Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Published in 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group.

About the Author

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer whose books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally. His work has been translated in 50 different languages and selling millions of copies worldwide. His work is frequently described as melancholic or fatalistic and there are recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness. Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan during the post World War 2 baby boom. He is an only child and both his parents taught Japanese literature. Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, Russian music and literature. He studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo where he met Yoko who is now his wife. His first job was at a record store. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened a coffee house and jazz bar, Peter Cat in Tokyo which he ran with his wife. Murakami is a serious marathon runner and triathlon enthusiast, though he did not start running until he was 33 years old.

I read this book on my Kindle because I found the author’s Norwegian Wood interesting. This is a collection of short stories – all written from a man’s perspective on how women or the lack of them affect their lives. The stories started out well but the last few stories left me disappointed. It isn’t a book I would go back to time and again though it makes for a good first read. Some stories are downright strange and their concepts don’t affect me as a person. It has all the Murakami elements and is a treat for Murakami fans. Murakami’s description of the situation and his characters are very well fleshed out unlike other short stories stories that are sometimes far more slapdash in nature. My absolute favorites were Drive My Car and An Independent Organ. They leave you with a sense of feeling and mystery but not enough to make you want a paperback. I didn’t enjoy this book as much I would have liked to. You could definitely have a different opinion, especially the Murakami fans but this one just didn’t do anything for me.