Monday, November 22, 2010

150 - Dance Dance Dance; Haruki Murakami













Earlier this year I had listened to Murakami's After Dark (audio) and liked it a lot, so I decided to listen to a few more of his books. In Dance Dance Dance,  an unnamed man wakes up from a dream, shaken as he heard an old girlfriend and lover calling out to him. Obsessed by what has happened, the man feels he must return to the Dolphin Hotel, where the two had spent time early in his relationship with Kiki. At that time, the Dolphin Hotel was a somewhat rundown place. He feels he must return to the hotel, because Kiki disappeared from there four years earlier, and he is wondering if this perhaps,  is her ghost calling out to him.

Our narrator has his issues. He's thirty-four years old, his wife ran off with his best friend a few years earlier, he is a freelance writer for a women's magazine who lives cheaply, and it seems pretty obvious that this man is a bit messed up. He is lonely, he has been abandoned by his wife, and now, as it appears, by another woman as well. When the unnamed man on a mission arrives at the old hotel,  he is shocked; it is all different. It has been redecorated, and has gone from seedy to luxury. The owners are not the same, but yet somehow it is still familiar.  He wonders why the new owners have not changed the name of the Dolphin Hotel, located in Sapporo, somewhere in Japan, and why is the receptionist so nervous as he questions her about the hotel? 

A lot of strange happenings occur. A eccentric photographer and her thirteen year old girl named Yuki, with psychic abilities sheds wisdom on the political climate of the 1980s, and helps our narrator sort out other thoughts as well.  And, pretty early on, references are made to the "sheep man", and it quickly became apparent that I should have read/listened to A Wild Sheep Chase first. There was no turning back at this point though, as I was too drawn into what was an addictive psychological mystery/ metaphysical experience of sorts. This story has much to hold the readers interest, dreams to be interpreted,  lots of symbols to pick up on, as well as a constant sense of restlessness and foreboding.  This novel was one wild ride.

This audio book was so good. The reader Rupert Degas made it all the more enjoyable.  If you like audio books and want to read some Murakami, try this book. It got me so hooked, I am now listening to Degas reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicle which I am also enjoying.... (hope they find the cat):

Have you read this one? What did you think?
RATING - 4.5/5 Stars
Library audio book

18 comments:

  1. I've a few of his books in my pile; I think this is one of them. I read A Wild Sheep Chase awhile back but didn't really enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had not even heard of this one so thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm very curious about the Dolphin Hotel and Kiki after your review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I still haven't read any books by Murakami. I think I am a little intimidated by him. Will try one in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've actually never heard of this author but this book does sound intriguing. I think it's one I'd prefer on audio though. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have only read one Murakami, and I didn't have much success with it. It was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I read it at a point in my life when challenging literature just wasn't something that I could feel comfortable with, and I may have dismissed the book too early. Since then, I have heard only good things about Murakami, and I want to give his work another try.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is not a book I would normally pick up, but you make it sound so good! I've been wanting to give one his books a try for a while since I've heard good things about his writing. Do you think this is a good one to start with?

    ReplyDelete
  8. "One wild ride" sounds like my last experience with Murakami. His novels really are quite different and as you said, addictive.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like I need to pick this up! I have had it sitting in my wishlist in audible for over a year now. I hadn't heard anything about it but clearly it is a winner. Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I read this book before I read Wild Sheep Chase also-yes it would have been a good idea to read it first but no big deal-I enjoyed your post a lot and loved both of these books

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoy Murakami. I haven't heard of this one but I like the premise... The main character reminds me of a character from one of his short stories in After the Quake.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really think I should read this author, I have one of his books in my pile too.

    Great review, I will definitely get this if I can..

    ReplyDelete
  13. I DO like audiobooks, and I HAVE been wanting to read Murakami! This sounds like a great place to start.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have wanted to read this author, but maybe I'll opt for the audio instead!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Reading Murakami is a total trip...I might just have to try his books on audio!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been wanting to read Murakami in part because a friend of mine loves the author. I hear Wind-up Bird Chronicle is really deep and might not be the best one to start with. Dance Dance Dance. Now I have to hope the college has it in their collection.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved "After Dark" and this one sounds just like my type of books too. I really like Murakami's works.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've yet to read any Murakami yet. This one sounds good!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.