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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
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Sputnik Sweetheart (1999)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 206 mentions

English (86)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Haunting, perfect, Murakami at his best. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
Este es el primer libro que leo de Murakami.

Sin contarte nada especialmente extraordinario, sí que consigue imbuirte de una cierta y particular atmósfera, que supongo es donde este autor tiene su punto de enganche con sus lectores fieles. Para mí, sin haber conseguido levantarme los pies del suelo, si que me ha dejado una buena sensación de lectura.

Lectura aceptable, pero sin demasiados aspavientos.

Mi reseña completa aquí. ( )
  LuisBermer | Sep 2, 2018 |
So this was the fourth recommendation of Murakami that I've read... When will I learn? At this rate, I shall have ended up reading the entire oeuvre of an author for whom I have no great affinity, purely because people whose opinions I respect have recommended him. "Ah, but you haven't read 'The Wind-up Bird Chronicle' yet!" I hear my fellow readers saying. Aaargh!

I liked this more than 'Hard-boiled Wonderland' and 'Kafka on the Shore' and less than 'Norwegian Wood', which is much the strongest of his novels that I've read, from my point of view.

On the plus side, it was brief and easy to read and rather charming at times. Some of the imagery is quite beautiful, but too often, you can hear it applauding itself as it makes its entrance.

On the minus side were all the usual objections. His works are so formulaic, which might prove comforting if you happen to like the niche that he has carved for himself, I suppose. The narrator was absolutely indistinguishable from all the other twenty-something, male, cool/not cool Murakami narrators that I've encountered. Once more, there's some beautiful, unattainable, young female love interest. Inevitably, there's the sexy, older female love interest there too. Next to arrive is the listing of cultural items, which may be unaffected enthusiasm on the author's part but which comes across as showing off. Then the mystical element makes its appearance and it's New Age business as usual.

I remain unconvinced and fearful that before too long, I shall be in the company of another cool/not cool male narrator on the trail of his young and unrequited love interest... Ah, well, there'll always be that older love interest as compensation. ( )
  PZR | Jul 28, 2018 |
“The Earth, after all, doesn't creak and groan its way around the Sun just so human beings can have a good time and a bit of a laugh.” ( )
  polyreaderamy | Jun 11, 2018 |
To me, this book has two protagonists - the narrator himself and the object of his adoration, an aspiring writer. Sad story of unrequited love (an odd triangle, actually), exploration of feelings - of friendship and love and problems of being ill fit for society... A meant-to-be writer's pure, almost painful necessity to write...

In the first few pages of the book, I didn't care for too many metaphors that seemed forced and reaching... Maybe that's why this novel didn't grab me from the beginning, like some books do. Later on, the metaphors drastically diminished (and those that did occur were much better!) and the story flowed easier due to that. So it's fair to say that the book "grew on me". This author was on my list for a while, but I have a strange feeling that maybe I should have started reading him with another book, not this one, that maybe this is not his typical work... Still - a few very good insights into human nature here, like this one:

"Given the chance, people are surprisingly frank when they talk about themselves. 'I am honest and open to a ridiculous degree', they'll say, or 'I'm thin-skinned and not the type who gets along easily with the world'. Or 'I am very good at sensing others' true feelings'. But any number of times I've seen people who say they're easily hurt hurt other people. For no apparent reason. Self-styled honest and open people, without realizing what they're doing, blithely use some self-serving excuse to get what they want. And those "good at sensing others' true feelings" are duped by the most transparent flattery. It's enough to make me ask the question: How well do we really know ourselves?" ( )
1 vote Clara53 | May 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Murakami, Harukiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malinen, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary 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
Dedication
First words
In the spring of her twenty-second year, Sumire fell in love for the first time in her life.
Quotations
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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375726055, Paperback)

Sputnik Sweetheart finds Haruki Murakami in his minimalist mode. Shorter than the sweeping Wind-up Bird Chronicle, less playfully bizarre than A Wild Sheep Chase, the author's seventh novel distills his signature themes into a powerful story about the loneliness of the human condition. "There was nothing solid we could depend on," the reader is told. "We were nearly boundless zeros, just pitiful little beings swept from one kind of oblivion to another."

The narrator is a teacher whose only close friend is Sumire, an aspiring young novelist with chronic writer's block. Sumire is suddenly smitten with a sophisticated businesswoman and accompanies her love object to Europe where, on a tiny Greek island, she disappears "like smoke." The schoolteacher hastens to the island in search of his friend. And there he discovers two documents on her computer, one of which reveals a chilling secret about Sumire's lover.

Sputnik Sweetheart is a melancholy love story, and its deceptively simple prose is saturated with sadness. Characters struggle to connect with one another but never quite succeed. Like the satellite of the title they are essentially alone. And by toning down the pyrotechnics of his earlier work, Murakami has created a world that is simultaneously mundane and disturbing--where doppelgängers and vanishing cats produce a pervasive atmosphere of alienation, and identity itself seems like a terribly fragile thing. --Simon Leake

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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