The Peter Cat Bar - The Introduce Yourself Thread

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The Peter Cat Bar - The Introduce Yourself Thread

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Redigerat: dec 4, 2007, 3:29 am

Hey everyone! Peter Cat is of course the Jazz bar Murakami set up in the 70s before he started writing. It's long since been closed but the bar lives on in many guises throughout his books.

My name's Ted and my first Murakami book was Norwegian Wood. When I read it, it changed my life. I'm not sure how to explain it, but after I finished reading it, I took stock of what I had done up to then, and thought, hey, maybe I should do something worthwhile. Lots of major things have happened since then (I got married, for one) and I guess it's all for the better!

I've since read almost all his other novels and short stories since then, and have also reviewed two of his books (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and After Dark) in a local newspaper. What can I say? I'm a big fan.

Redigerat: dec 5, 2007, 2:50 am

A lot of people I know online also discovered Murakami throught Norwegian Wood. That is also the first book of Murakami I have owned and read, I continue reading his books and despite may recurring themes in his stories I never get tired of it.

It really strikes a cord in me, the language he uses is simple yet deep (I am not sure though how much is lost in the translation).

I have read a lot of his books myself and I was never disappointed with anything he writes.

Redigerat: dec 7, 2007, 4:50 pm

The Asian group, discussed Murakami for a while.

I haven't read Norwegian Wood, but immensely enjoyed reading Kafka on the Shore several months ago.

4MissTris Första inlägget
Redigerat: jan 7, 2008, 1:44 am

My name is Tris and Haruki Murakami is my favorite author. A few years ago I saw Dance Dance Dance misplaced in the cafe at Barnes & Nobles and I bought it on a whim. It's still my favorite book.

For some reason I feel that I can relate to the protagonists in his writing better than any other characters in books I've read (despite that I'm female and not Japanese). I never tire of his writing either, although I will admit that some of the "weirder" books rub me the wrong way. I've read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle three times and it still creeps me out.

Redigerat: jan 7, 2008, 4:25 pm

The first Murakami book I read was The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and the second was Norwegian Wood. I read them both within a one-month period, and my initial reaction was, "Are these by the same author?" I'm exaggerating a little, since they are stylistically very similar, but it seems like Murakami (at least then) operated in two distinct modes -- 1) fantastical mysteries and 2) somewhat realistic love stories.

I don't know that I prefer one mode over the other, but I will say that I consider Norwegian Wood his masterpiece (so far), and that Sputnik Sweetheart and South of the Border, West of the Sun are generally underrated.

By the way, I recently started reading Paul Auster's novels, and one thing that strikes me about them that is similar to Murakami's is that they are basically reiterations of the same themes over and over. In both cases, the fascinating thing is how the authors manage to create interesting new work.

6mtehbob Första inlägget
jan 28, 2008, 7:26 am

My name is Damian and the first Murakami book I read was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last year. I consider that novel the single greatest piece of literature I have ever read and it would be an understatement to say that it raised the bar for the way I look at novels. I have yet to read everything by Murakami (far from it actually, only read this, South of the Border, and After Dark), for fear of finishing everything he's written. I do own copies of Hard-Boiled Wonderland, Norwegian Wood, and The Elephant Vanishes though.

7hastydevil Första inlägget
feb 5, 2008, 2:20 pm

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of my best-loved books. Haruki Murakami writes like a dream. The book is very visual, sensual even, and it had a profound impact on me. I've just finished reading After Dark and I also love it. The two books I read from Murakami were translated by Jay Rubin. I found another book by Murakami but translated by a different person. I sampled a few chapters and didn't like what I read. I felt like Jay Rubin was better.

maj 21, 2009, 5:28 am

Hmm, it's a little bit sleepy here in the Peter Cat bar. That's sad, cause I think with so many Murakami readers... Some of them would like to drink a beer... or better, a whiskey.

My name is Fluffy the Poodle. Of course I like to read. But I never thought about a writer: I want to read everything you wrote. Ik do have that with Murakami. I just read South of the border. Nice book. My favorite is still Hard-boiled Wonderland. I prefere those books that are a little weird.

