Thursday, December 23, 2010


Now The ladies  at The Blue Book case, have made the Lit blog hop fortnightly, I will have more time to peruse the vast cavity I like to call my head in search of an answer worthy of the ladies questions. For those of you not familiar with The Blue Bookcase’s mission, here is a quick explanation, their idea is the promotion of works of literature, (literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion). Whether, this is fiction or non-fiction & the ladies define this as  “Literature has many definitions, but for our purposes your blog qualifies as "literary" if it focuses primarily on texts with aesthetic merit. In other words, texts that show quality not only in narrative but also in the effect of their language and structure.” . So back to me and like some Knight Errant (Foolish Knave) on my Charger (meet my Charger - Glue factory, say hello) I accept this quest and will respond to

“What literary title (fiction or non-fiction) do you love that has been under-appreciated?  We all know about the latest Dan Brown, and James Patterson isn't hurting for publicity.  What quiet masterpiece do you want more readers to know?”

Luckily for me, this is an easy one & any one that knows me or has had the dubious honour of me commenting on their blog, can probably guess what I will choose.

Haruki Murakami’s Underground – Tokyo Gas Attack & The Japanese Psyche.

HM Underground

I have chosen this book because, even amongst the most fanatical Murakami fans, this book often gets missed, I know it’s a work of non-fiction, I know the subject matter is  not pleasant, in fact it’s down right gruesome. But for all that this book is shot through with the humanity & that questing nature that makes his fiction so readable, and by delving below the obvious surface horror he reveals a people lonely & alienated, trapped in a society enthralled by industrialisation & modernity. A people lost from their traditions, spirituality & the family ties of its past. In writing this book he questions his culture? Did it’s total acceptance of narrow conformity lead to the Aum’s  renunciation of society & it’s obsession with Armageddon, are the Aum a reaction to a culture so led by consumerism that the individual is permanently buried under a perpetual mountain of product? Some of these questions are answered, but most lead to more questions that his society & ours are will need to find answers to. For that reason this series of accounts acts as a moral compass, in a society in search of one.



Ben said...

Oh snap! That's a Murakami that I didn't even know about. Good call, thank you!!!

Mel u said...

I have had this book on my TBR list for a while now-thanks for your insightful post on it I will for sure read it in 2011-I might enroll in the Murakami challenge also

Anonymous said...

Would I sound dreadfully stupid if I said I'd never heard of Murakami until I read your post? Underground sounds interesting, however. So, this is one more new-to-me author I'd like to try!


Anonymous said...

Would I sound dreadfully stupid if I said I'd never heard of Murakami until I read your post? Underground sounds interesting, however. So, this is one more new-to-me author I'd like to try!


IngridLola said...

The only Murakami I've read is After Dark, but I LOVED it.

*ೃ༄ Jillian said...

Oh, yes. This sounds like an important work -- and one I need to read.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I read this book during a readathon...perhaps bad timing; there are books that should not be rushed. I was not so taken with it, though I'd loved his fiction. Bad timing.

My post:

Melody said...

Haven't heard of this one. I do like Murakami's writing. Thanks for the recommendation!

mee said...

I've been eyeing this book forever. It's not that I mind about the non-pleasant subject, just that I haven't got to it in one way or another. I'll try to fit it in next year for the Murakami challenge!

gautami tripathy said...

Adding this to my TBR pile! Thanks!

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Have a wonderful time with them!

Here is my Literary Blog Hop post!

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Just re-paying the visit to your blog from mine! I've read very little Murakami and this is not one of them, but I'm glad to know a bit more about this one, so thanks for putting it on my radar!

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Ben, Don't feel bad, to be honest I only read it originally, because I'd read everything else I could get my hands on. Which is funny as it's now the book I bang on about.

Hi Mel u, release it from the TBR, it will repay you.Enroll in the challenge & you will definitely have one blogger waiting for you insightful input on this book.

Hello Risa,No you wouldn't the world is full of writers I've never heard of, (for example Susanna Clarke)but if you would like a new challenge & a great introduction to a fantastic writer, how about joining the a reading challenge dedicated to Haruki Murakami

Hi IngridLola, if you loved this author ,Tanabata, from In spring it is the dawn, is running a challenge in 2011, the address is in the above comment.

Hi Jillian, It's a really fascinating read compelling and heartbreaking.

Hi, readerbuzz I remember, we discussed this before, and think you're probably right concerning the circumstance of your last read.

Hi Melody, thanks for the comment & if you'd like to try more there's a Murakami Challenge for 2011 details above.

Hello Mee,I hope to read your opinion of it, through the challenge.

Hi gautami, add it to your TBR, but with a proviso, that it doesn't languish there, as that would be a shame, & This Seasons Greetings to you & yours.

Hello, As the Crowe Flies and Reads, thanks for the visit, and if you fancy given Murakami a go, try his short story collection The Elephant Vanishes (or this one) & if that appeals try the challenge mentioned above.thanks again.

may your wishes be all that you need, & your needs all that you wish for.

LBC said...

This has been in my TBR pile for a long while. I need to stop skipping it. I've read Wind Up Bird Chronicles, Norwegian Wood (my favorite) and Sputnik Sweetheart. Murakami is a wonderful writer.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi Laura C, As I Murakami fan The challenge mentioned here in these comments, would be ideal for you & also give you an added reason to release this from your TBR.
Season greetings.

Elizabeth said...

New author for me as well.

I am new to this blog hop...glad I found it. Nice to meet you.


@parridhlantern said...

Hi & Welcome, it's a feeling I remember well, hope to see you around more hops.