaming of each other, their elements taking on different forms, picking up the threads dropped earlier. They are enigmatic without being obscure; by the second reading you'll know what the author is trying to say, even if you can't quite nail it down in so many words.....It is only superficially a story collection; seldom have I read another that feels more like a whole rather than a collection of parts. This is breathtakingly close to a flawless book, but in a very modest way....[I]ts perfection is there to be savored by those who know how to look."
"Synopsis" by , A collection of stories set in the aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
"Synopsis" by , The six stories in Haruki Murakamis mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakamis characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman.

An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package—and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or may not be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. As haunting as dreams, as potent as oracles, the stories in After the Quake are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

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