(Excuses: my English is not perfect).

nov 3, 2009, 11:36 am

Hi there, my name is Alex and Murakami quickly became my favorite author after my brother gave me a copy of Hard Boiled Wonderland somewhere around 10 years ago. Since then, I have read Dance Dance Dance, Kafka on the Shore and After Dark- I've also collected PDF versions of most (if not all) of his short stories, and I'm about to start on Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. After that, I have Norwegian Wood and Wild Sheep Chase lined up. I guess at some point I hope to have read everything he's ever written. Of what I have read so far, my favorite is Dance Dance Dance, and my least favorite is After Dark.

dec 17, 2009, 4:05 pm


I read Norwegian Wood, and the The Wind Up Bird Chronicle this summer.

I´am currently reading Kafka on the Shore. I love Murakami and his unique asian mystiqe and wonder. So far, I´ve liked The Wind up Bird Chronicle the best.

What books are your favourites by Murakami?

apr 7, 2010, 5:49 am

Hi All

I'm Lee and over the past couple of months I've become a big fan of Murakami. I bought my first Murakami novel, Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world, at the beginning of year and thoroughly enjoyed it - there isn't a single criticism that I could make about it.

What struck me about it is the ease of the language used (though I appreciate this could be due to the translation). I also like the conflicting surreal / mundane elements to his storytelling.

I've since become addicted and read Dance, Dance, Dance, A Wild Sheep Chase, Kafka on the Shore and After Dark - all of which I've enjoyed to varying degrees. Although Dance, Dance, Dance and A Wild Sheep Chase stand out for me.

I'm itching to read more....
My favourite, probably as it was the first I read, is Hard boiled wonderland...

nov 19, 2010, 11:04 am

Interested in libraries and librarians in Haruki Murakami's books. It's a secret investigation, I cannot say a word, sorry.

Redigerat: jan 19, 2011, 11:26 pm

I found Haruki Murakami through the film Paris, Je T'aime. In one of the short clips a man is nursing his cancer-ridden wife and reads her Sputnik Sweetheart. I thought the title was interesting and did my research. My library didn't have it available so I read Wind-Up Bird first, Norwegian Wood second, then finally Sputnik Sweetheart. Ever since then I have read Kafka on the Shore, Hard-Boiled Wonderland, After the Quake, The Elephant Vanishes, and A Wild Sheep Chase. I highly recommend Kafka on the Shore, Norwegian Wood and his collection of short stories in The Elephant Vanishes and After the Quake. What I love about Murakami is the subtlety of the language and how calming it is to read. He also has a distinct way of describing things in a unique and direct fashion. Jaypoxx describes this style of writing, and I also wonder how close the translation is to the Japanese.

I read of his latest novel 1Q84, although the translation will not be available to English readers for some time.

jan 29, 2011, 4:53 am

Hi, My name is ellie & I just joined this group. I love Murakami-I can't wait to read his new book. I'm just so happy there is one. I'm happiest with his more "weird" books, although they don't feel strange to me. I love how Murakami moves so easily between the ordinary world & his more magical one & I follow him easily in & out of the different dimensions. Murakami is an author who in his supposed strangeness keeps me sane. I could read Dance Dance Dance, Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore over & over & I don't think I'd ever get tired of them! In fact, even tho' I'm currently reading too many books, I feel a strong need to reread Hard Boiled Wonderland and some of his short stories-probably in The Elephant Vanishes which I own. I wish I could go to his bar & just hang out with all of you. I guess I'll have to do it in my head! Or maybe, I'm hoping, on this site.

jun 29, 2011, 5:48 pm

Hi everyone, my name is Leah and I am a huge Murakami fan. My introduction to Murakami was through a Modern Japanese Literature course that I took when I was doing my undergrad, I think that was about 2003-ish. We were assigned to read the first four chapters of Hardboiled Wonderland, and I was absolutely addicted from that point on. Wonderland continues to be my favorite so far, although I also loved Windup Bird.
I ordered Hear the Wing Sing and Pinball, 1973 in their ESL formats from Japan, but haven't read them yet. I always leave at least one Murakami book unread on my shelf, until the next one is released. That way, I don't have to deal with the prospect of their being "no more Haruki Murakami books", even if it is a bit deluded anyway!
On that note, completely and utterly pumped for the English release of 1Q84 this fall. The thought of nearly 1000 pages of Murakami makes me nearly giddy with anticipation!

aug 13, 2011, 3:40 am

My first Murakami was Hard boiled wonderland, but unlike many posters here felt it to be less interesting than many of his other works. In part I felt this to be due to a slightly cumbersome translation. Pretty much all the others I have read I have found to be outstanding though.