Haruki Murakami is one of those author's who, if you read one of his books, you're hooked and have to read them all. If you're a fan, this book will not disappoint. The narrating character is similar to the man in most of his books. There's nothing extraordinary about him, yet that's exactly why you love the guy and are happy to be let into his life for a little while. This book reminded me a bit of my favorite Murakami book, Hard-Boiled Wonderland. It's the idea of another possible world out there that makes things interesting. The love story wasn't as gripping as say, the one in South of the Border, West of the Sun. I hate calling attention to the love triangle in this story, as most reviews do, but I suppose it is unavoidable. Our narrator must deal with his unrequited love for a unique woman who reminds me of one of the author Banana Yoshimoto's characters. She, in turn, must deal with her unrequited love for the older woman she works with.
The most striking thing to me about this book, was that Murakami actually made me, a woman, understand what it's like for a man to feel love and lust for a woman. I understood all of the narrator's thoughts and feelings. I guess that's what's great about Murakami's books. If you love Murakami, then read this one too. It will be like hanging out with an old friend.
Murakami, but sparser than normal
I really like the works of Haruki Murakami. He's among the most inventive and edgy novelists I've discovered for a while now. But Sputnik Sweetheart just wasn't up to his usual style. I suppose he was writing a minimalist novel this time around. It had his usual quirky style, but there just wasn't that much here.
How does one review a minimalist novel? (I'm using this word because someone in one of the other reviews used it. I wouldn't have come up with it myself, but it fits.) The basic plot is a guy loves a girl who doesn't love him, but instead loves an older married woman, whom she works for. The rest is style. I can't write much without giving something away, but there's also not much to give away.
I suppose if you like the Murakami style, you'll like this. It's reasonably enjoyable, but not deep or memorable. Nothing here will touch you, or make you feel anything. So read and enjoy, but don't expect much.
How love changes everything
This is the second novel I have read by Haruki Murakami, and Sputnik Sweetheart has many of the key ingredients of his other works. The narrator is a benign twenty-something male. The girl he is sweet on disappears without a trace. An enigmatic older woman, with a bizarre past, helps him look for her. Greek islands, the idea of escaping into wells and several cat stories make an appearance. But what made this book different was the real feelings of the characters. They were raw, vunerable and exposed. The three main characters made up a loose love triangle. They were each in love, concerned and anxious about it. Wondering if they should make a move. Confused about their identities and the meaning of life. Living with the thought "if only........" This book stirred up a lot of thought in me. The discussion of themes like identity, happiness, and purpose in life was really moving. If this is your first Murakami book, you will love it. For those who are familiar with his work, you may have to simply ignore the fact that Murakami uses a character template to display his brilliant themes.
Web Reviews for Sputnik Sweetheart
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Popularity Rating for Sputnik Sweetheart
According to a search performed on 2005-06-20 10:11:08, 1720 websites matched the query '"Sputnik Sweetheart"'. This is the SERCount Popularity Rating for Sputnik Sweetheart, in other words, the number of results returned from the search engine (e.g. Google). Following is the top 5 results returned