ruminating over murakami
I'm reading Murakami.
I like him. Murakami takes you places. The most remarkable thing about his style is that even though its surreal and whimsical, utterly unbounded by the common laws of everyday reality, it is not loose. In spite of its unlikely characters, uncanny events and unbelievable plot devices, it is a real page turner. The best name to call it is, perhaps, a surreal thriller. As an allegory, I would call it a magic show with the magician producing rabbits and what-nots at a stupendous rate. You follow with a keen eye, trying to catch a sleight of hand here, a slip there, but he's always a step ahead of you.
Murakami is not like Marquez. Even with his Magical Realism, Marquez is firmly rooted in reality. The surreality in Marquez's prose is a tool to peel off the blinds of cause and effect and bring you closer to the true nature of the story, somehow making it more real, more believable. Marquez bounds surreality within the laws of the story, lending it a logic, dream logic even. But Murakami gets away with being illogical, and how.
Murakami is not like Kafka either, someone he's been often compared to, perhaps only because he chose to name a book after him. Now I haven't read much of Kafka, but the little that I have, makes me think of him as a grim, self-absorbed, even tortured storyteller. Murakami is fun, thoroughly enjoyable (maybe forgettable too, as far as the details go) in a pulp-fiction sort of way, and I say it with the best of intentions.
One thing is for sure, though. Murakami has a unique style, all of his own. His work may not serve as a filling, all-rounded meal. But it's delicious. And I, for one, don't mind second helpings.
Thus spake Manish Bhatt