Novels for a Murakami Fan Part II: I'm Not Broke Yet
July 25, 2010 7:10 PM Subscribe
I previously asked a question here
asking for book recommendations for a Murakami fan, and got an incredibly rich response. Thanks, hive mind! There's just one problem: I ran that list into the ground, and I need some fresh reading. Fortunately, I can now provide much more guidance towards recommendations!
Everything I said in the original question still stands. I'd like to mention some of the standouts in hopes of receiving further guidance from the mighty hive mind.
Gun, with Occasional Music was fantastic. I proceeded to pick up just about all of Lethem's work; Gun remains my favorite, perhaps tied with Amnesia Moon. As She Climbed Across the Table was good; The Fortress of Solitude never quite came together like I hoped it would.
Jonathan Carroll's works I also demolished. He wields language very skillfully, but sometimes (The Ghost In Love) I felt left hanging. The Land of Laughs was excellent. The Wooden Sea was also very good.
I don't have a sufficiently big adjective to describe how much I enjoyed The People of Paper, but I have been pushing my copy on friends ever since. I need more of this.
Smoky's human was really quite accurate. Cloud Atlas was just amazing, and Out: A Novel was quite good. If there's another Cloud Atlas anywhere, I want to know about it. How are David Mitchell's other books? Perfume and Geek Love were both fine but just as predicted did not grab me in the same way. I found Borges hit or miss, but his hits were *fantastic* hits. Of course, now I'm out of Borges.
I am trying really hard to read One Hundred Years of Solitude and I just cannot get into it. I feel bad admitting this on MetaFilter, and fully plan on trying it again.
I read The Year of Our War and something about the world failed to sit right with me. I'm fine with not being introduced to the backdrop of the story right away, but I couldn't shake the feeling I was accidentally reading the second book of a series: that I was supposed to know this world and these characters without ever getting properly introduced to them. Despite being a fine story, that feeling of separation stuck with me the whole time and it never finished grabbing me. I hear this is part of a larger series? I'll take suggestions as to whether or not I should read the second one.
Finally, a series of quick points. Cortazar (Blow Up and Other Stories) had a lot of intriguing ideas, but I found the style hard to read at times. I would try again with the same author, if another book were recommended. George Saunders was great, whether or not he was skewering consumer culture. I can't say enough good things about Italo Calvino, with double points for Invisible Cities and If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. Heartsnatcher and Hidden Camera were individual standouts.
Thank you all for many wonderful times. Now please, help me do it again! I don't have a problem, and the free year of Amazon Prime for students is about to start helping me with that problem I don't have.