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After the Quake (2000)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,8951032,749 (3.78)328
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.
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» See also 328 mentions

English (92)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
I should start by saying, that generally, I actually prefer short stories as they tend to have a great flow, absorb you easily and finish before they become tedious or boring and generally leave you satisfied. These short stories weren't even stories for me, rather they were more like an finished paragraph about a person. I never got invested in any of the characters, none of them are really memorable at all and I'm not really clear on how the earthquake really affected any of their lives.
Although I kind of liked the moments of human banality it just didn't translate into anything interesting for me. As short as the stories were it wouldn't have bothered me if I never finished any of them, as nothing really happened in the 'end' anyway, I think the reason I didn't click with the characters or the themes is because the actual 'story structure' failed for me and didn't leave me with the satisfaction you get from 'reading a story'.

The writing was extremely simple, the structure and words could have been written by a kid under 12. That being said the writing made the stories really easy to read and allowed the people to be the focus.
However, the Super-Frog story? What was the point of that one? ( )
  spiritedstardust | Dec 29, 2022 |
Reading Murakami always leaves me impressed with his ability to weave an almost etherial 'vibe' throughout his work. ( )
  brakketh | Oct 20, 2022 |
Okay! Not as great as many of Murakami's other works, but not too shabby. ( )
  cuiomae | Aug 26, 2022 |
The concept uniting these stories is strong: how collective trauma ties people together (in this case, their responses to one event, the 1995 earthquake in Kobe). However, the whole collection felt inconsequential, especially when juxtaposed against such a significant event. Or maybe, I just don’t like short stories.

A lot of these felt like parts of larger works, because they were so meandering. I know this formula largely works for Murakami’s novels, where he can get away with a meandering story, but I feel like if you’re gonna write short stories you should plot things out a little more meticulously. He has stories that feel complete in other collections, like “Barn Burning,” but this just wasn’t it. The most complete narrative was the last story, “Honey Pie”, but it was still nothing exceptional. The book is also mostly devoid of Murakami’s characteristic magical realism, until “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo”, which I absolutely hated! It’s so literalist that it felt juvenile, it honestly felt like something a kid would write. That story alone is the worst bit of writing I’ve read from Murakami. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
An absolutely beautiful, enchanting collection of short stories. I love Murakami when he does magical realism and metafiction, and every story just hits the mark for both. I would definitely recommend this is a perfect primer for Murakami newbies.

PS: I got so hyped reading this, I already have Pinball/Wind on my library book shelf for me to read later! And now I want to re-read both 1Q84 and Norwegian Wood - why can't I have more time in the day for Murakami, tho?! ( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (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 (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Degas, RupertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallagher, TeresaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sims, AdamNarratorsecondary 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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Please do not combine this entry with the entries for the individual short stories.
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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.

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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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Average: (3.78)
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