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