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Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
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Elephant Vanishes (original 1985; edition 2001)

by Haruki Murakami

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3,902581,955 (3.85)127
Member:kbuchanan
Title:Elephant Vanishes
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Random House (2001), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Japanese Literature, Short Stories, 20th Century, Haruki Murakami

Work details

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami (1985)

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» See also 127 mentions

English (53)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
... a collection of short stories with strengths and weaknesses. I liked about half of the stories and was really weirded out when the first one seemed incredibly familiar. (How many cats named Noboru Watanabe can there be?) It turns out that it became the first chapter of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle!

The main weakness of the collection was that too many of the stories were written about the same essential guy -- early thirties, smokes constantly, drinks almost as much, and likes to bed college students/twenty-somethings. The plots varied but this guy kept showing up and, well, I didn't find him very interesting. However, sometimes he still ended up in a story I enjoyed so who knows. The bottom line is that the mind of Murakami is sometimes predictable, sometimes special, but almost always worth a visit.

https://webereading.com/2018/06/the-elephant-vanishes-stories.html ( )
  klpm | Jun 20, 2018 |
Two extremely haunting stories, "Sleep" and "Barn Burning", buoyed up this whimsically scattered collection of short stories. ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
Two extremely haunting stories, "Sleep" and "Barn Burning", buoyed up this whimsically scattered collection of short stories. ( )
  rabbit.blackberry | Oct 19, 2017 |
No one captures urban isolation and loneliness as good as Murakami. There were some misses in this book, but most of them were a hit. I especially loved the one with the penpal club (called "A Window") where the author writes to unknown recipients with the purpose of improving their English, but they are actually lonely and just wants to talk to someone. The "Lederhosen" story was particularly insightful for depression since something as simple as picking off a set of pants for your husband can set off your feelings if you have been suppressing them. "Barn Burning" was brilliant, and so was "A Family Affair". A Family Affair is the story of a brother getting to know the fiancee of his sister, of whom he doesn't think much of. The story is peppered with dry and sarcastic humour, but what really struck me was the attitude of the brother - satisfied with mediocrity, not wanting much from life, and knowing his limitations. "Sleep" was another illuminating story - about a housewife who was suddenly unable to sleep any more, going through her days in a fugue, but having an exceptional clarity of mind during the night and voraciously consuming classical Russian literature by Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.

One thing that really, really bothered me was the "Little Green Monster" story. It's unforgivably misogynistic. Murakami tries to paint women as capable of intolerable cruelty and being unreasonable. I'm pretty sure he must have been though a bad breakup, or had a bone to pick with someone when he was writing this story.

But overall, if you are a Murakami completionist, you have to absolutely get this. Or you like insightful stories about urban isolation, this is your book too. ( )
  Crontab_e | Sep 19, 2017 |
Some of the stories were almost annoying and others amazing but his writing always has a haunting unforgettable quality to it. I must confess I like after the quake better. My fav in this book was the 100% perfect girl. I'm interested in reading a full novel given his genius at character development. ( )
  ArchanaV | Jul 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Det är en ojämn samling, pärlor och bagateller om vartannat. När Murakami är som sämst är han tomt idisslande. När han är som bäst tar han sig in i ens huvud.
 
Murakamis uppsluppna kombination av noir och fantasy är svårartat beroendeframkallande.
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerhoven, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Memory is like fiction; or else it’s fiction that’s like memory. This really came
home to me once I started writing fiction, that memory seemed like a kind of fiction,
or vice versa. Either way, no matter how hard you try to put everything neatly into
shape, the context wanders this way and that, until finally the context isn’t even there
anymore. You’re left with this pile of kittens lolling all over one another. Warm with
life, hopelessly unstable. “The Last Lawn of the Afternoon”
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collection of short stories
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679750533, Paperback)

With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.

By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami's ability to cross the border between separate realities -- and to come back bearing treasure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Contains seventeen short fiction stories by Haruki Murakami about people whose lives veer off the path of normalcy.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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