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After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

After the Quake (2000)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (85)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
A touching and at times humorous series set of short stories that take place around an earthquake in Kobe, Japan. ( )
  charlie68 | Mar 28, 2019 |
Lovely collection of short stories. The connection to the Kobe earthquake gives each story a link to the whole and keeps the collection from feeling scattered. To me, the best story is 'honey pie': a character driven story (with meta elements) which was tied to the smallest bit of supernatural horror. It was a mix that really worked. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
A group of short stories written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The stories occurr between the Kobe earthquake and the Tokyo gas attacks of 1995. The characters are not actually in the earthquake but observe it through TV and news. It examines how events can have rippling effects that touch people in many ways. Like most Murakami stories there is an emptiness and pervasive aloneness of the characters. I enjoy Murakami and I enjoyed these short stories. ( )
  Kristelh | Jan 18, 2019 |
"True terror is the kind that men feel toward their imagination."
Never having read Haruki Murakami prior to After the Quake, I had no idea what to expect other than the passing praises from others who have read his work before me. A rather fast read it was nonetheless able to convey a keen sense of evocativeness that instilled reminiscence and poignancy without the need to focus on the tragedies directly.
Stories that take external tragedy and showcase the beauty and horror of the human psyche and thought through human anguish, magical realism, and even romanticism. Murakami expertly explores the multifaceted nature of the human condition.
And seeing how the reviews seem to have other sharing their favourite stories, here's mine: super-frog saves tokyo ( )
  MissKatz | Sep 12, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Jan 2013):
- After my brow-knitting experience in reading the uniquely imaginative THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE a couple of years ago, I knew I'd found a writer to come back to... This slight book of stories was written after Murakami returned to Japan in the wake of the double disasters of the Kobe earthquake and the subway sarin gas attacks in early 1995. These stories are all set in the immediate aftermath of the quake, though not in Kobe itself; nor do the stories actually feature the event tangibly. The quake's influence, however, emotionally or psychologically, is very much in the foreground.
- I enjoyed all six stories, in varying degrees. The first one, "UFO in Kushiro", is about an electronics salesman in Tokyo, whose wife abruptly and mysteriously leaves him, after she spent endless days and nights mesmerized by TV coverage of the earthquake. He asks for work leave, and is asked by a coworker to carry a small package to Hokkaido, in the far north, to be picked up by the coworker's sister. He agrees, having no other plans for his time off. Sounds pedestrian, huh? Murakami, in his own eerie style, makes the tale provocative and somehow deep.
- I liked the first story, as well as "All God's Children Can Dance", about a young man, whose paternal genesis is unknown; his mother claims divine dictates, but the young man apparently spots, and follows, a man who may hold the real truth. The truth, of course, is amorphous in Murakami's worlds. But, the standout in this collection has to be "Super-Frog Saves Tokyo", which I won't try to capsulate, except to say that "Frog" reads Dostoevsky, and is on the trail of "Worm". The tale's banal delivery might convince you this could actually be. And this is the true magic of the author. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Sep 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
I loved this book before last week’s earthquake, because it illuminated a few things about my own condition at the time that I read it. But now the truth in this collection of fiction has a new depth to it; its general conclusions have become amazingly relevant and important to us this week. It offers no solutions and I don’t even think it offers much comfort, but it holds a hauntingly accurate mirror to our world now.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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“Liza! What was it yesterday, then?”
“It was what it was.”
“That’s impossible! That’s cruel!”

   —Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons
RADIO: …garrison already decimated by the Vietcong, who lost 115 of their men…
WOMAN: It’s awful, isn’t it, it’s so anonymous.
MAN: What is?
WOMAN: They say 115 guerillas, yet it doesn’t mean anything, because we don’t know anything about these men, who they are, whether they love a woman, or have children, if they prefer the cinema to the theatre. We know nothing. They just say…115 dead.

   —Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou
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Five straight days she spend in front of the television, staring at crumbled banks and hospitals, whole blocks of stores in flames, severed rail lines and expressways.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine this entry with the entries for the individual short stories.
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Book description
The economy was booming. People had more money than they knew what to do with. And then the earthquake struck. For the characters in After the Quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent thirty years hating one man: a lover who destroyed her chances of having children. Did her desire for revenge cause the earthquake? Junpei's estranged parents live in Kobe. Should he contact them? Miyake left his family in Kobe to make midnight bonfires on a beach hundreds of miles away. Fourteen-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. 'When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes,' says Frog. 'And right now he is very, very angry.' This new collection of stories, from one of the world's greatest living writers, dissects the violence beneath the surface of modern Japan.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375713271, Paperback)

Haruki Murakami, a writer both mystical and hip, is the West's favorite Japanese novelist. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Murakami lived abroad until 1995. That year, two disasters struck Japan: the lethal earthquake in Kobe and the deadly poison gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. Spurred by these tragic events, Murakami returned home. The stories in After the Quake are set in the months that fell between the earthquake and the subway attack, presenting a world marked by despair, hope, and a kind of human instinct for transformation. A teenage girl and a middle-aged man share a hobby of making beach bonfires; a businesswoman travels to Thailand and, quietly, confronts her own death; three friends act out a modern-day Tokyo version of Jules and Jim. There's a surreal element running through the collection in the form of unlikely frogs turning up in unlikely places. News of the earthquake hums throughout. The book opens with the dull buzz of disaster-watching: "Five straight days she spent in front of the television, staring at the crumbled banks and hospitals, whole blocks of stores in flames, severed rail lines and expressways." With language that's never self-consciously lyrical or show-offy, Murakami constructs stories as tight and beautiful as poems. There's no turning back for his people; there's only before and after the quake. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A collection of stories inspired by the January 1995 Kobe earthquake and the poison gas subway attacks two months later takes place between the two disasters and follows the experiences of people who found their normal lives undone by surreal events.

» see all 9 descriptions

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