Thursday, September 16, 2010

Forgotten Treasures

Although this book was only published, just over ten years ago (1997-8), I think it deserves the title of lost treasure, because even amongst his most avid readers this book often gets missed. Now I must confess myself, that I only read it because I had already completed all  this authors other works & like most of his fans, was chomping at the bit, with impatience for his new book to be published. So I ordered this book from my library. With trepidation I started it, & although it  did take me awhile to get into the flow, as although I knew that this was a work by this author & I had adored all his novels to date, this wasn't just  non-fiction, but about an horrific episode in the history of the writers homeland. But I carried on with the book, slowly realising that although a major part of the book was testimony from a wide range of individuals, the writer whose work I admired had their own personality writ large on every page, it was full of their humanity, the way they questioned life, their perception of the very world around them & its hidden magic. This book like this authors fictional novels, ask questions of you that haunt, long past the turning of the final page, in fact the turning of that final page, just makes you realise how many questions need answering & that's why in my original post on this book I said that on some level this fantastic lost treasure works as a moral compass, in a world, that could do with one & the book ..................Underground, Tokyo gas attack & the Japanese psyche by Haruki Murami. If you are an admirer of his works & have not read it, do so, if you've never read a book of his, nows your chance to do so.


  1. I haven't heard of this one, but thanks for spotlighting it. I will check it out.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. I'm reading Murakami's books chronologically. I think this is his 10th book. I've already read his first 5 so I will come around to 'Underground' eventually. I have a suspicion that this will become a favorite of mine too. So I'm tempted now to abandon my chronological reading.

  3. I've heard good things about Murami's books but have never heard of this one. I'll have to check it out!

  4. I read this one a few years ago and remember not really loving it. But then I seem to prefer his novels to his short stories. Someday I'd like to go back and read these stories again though. I think maybe reading them from a different time and place will give me a new perspective.

  5. Laurel-rain.
    To you all thanks for your comments, although this is a work of non-fiction, it still comes across as Murakami, this is his second non-fiction work I have read, the other being "What I talk about when I talk about running( a memoir/running journal,Also a good read (Check my review).
    Tanabata, , one of the reasons I read Japlit is your blog, it was one of the first to inspire my efforts & encouraged me to post myself so thanks.

  6. I recommended Underground to my book club, and after only partly enjoying (re: understanding) Kafka on the Shore, they loved this nonfiction work. He gives such a portrait of Japanese culture (can you see Americans saying, "I have to get to work?" when they've been gassed?), as well as insight into the terrorist mind. I truly felt those followers had no where to go, and that they followed the cult leaders out of desparation for belonging. I've purchased What I Talk About When I Talk About Running which I can't wait to read, because Murakami is as awesome as nonfiction as he as at fiction. What an incredible man.

  7. Loved "What I talk about...." even reviewed it.Just read in an introduction to "Rashomon & 17 other stories (Ryunsuke Akutagawa) that Murakami has written 11 novels, 10 vols' short stories & over 30 books of non-fiction, so we've only experienced a small amount of his output.


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