Reality was one step out of line, a cardigan with the buttons done up wrongI have come to realise that reading a Murakami book is not quite an act of reading itself but an act of dreaming with your eyes open What you see is a series of surreal images barely held together by threads of reason What matters however, is the feeling these images leave you with an aftertaste that lingers and intensifies even as the world within these pages turns stranger and disconcerting until what you associate with the book is not the story or the characters, but simply, that feeling Sputnik Sweetheart would forever be linked in my mind with an aching kind of loneliness Like losing something you thought you owned and then realising it was never really yours.Only three characters inhabit the landscape in this book Each is either a victim of unrequited love or incapable of being in love They listen, talk, nod along and at the end of the day, go back to their lonely lives and continue to love just the person who cannot love them back Like sputniks orbiting each other but never getting closer.I believe what Murakami does is strip life of all flamboyance and expose how mundane it really is How personal can a connection with a stranger be when some part of him her will always be a mystery We can know people, yet not know them Is love simply a dream we see to avoid the reality of our lonely existence each life in a separate orbit Indeed, reality bitesAnd it came to me then That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they re nothing than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together Maybe even open our hearts to each other But that was only for the briefest moment In the next instant we d be in absolute solitude Until we burned up and became nothingGo on Dream a Murakami. Alternate Cover Edition HereSumire Is In Love With A Woman Seventeen Years Her Senior But Whereas Miu Is Glamorous And Successful, Sumire Is An Aspiring Writer Who Dresses In An Oversized Second Hand Coat And Heavy Boots Like A Character In A Kerouac NovelSumire Spends Hours On The Phone Talking To Her Best Friend K About The Big Questions In Life What Is Sexual Desire, And Should She Ever Tell Miu How She Feels For Her Meanwhile K Wonders Whether He Should Confess His Own Unrequited Love For SumireThen, A Desperate Miu Calls From A Small Greek Island Sumire Has Mysteriously Vanished My sixth Murakami.About three fourths of the way through the book the magical realism kicks in We have a woman who has an experience where she sees herself on the other side There is also a disappearing woman in a situation where it is impossible for her to disappear a tiny Greek island no well to fall into a tiny town only accessible by ferry a drowned body would wash up The story is told from the points of view of two young people a male teacher and a female would be author He loves her, but she is in love with an older woman This is why she writes On a day to day basis I use writing to figure out who I am And In order for me to think about something, I have to first put it into writing A couple of passages that I liked Remove everything pointless from an imperfect life, and it d lose even its imperfections She scrutinized me for a while, like I was some machine run by a heretofore unheard of power source It s a good story The structure of the book is a lot like that of Norwegian Wood A young man loves a young woman but she is out of reach for some reason There s a lesbian sub story in both books The man also finds himself attracted to the older woman in each story Syros Island photo from fanpop.com I dream Sometimes I think that s the only right thing to doHaruki Murakami, Sputnik SweetheartAs I ve stated previously, my friend, Srdjan, is obsessed with Murakami He is so passionate about Murakami s writing, that it is infectious We ve had many discussions about Murakami, and he kept prodding me to read one of Murakami s novels He suggested Sputnik Sweetheart, or as I call it, Lust Longing in Japan So, I took up his challenge, and plunged into this, strange, lyrical world Sputnik Sweetheart is a novel of what could have been, what might have been, where worlds overlap, and love can never quite be divorced from lust In the world of K, Sumire, and Miu, sex is often mistaken for love Sputnik Sweetheart is strangely haunting but oh so hard to describe is it a tale of unreciprocated love, unrealized ambition, and desire, of always wanting Even with it being filled with unreciprocated love rather than love, it is also one of the most romantic books ever written Yes, at it s heart, Sputnik Sweetheart is a romance novel Wait, Sputnik Sweetheart is a detective novel Perhaps it s neither perhaps I m entirely wrong Hmmm do any of us really know what a Murakami novel is about Srdjan advised me not to overthink Murakami Perhaps he s right or maybe he s not.I ll admit it I don t really know what Sputnik Sweetheart is about What I can tell you, is that its themes are love, the loss of love, passion, the loss of passion, desire, the loss of desire Are the events K relates real or a dream The only thing I do know is Sputnik Sweetheart is a beautiful novel Regardless of what Sputnik Sweetheart is about, Murakami has seduced me. This is my first time reading a Murakami novel It was very good, and very weird Either large sections are entirely metaphorical, or we ve got some heavy unreliable narrator action going on Honestly, either way or any combination of the 2 is totally fine with me this book was beautifully written.It was eerily similar to Christopher Priest s The Affirmation in themes and quite a few plot points I can t help but think that Murakami is a fan of his. After the excellent Kafka on the Shore and the perhaps much better Wind Up Bird Chronicle, I ve been on something of a Murakami kick I find his storytelling fascinating, both in device and in style His use of the extraordinary as mundane is a tasty joy for me to indulge Sputnik Sweetheart, while not as wonderful an experience as the two aforementioned works, was quite a bit of quick fun.Thematically not dissimilar from Wind up Bird, this short novel revels in questions of identity, conscious vs subconscious, the real vs hidden world, and the nature of sexuality The book is lean and packed with Murakami style mystery that is, both mystery in the detective sense