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First Person Singular: Stories de Haruki…

First Person Singular: Stories (edição: 2021)

de Haruki Murakami (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2351187,332 (3.72)7
Título:First Person Singular: Stories
Autores:Haruki Murakami (Autor)
Informação:Knopf (2021), 256 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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First Person Singular: Stories de Haruki Murakami


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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This collection of eight short stories is classic Murakami--there's magical realism, jazz, whisky, and women. If you've read Murakami before, it will all feel strangely familiar. ( )
  mnmcdwl | Jun 2, 2021 |
Eight short stories unmistakably H. Murakami-Style. Like slipping on an old pair of worn, loved slippers, Murakami absorbs the reader into his mysterious world of disappearances, surreal conversations ("A circle with many centres..no circumference"), memories, dreams, the passing of time, a talking monkey who stole women's identities, love of music, baseball, and how encounters can change perception. ( )
  AChild | May 19, 2021 |
Murakami....memories with kwerky elements. ( )
  ghefferon | May 17, 2021 |
Strange litte stories ( )
  kakadoo202 | May 16, 2021 |
As it true of most people, I imagine, I had experienced a number of turning points in my life, where I could go either left or right. And each time I chose one, right or left. (There were times when there was a clearcut reason, but most of the time there wasn't. And it wasn't always like I was making a choice, but more like the choice itself chose me.) And now here I was, first person singular. If I'd chosen a different direction, mostly likely I wouldn't be here. But still - who is that in the mirror?

Hello! This is me loving that I can give you the punch line to this whole thing right there and it won't tell you a damn thing! This is my first by Haruki Murakami, and I must say I am impressed. I have chatted elsewhere about the difference between complicated and complex and how greatness is often mistakenly attributed to the former, a problem we seem to see more of all the time. No such trouble here. This collection is simplicity itself. Murakami carefully presses all the necessary keys to unlock the full vision into our hands as we wander through the structure he has created, so that when we arrive at that sudden, otherwise bewildering ending, we can look back and see the whole spiral unfold into all its complex glory above us.

This collection is more one of my beloved mosaic novels than a collection of stories, whatever the title says, and should be read beginning to end in order without skipping, because the last pages absolutely depend on the impact of everything that proceeds them. Murakami plays with the point of view limitation rather masterfully, forcing the reader into close conversation with each of his sad baffled narrators, asking us to make a snap decision each time: Who is this person? Is he trustworthy? Is he evil? How would we know? How would he know? (The stories may not seem at first to require such probing, but as the collection unfolds, you will either arrive at a questioning mindset, or you will, perhaps(!), mistake the narrator for the author and throw the book down in disgust. I will simply (gently!) say that point of view is a tool, even in memoir, and leave it at that.) The book's entire conversation about the nature of good and evil is held with the likes of Borges and Woolf and is well worth the time it takes to unravel. (Not that I have fully unraveled it! But it's coming together in bursts. This is a book that will be sitting on slow simmer in the back of my mind for quite a while, I think.) The flashes of meditation on the nature of writing and storytelling throughout were a delight. The themes of memory and death and how life passes us by are wrapped through the whole spiral as well, darkening and illuminating by turns. Truly this is a beautiful work.

I see there has been some conversation about Murakami and misogyny. Being wholly unfamiliar with his previous work, I can only say that I have certainly placed this book on the 'war of the sexes' shelf, but very much NOT on the 'male gaze' shelf. I do wonder if the realization of past failures is part of what drives the author to settle on his abrupt end here. In any case, the author of this book clearly understands that women have their own agency and lives, whatever their effect on the narrators may be, and in many cases their stories, merely glimpsed by the hapless men watching them, are the events actually driving the whole to its conclusion. There are three stories in particular that feature rather revolting men (from a woman's perspective), but the narrative as a whole condemns them so emphatically (and literally!) that I am unable to read this particular work as misogynistic at all.

There are a few content warnings for this: unreality, suicide, weirdly handled mentions of mental illness (was that a dig at depression? I can't really imagine so, but I can't decide), mention of a non-existent hammer violence, and, hmm, how to put this one? non-sexual pseudo-rape by proxy by a talking monkey? Yeah let's go with that. Ask me in the comments if you have questions or concerns and I'll try to help with any content warning desires you may have.

Below I am leaving my first impressions of the stories. This is very much a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, though (and it's still unfolding in my mind's eye), so the overall rating is not an average. Also, I can see how several of these might have been knock outs if I were more in touch with sixties pop culture, or if I liked jazz or the Beatles a whole heaping lot more. C'est la vie. I am a musical philistine.

Cream ☆☆★★★ - A young man has a disturbing encounter that I didn't really find all that disturbing, but it's all about delicious things like death and memory and transience (as this entire collection appears to be), so still yummy. Think about spirals.

On a Stone Pillow ☆★★★★ - A hook up and a (fictitious?) hand bound poetry collection. Death, memory, and transience, now with casual sex! Kind of a delightful story.

Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova ★★★★★ - A really delightful story. A review of a nonexistent album lets a dead legend play again.

With the Beatles ☆☆★★★ - As much as I am enjoying this collection, I'm really thinking about skipping this. I was with him while it was about the girl with the Beatles album, but now it's about a really awkward social situation with a different girl's older brother, and I just don't think I can deal with what looks to be about twenty more pages of this specific encounter. (Update: skipped a page or two and it was fine. Do NOT skip any stories in this collection!) "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is the Beatles song you want for this story, really. What is love? What is memory? What is evil? Who are we really? Death holds no answers. (Personal to Julian Barnes: This is how you properly throw someone's whole life and morality into question over a suicide.)

Confessions of a Shinagawa Monkey ☆★★★★ - Meet a talking monkey with a nasty habit. (The 'yes all men' story of the collection!)

Carnaval ☆★★★★ - A meditation on ugliness and beauty and masks. Oh, and good and evil. And your sniveling inability to tell the difference.

The Yakult Swallows Poetry Collection ★★★★★ - Learning how to lose via baseball. I hate baseball, but I loved this story. (Queen is better than the Beatles: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? More of an overall book question than a story level question, really.)

First Person Singular ☆★★★★ - Sudden unexpected damnation. I hate it when that happens. (The rating on this one is wonky. As an experience, it was more like three stars, but I woke up this morning trying to figure it out, which makes it five stars, so I split the difference.)

Personal to Pop Sugar: Goodreads as a genre picker has no idea what Magical Realism is, but I do, and this is it. ( )
1 vote amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Whoa, what a gread story I just read. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition, you might be their next big star.
adicionado por AnnasThesia | editarLibraryThing.com, Annas Thesia

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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Haruki Murakamiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Gabriel, PhilipTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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