Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami

Another Murakami down. There's the narrator, a young conscientious lad out of college and now teaching in a school. His friend Sumire from college perhaps, an aspiring novelist, with a very handsome father (why is that important?). These two are great friends. She calls him at early hours to discuss some vague ideas. She has no interest in him as a lover, only as a friend. In fact her only interest is in becoming a novelist and not in love or sex. He however would not have minded an affair with her. They complement one another well.

Sumire meets an older woman (almost 17 years older) and falls in love with her. Miu (the older woman) employs Sumire and mentors her into a life of sophistication. During this period our narrator loses touch with Sumire and finds himself a lover, the mother of a boy he teaches at school.

One fine day he gets a calls from Miu. Come to Greece is the message. He goes. Sumire is missing. They have no clues. He finally reads some stuff she writes on her computer - about an experience Miu has had of being out of her body and watching a parallel life playing out in front of her. Then something about a cat that vanishes from the top of a tree. Then the narrator returns back home.

Meanwhile the boy whose mother he is seeing is caught for shoplifting. The narrator tells him the story of Sumire. His affair with the mother ends.

Between Sputniks, Beatles, Huey Lewis and the News, beer bars, dis functional youngsters, the plot moves towards an ending that does not happen. Some scenes drag on - the way Miu and the narrator talk of everything except the disappearance of the girl and stuff like that.

As with all Murakami I may not fully remember the story but some scenes will remain etched in my mind. 


Rajendra said...

sometimes I think that for Murakami, the story is an excuse for what he wants to write otherwise..many don't conclude conventionally. "Crafty".

Harimohan said...

Yes, but he goes to a space no one else can. And takes you there.