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South of the Border, West of the Sun (Vintage International)

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9780679767398: South of the Border, West of the Sun (Vintage International)
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South of the Border, West of the Sun is the beguiling story of a past rekindled, and one of Haruki Murakami's most touching novels.

Hajime has arrived at middle age with a loving family and an enviable career, yet he feels incomplete. When a childhood friend, now a beautiful woman, shows up with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime's quotidian existence begin to give way. Rich, mysterious, and quietly dazzling, in South of the Border, West of the Sun the simple arc of one man's life becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Murakami's remarkable genius.

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Review:

In South of the Border, West of the Sun the arc of an average man's life from childhood to middle age with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment becomes the kind of exquisite literary conundrum that is Haruki Murakami's trademark. The plot is simple: Hajime meets and falls in love with a girl in elementary school but loses touch with her when his family moves to another town. He drifts through high school, college and his 20s before marrying and settling into a career as a successful bar owner. Then his childhood sweetheart returns weighed down with secrets:

"When I went back into the bar, a glass and ashtray remained where she had been. A couple of lightly crushed cigarette butts were lined up in the ashtray, a faint trace of lipstick on each. I sat down and closed my eyes. Echoes of music faded away, leaving me alone. In that gentle darkness, the rain continued to fall without a sound".
Murakami eschews the fantastic elements that appear in many of his other novels and stories, and readers hoping for a glimpse of the "Sheep Man" will be disappointed. Yet South of the Border, West of the Sun is as rich and mysterious as anything he has written. It is above all a complex, moving and honest meditation on the nature of love distilled into a work with the crystal clarity of a short story. A Nat King Cole song, a figure on a crowded street, a face pressed against a car window, a handful of ashes drifting down a river to the sea are woven together into a story that refuses to arrive at a simple conclusion. The classic love triangle may seem like a hackneyed theme for a writer as talented as Murakami but in his quietly dazzling way he bends us to his own unique geometry. --Simon Leake, Amazon.com

Review:

"A wise and beautiful book." -The New York Times Book Review

"A probing meditation on human fragility, the grip of obsession, and the impenetrable, erotically charged enigma that is the other." -The New York Times

"Brilliant. . . . A mesmerizing new example of Murakami's deeply original fiction." -The Baltimore Sun

"Lovely, deceptively simple. . . . A novel of existential romance." -San Francisco Chronicle

"His most deeply moving novel." -The Boston Globe

"Mesmerizing. . . . This is a harrowing, a disturbing, a hauntingly brilliant tale." -The Baltimore Sun

"A fine, almost delicate book about what is unfathomable about us." -The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Portrayed in a fluid language that veers from the vernacular . . . to the surprisingly poetic." -San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

"Haunting and natural. . . . South of the Border, West of the Sun so smoothly shifts the reader from mundane concerns into latent madness as to challenge one's faith in the material world . . . contains passages that are among his finest." -The New York Observer

"Haruki Murakami applies his patented Japanese magic realism-minimalist, smooth and transcendently odd-to a charming tale of childhood love lost." -New York

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375402517: South of the Border, West of the Sun

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0375402519 ISBN 13: 9780375402517
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999
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9780099448570: South of the Border, West of the Sun

Vintage, 2000
Softcover

9781860465949: South Of The Border, West Of The Sun

Harvil..., 1999
Softcover

9781860467172: South Of The Border, West Of The Sun (Panther)

Vintage, 2000
Softcover

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