South of the Border, West of the Sun: Murakami’s magic in the mundane

I have been a Haruki Murakami fan for a while now and I have read around five of his books yet. I recently finished South of the Border, West of the Sun and I think it has made a place in my top three favourite books from him. Of course there are a ton of his works that I am still to read, but amongst the ones I have read, this one is definitely at a tie with Norwegian Wood for the third place. Coincidentally, both- Norwegian Wood and South of the Border, West of the Sun- derive their titles from song names. The former from a Beatles song of the same and the latter from Nat King Cole’s song South of the Border. Fun fact, right?

So, this book follows the intermittent relationship of Hajime and Shimamoto who have known each other since they were twelve but lose touch after they change schools in their teenage, only to reunite again when they are both thirty-six. Murakami weaves in his signature magic and the story is full of a mysterious charm that lets you get lost in the fine line between what’s real and what’s not. Hajime has a wife and two daughters but he is ready to leave them all as soon as Shimamoto shows up some thirty-four years later. This book makes you realise how rare it is to have a connection with someone that is so precious that you will lose yourself and almost go mad if it is gone. Definitely multiple reads worthy!

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“I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot” — JD Salinger

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“I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot” — JD Salinger

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