Reading Log: Murakami’s ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’ and Me Bitching About Nice Things Because They are Too “On the Nose”

Murakami writes great characters. His prose is solid, and the excerpt I read from ‘Kafka on the Shore’ in The Paris Review was great -both funny and unsettling. Neither of those qualities were present in this book.

It’s still a good book. It’s thoughtful and nuanced, presented in a deliberate composition… I was just never surprised by anything. There is a complete lack of any deeper level, any emotional resonance beyond (or below) the superficial story. Again, it’s a very good story. If you enjoy books on a level of well-written direct narrative, there’s nothing missing here; I had just hoped for a bit more. I was reminded (painfully) of the overly-direct style of young adult novels, a convention that I totally understand and respect within its context, but a convention that produces books that aren’t for me.

Recommendation: Give it a go if you want a good story about an interesting person in an interesting time. Take a pass if you want your books to cut a bit deeper.

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