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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Sputnik Sweetheart (1999)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (91)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
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 |

Murakami's writing has been more and more problematic for me as I read more and more of his novels, (Sputnik Sweetheart being the 9th), yet this book is among his best. This review is going to sound pretty disjointed and mostly negative, but I really did like the book, promise.

While sections of it are written in the faux-lofty style I've come to dread in Murakami's work, there are many scenes that were rendered quite excellently. One of these scenes is the night when K is climbing the mountain. (By the way, could Murakami ride Kafka's dick any harder? The protagonist didn't need a name and he definitely didn't need the name "K".) The section of Sumire's writing is (for the most part) cringe-inducing. However, her dream sequence was very vivid and well executed. The ending I was pleased with, and then less than pleased with as I reached the last two pages. The character's love for very specific classical music is a recurring Murakami theme that very much took me out of the story anytime it came up. In contrast, Sumire felt like a very fleshed out person. At least I could picture her with extreme clarity, something that cannot be said for many other of Murakami's protagonists (Kafka and the man from Hardboiled being notable exceptions). I could have done with more time depicting K on the greek island, and less exposition time back in Japan.

OK, I think that's all I can write. The rest of the book is whirling into an imperceptible blur. Given that this is my 9th and I only get more critical as I proceed I'd be interested to see what I think of Wind-Up Bird Chronicle now. It was my first Murakami and I read it 3-4 years ago. I wonder if it's changed in that time. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
Very short and thought provoking.
Did K and Sumire finally meet up in the end? I would like to believe so. I would also like to believe that Haruki Murakami will tell us a little snipet of where Sumire went, someday maybe. ( )
  Elaine_Omwango | Jan 26, 2019 |
Leí a Murakami de casualidad, por una insistente recomendación para sumergirme en la novela "Los años de peregrinación del chico sin color" y lo cierto es que estaba anhelante de poder conocer otra historia del autor, dado el absoluto sentimiento que desbordaban sus letras, esa condensación de los personajes, esa realidad latente de lo allí narrado. Trágico, sí, pero tan hermoso que dolía.

"Sputnik, mi amor" es todavía mejor, todavía más. Una novela con tintes muy filosóficos, dotada de una gran carga metafísica y, además, centrada en el proceso creativo de la escritura. Sí, ese del que tanto nos gusta leer a los que hacemos amago de escribir.

Sumire, una esperpéntica joven que ha dejado todo por dedicarse a su pasión literaria, conoce a Myû, una mujer casada y enigmática. Las circunstancias se precipitan y, casi sin darse cuenta, se encuentran embarcadas en un viaje por Europa que, sin dudas, cambiará sus vidas para siempre.

Creo que es sencillo catalogar el tema principal de la obra: el amor. Pero no sólo el amor romántico, sino el amor por lo que se crea y lo que se desea, el amor por una bonita ciudad y por una gastronomía exquisita, el amor por la música, por la soledad y por el recuerdo. Ese amor del que tanto nos habla Murakami, hablando por boca del protagonista, a veces ajeno a la trama, otras inmiscuido en ella como un ajeno deseoso de obtener algo más que ser un simple espectador.

Poca importancia tiene que se trate de un triangulo amoroso, porque lo importante a destacar de "Sputnik, mi amor" es su narrativa, tan poética y tan exquisita, plagada de metáforas y de diálogos deliberantes y hermosos. De ideales y silencios. Semeja ser un experimento extraño, con un desarrollo complejo que rompe las normas del espacio tiempo. Y sí, por supuesto, es pura hermosura, pura literatura que se convierte en oro, del que reluce de verdad.
( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (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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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.
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)

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