and mystery in something closer to a Pauline sense, a revelation that is baffling to those who don t get it and uncanny to those who do Sputnik Sweetheart revolves around three characters 1 the largely passive narrator, K, a thirty year old elementary school teacher and passionate reader who is madly in love with 2 Sumire, a former classmate of K s who dropped out of school to become a writer and who has fallen madly in love with 3 Miu whom Sumire calls her Sputnik Sweetheart , a married woman who imports wine, has a hidden past, and holds no ability to care sexually for her husband, Sumire, or really any other creature All three are tortured by their own lives and despite the plot involving Sumire s abrupt disappearance off a secluded Greek island a la L Avventura , the story is less about the disappearance and K s subsequent investigation, and a discussion of who people are and what is it that both separates and binds humanity from and to itself Sputnik Sweetheart is not the best I ve read from Haruki Murakami, but it was certainly worthwhile and a book I hope to revisit in a few years. In Sputnik Sweetheart, the author s Western obsessions are very visible The book tells the story of a love triangle an aspiring avant garde writer, Sumire, falls in love with a mysterious and very rich woman, Miu, who has a wine import business and studied classical piano in France The narrator is a primary teacher who, in turn, silently loves Sumire In the background, the three characters function as satellites in different orbits, which can sometimes meet at one point Which brings us to the bizarre title Sputnik arises from an initial misunderstanding between the two women one of them speaks in Jack Kerouac the other confuses beatnick with sputnik both laugh Later, it is also explained that the Russian word means traveling companion , thus justifying one of the themes of this book, the demand, the search for something unattainable When Sumire reflects on his writing, his conception of the world, the confusion of his feelings, writes this revealing phrase Perception is but the sum of our misunderstandings We are, therefore, in the field of uncertainty Because Sputnik Sweetheart is a poetic journey through the strange orbits of solitary pieces of metal, each inhabited by a traveler who barely understands his passion This is a little novel that is read in a match and Murakami s trick to grab the reader is to reconcile the simplicity of writing with the thickness of the characters Anyway, the author goes out, as if he were the arbiter of one of those rare football games where everything went so well that no one remembers who was mediating the show. SPOILERSShe said I really wanted to see you When I couldn t see you any , I realized that It was as clear as if the planets all of a sudden lined up in a row for me I really need you You re a part of me I m a part of you.He thought We re both looking at the same moon, in the same world We re connected to reality by the same line All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.I might be doing a disservice to Haruki Murakami with my attitude, but the desperate romantic in me, romantic in a fluffy and nausea causing way, cursed with unhealthily and unreasonably optimistic nature, just cannot help but seeing her words as a confession of the love he longs for so much and his thoughts as a belief in and acceptance of that love Or, as someone who fears loneliness and understands it all too well, I can see it the other way No one gets the kind of love they need and every one of the characters goes on suffering in the same closed circle, and in the end everything is the same and everyone is lonely and in pain But I choose not to Why do people have to be this lonely What s the point of it all Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves Why Was the Earth put here just to nourish human loneliness I think that it s good for such a story as this one to have an equivocal, open for interpretation finale I think that the choice it requires of us resembles the choice we might have to make when our own personal stories our concerned Does others loneliness or lack of one make our own or less bearable Or maybe it does both To what extent and in what way loneliness happiness is a choice I think it challanges us to try understanding better the nature of our own state of mind, our life, our ways, our own view of the world.I wanted to write a real review, but so far I can t Yet, I did not want to leave the first Japanese novel I had ever read and what a novel that was without some acknowledgement before saying goodbye I imagined that those four stars, while waiting for me to come up with the substantial review I dream of, would feel awfully lonely on their own It was a very evocative novel, beautiful, touching, real I will certainly come back to Haruki Murakami.Read count 1 Why does Haruki Murakami hit the spot so well for me, and for thousands of other readers worldwide There s a common element in all his works it s a bridge of fantasy and reality that has just the right delicate balance There s something about that balance that s so mesmerizing You can connect with it on a level that you can t in pure fantasy, and there s enough of a disconnect from solid reality to leave you in wonder Of all the other writers that have been categorized as magical realism that I ve read, Murakami is the one who masters this style the finest.Sputnik Sweetheart is the type of book that I pick up from my nightstand a Saturday morning right after I wake up, and read it until the last page, sometime early in the afternoon The voice, the prose, the mystery it s all AMAZING.It s a story of an unconventional love triangle between the narrator, a young woman he loves, and the woman she loves, who doesn t have a drive for anyone Bizzare things happen when the two women the younger is the personal assistant of the older go overseas for business and end up extending their stay on a Greek Island The novel explores the concept of the other side in terms of language and writing, in terms of being. .
is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator His work has been described as easily accessible, yet profoundly complex He can be located on Facebook at
- 229 pages
- スプートニクの恋人 [Supūtoniku no Koibito]
- Haruki Murakami
- 13 January 2018 Haruki Murakami