A lot of people have discovered Murakami rather late and are taken by what he writes. There is one set of people who love his works, another who don’t understand his works and yet love him because everyone is reading him, and a third set who detest him, mostly because they have not read anything or have read but do not seem to understand the fuss around him.
I do not defend writers. Their work speaks for themselves, however with Murakami, it is a different matter altogether. He is more than a writer from where I see it. I first read a Murakami in 2001, when I think most people had not even heard of him, let alone talk of him and his books. I was lucky enough to have spotted Sputnik Sweetheart then and very proud of owning a first edition at that. I saved and ordered the book from Amazon dot com in those days and I knew somehow that my love affair with Murakami’s works would be a never-ending one.
Sometimes I wonder, how he writes, the way he does and then I do not. I just take in what he has to offer. I may be biased, but who is not toward their favourite writer/s? We all are and with good reason. To us, they are impeccable. To me, Murakami is. It went on from there – one after the other. By 2003, I think I had read all that he had to pen and then there was more. A lot more to come. His worlds are not easy. His people are not perfect and yet he seems to bring balance to their lives, after much distraught and complexities.
Murakami’s worlds are parallel and maybe he is repetitive, but most good authors are. That is also because one book is not enough for them to say it all or maybe two books. They need more and yet all his stories are distinctive or just follow a thread of bare similarity and that is where it ends. He is fond of finer things – cats, elephants and jazz. So? That is just how the man is. May be this is not even in defense of him, as much as it is my love for my favourite writer. His words resonate and reverberate along after I finish his books and to me that is sheer genius. I remember reading his short story from, “After the Quake” called Honey Pie and I for one could not stop crying. For me if a writer can do something like this, get to the heart of my emotions, then the deal is sealed.
I do not know what it is about Murakami’s writing that moves me so. I think because he connects us all through loneliness. His characters are forever seeking, wanting better, wanting to be loved and love someone in return, which maybe everyone can relate with. Yes, he takes time to get to the point, but to me that is just the beginning of a wonderful story waiting to be revealed. It is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and connections that last. To me, that is it about him. He is a genius. I love his works. That is that.