Reading Haruki Murakami for the First Time

The Wind-Up Books Chronicle

So I’m on the second leg of a triple-bus ride home from the east side, and I’m totally absorbed in the first chapter of “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami. Okada is falling asleep in the hot sun in a stranger’s back yard, and a sixteen year old girl with a bad cut across her eye is whispering in his ear about death. Other than that I have no idea where I am, what’s going on, or what music I’ve been piping into my own ears. The chapter ends and I look up. The bus is just dipping down onto the floating bridge across the lake, and the sun is setting. Emmylou Harris sings, “When I stop dreaming, that’s when I’ll stop loving you.” A water skier cuts back and forth across the wake of a boat. We are down on the floating part of the bridge, just above…

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