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South of the Border, West of the Sun by…
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South of the Border, West of the Sun (1998)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,001721,279 (3.83)117
  1. 40
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: In my opinion, a much better book.
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» See also 117 mentions

English (47)  French (6)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Norwegian (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Even though I'm a huge fan of Haruki Murakami and all his works I found this to be a bit too still, a bit too quiet. I love how Murakami can take a very ordinary character with a very normal life and turn his 'every day life' into something quite beautiful, but I still found myself waiting for the 'big happening' that would turn everything around. Instead there's a little trigger but then it ends too quickly and I'm still waiting for it to start.
It was still a beautiful read but not my favourite of all his books.

[bc:Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps|17829704|Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps|Charlotte Eriksson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1366309457s/17829704.jpg|24944198]
[a:Charlotte Eriksson|7056690|Charlotte Eriksson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1367998964p2/7056690.jpg] author of [b:Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps|17829704|Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps|Charlotte Eriksson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1366309457s/17829704.jpg|24944198] ( )
  theGlassChild | Dec 16, 2014 |
I devoured this book. It's about past yearnings and lost opportunities, the difficulty of choosing your way in the world, how we're all incomplete, and even our best choices wind up damning and ruining us. It's about love.
4 stars oc ( )
  starcat | Aug 11, 2014 |
In his newest book, South of the Border, West of the Sun, Haruki Murakami has changed styles yet again. He's moved on from the wonderful complexity of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles to telling the story of one man and the woman he has loved since they were both children. This is not to say that this is a simple story, this is also not to say that this is your regular love story, this is, after all, Haruki Murakami. His fiction is some of the finest around, and, while South of the Border, West of the Sun isn't as outstanding and complex as The Wind-Up Bird (one of my favorite novels), he is a master of the written word, who doesn't seem to ever make a literary misstep. His writing always draws me into another world, one where my mind is most definitely my own, but my thoughts are benignly controlled by the pace and whatever unknown qualities he has inhabited that writing with. It's always a pleasure to visit the world of Murakami. It's like a river: you never step into the same place twice; but it leaves your mind, instead of your feet, refreshed.

(4/99) ( )
  jphamilton | Jul 27, 2014 |
Most unlikeable protagonist ever, but good book. ( )
  William-Tucker | Jun 29, 2014 |
South of the Border, West of the Sun feels a lot like [b:Norwegian Wood|11297|Norwegian Wood|Haruki Murakami|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320451630s/11297.jpg|2956680] in that both mark departures from the more surrealist aspects of Murakami's writings and instead explore love and loss in post-war Japan.

Murakami deftly explores the longings a person has for a first love and how those feelings can overrun a person's life even when happiness is found elsewhere. The exploration of a mid-life crisis is well developed.


However, unlike Norwegian Wood, this book still feels somewhat lacking - similar elements are there but South of the Border, West of the Sun lacks the emotional development that the former book has. Nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable read. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bandini, DitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bandini, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fennema, ElbrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My birthday is January 4, 1951. The first week of the first month of the first year of the second half of the twentieth century.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679767398, Paperback)

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 he 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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A successful Japanese nightclub owner, husband, and father risks everything to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

» see all 4 descriptions

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