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Sputnik Sweetheart (1999)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,7281111,245 (3.74)210
The scenario is as simple as it is uncomfortable: a college student falls in love (once and for all, despite everything that transpires afterward) with a classmate whose devotion to Kerouac and an untidy writerly life precludes any personal commitments -- until she meets a considerably older and far more sophisticated businesswoman. It is through this wormhole that she enters Murakami's surreal yet humane universe, to which she serves as guide both for us and for her frustrated suitor, now a teacher. In the course of her travels from parochial Japan through Europe and ultimately to an island off the coast of Greece, she disappears without a trace, leaving only lineaments of her fate: computer accounts of bizarre events and stories within stories. The teacher, summoned to assist in the search for her, experiences his own ominous, haunting visions, which lead him nowhere but home to Japan -- and there, under the expanse of deep space and the still-orbiting Sputnik, he finally achieves a true understanding of his beloved.… (more)
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» See also 210 mentions

English (93)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
It is of course wonderfully written by Murakami and is a heartbreaking study of loneliness with the three central character drifting past each other, either disappearing into loneliness or expressing physical love through the aid of a doppleganger. I liked how it wasn't the narrators story yet he came to dominate the proceedings after a time.

The interesting title derives from the one of the triade of central characters to remember the difference between “Sputnik” and “Beatnik”. There is great romantic love between,among the male narrator and the two women but a great deal of the dramatic tension is based on which if any of the members of this triangle will ever declare or act upon their love for either of the other.

As is usual in Murakami books the narrator is a nameless male. He is employed (a grade school teacher) even if he never seems to do much except be available for his younger college friend Sumire. While she is described as a previously un-romantic and socially disassociated soul. The book begins with the announcement that love has entered her life in a single moment “A veritable tornado sweeping across the plains, flattening everything in its path tossing things up in the air, ripping them to shred, crushing them to bits. “ She has fallen in love with a person 17 years her senior, married and female. So much for the first two paragraphs.

This is not a classic Murakami combination, but we will find a number of his usual conventions, tropes and assorted accoutrements. The woman with money and time to burn. European classical music, the aforesaid nameless detached narrator, the face in the crowd and late in the book, magical realism. Again another page turner from the master of Weird Lonely Magical Realism. ( )
  modioperandi | May 12, 2020 |
Intrigante e misterioso, con molti elementi che si ritroveranno in 1Q84... ( )
  WabisabiGio | Dec 16, 2019 |
دائما ما يصدمنا الواقع بوحشيته ، و تتفتت الأحلام دوما كأمواج تكسرت علي صخوره الصلبة ... فيتلاشي مع كل انهزام وفقد في الحياة جزء من شخصيتنا إلي الأبد ونتحول إلي قشرة رقيقة هشة تغطي خواء مثل الفضاء
أحيانا نهرب من الواقع وندافع عن وجودنا بالغرق في عالم آخر لا صدام به ولا عقبات ، عالم تحيا به ذواتنا الحقيقية وتتحقق رغباتنا بدون ألم
"أحلم. أحياناً أشعر أن هذا الشيء الصحيح الذي يمكن عمله.أن تحلم، أن تعيش في عالم الأحلام. لكن ذلك لا يبقي إلي الأبد ، ويأتي الأرق دوما ليعيدني منه"
يشدنا الواقع بحباله ثانية فننشطر ونتحول إلي كائنات خاوية من الداخل ونترك خلفنا حيويتنا وبريقنا
نمر دوما بمحاذاة بعضنا ثم نفترق وينقطع الكلام وتخلف الوعود ويسبح كل منا في مداره وحيدا، ولو حدث تماس حاد فهو غالبا كارثي يخلف وراءه الكثير من الدمار
في الحقيقة روايات موراكامي دائما ما تجذبني ولكني أعيب عليه كمية الوصف الحسي للعلاقات حينها أتجاوزها لأري ما يريد قوله
قد تكون في سياق الرواية ولكني لا أحب جرعتها وجراءتها في رواياته عامة
كما لم أحب كون البطلة بميول مثلية وبناء نصف الرواية علي هذه النقطة
كنت أشعر في بدايتها بالملل إلي أن بلغت النصف الثاني منها وجرت الأحداث سريعة وبدأت تشدني الفكرة العامة المبني عليها الرواية وهي وحدة الإنسان وتزايد الفراغ داخله مع كل خسارة وهروبه إلي عالم آخر غامض يحقق فيه رغباته أو يعيد صياغة حياته من جديد لمواجهة الواقع بشكل اشد قوة وأكثر تحملاً
في مكان بعيد، ربما ضاع كل شيءبهدوء ، أو علي الأقل يوجد مكان صامت حيث بإمكان كل شيء أن يختفي ويصاغ معاً في شكل واحد" متداخل. نكتشف ما فقد أثناء عيشنا ، ساحبين نحونا الخيوط الرفيعة المتصلة بكل منها." ( )
  Maaly_Ahmed | Aug 28, 2019 |
As usual, this was quite good. Perhaps not so good as some other works by Murakami, but awesome none the less. Again it mixes mundane reality with unreality.

A young man has a friend, Sumire, who falls in love with a married woman. Sumire begins to work for the woman and they go to a Grecian Island together (not for a tryst, the married woman is totally uninterested in physical relationships of any kind). As some point, Sumire vanishes, like smoke.

There are lots of musings about life and various people's relationships with each other, about dreams and reality, about what's real and unreal.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
It was a Haruki Murakami book.

( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Murakami, Harukiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malinen, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matsuura, JunichiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first man-made satellite, Sputnik I, from the Baikanor Space Center in the Republic of Kazahkstan. Sputnik was 58 centimeters in diameter, weighed 83.6 kilograms, and orbitted the earth in 96 minutes and 12 seconds.
  On November 3 of the same year , Sputnik II was successfully launched, with the dog Laika aboard. Laika became the first living being to leave the earth's atmosphere, but the satellite was never recovered, and Laika ended up sacrificed for the sake of biological research in space.

-From The Complete Chronicle of World History
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In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Però, se mi è concessa un'osservazione banale, in questa vita imperfetta abbiamo bisogno anche di una certa quantità di cose inutili. Se tutte le cose inutili sparissero, sarebbe la fine anche di questa nostra imperfetta esistenza.
… quando la luna se ne sta sconsolata nel suo angolino a oriente come un vecchio rene sciupato.
Era una di quelle piogge quiete ma incessanti che in primavera oscurano e impregnano di umidità la terra, risvegliando dolcemente gli istinti delle infinite creature senza nome che la popolano.
«Ogni ragionamento o teoria che spiega tutto in modo troppo esauriente, nasconde una trappola. … se c'è qualcosa che può essere spiegato con un solo libro, forse non merita spiegazione. Insomma, quello che voglio dire è che è meglio non affrettarsi a tirare troppo presto conclusioni».
Cominciai a non abboccare più a tutte le cose che mi dicevano. L'unico spazio nel quale esprimevo un entusiasmo incondizionato era quello dei libri e della musica. E così, come forse era inevitabile, ho finito col diventare una persona piuttosto solitaria.
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