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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
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Sputnik Sweetheart (original 1999; edition 2002)

by Haruki Murakami

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5,28197836 (3.75)204
Member:blami
Title:Sputnik Sweetheart
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2002), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (1999)

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» See also 204 mentions

English (81)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (97)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
The unnamed narrator is in love (unrequitedly) with a girl who is in love (unrequitedly) with another woman. When she disappears, he drops everything to go find out what happened. Weird and touching in all the ways of Murakami's stuff. Another win.

When she spied Sumire's father, Miu was speechless. Sumire could hear the intake of breath. Like the sound of a velvet curtain being drawn aside on a peaceful morning to let in the sunlight to wake someone very special to you.

If I listened very carefully, somewhere far far away I could hear the cats lapping up my brain. Three lithe cats, surrounding my broken head, slurping up the mush gray soup within. The tips of their red, rough tongues licked the soft folds of my mind. And with each lick of their tongues, my mind - like a shimmer of hot air - flickered and faded away. ( )
  mahsdad | Apr 22, 2018 |
Two of my best friends love Murakami. I don't get it. whatever. I don't like magic realism. It's like, well why don't you just write better instead of something *magic* happening. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Meh, typical Murakami story, not impressed at all. I would not recommend this book as a "first Murakami read", it ain't bad but it's not that catchy and interesting either. It's all confusion and an open ending as usual. ( )
  Denicbt | Feb 5, 2018 |
Nowhere near as good as Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and spoiled for me by a sense that Murakami had suddenly got bored of the plot and decided just to wrap it all up. I felt as though most of the book was building up to K's meeting with Miu, and yet afterwards the plot just faded quietly away. Maybe I'm being unjust. But I prefer his more lushly-plotted, epic stories ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Dec 8, 2017 |
Murakami's depiction of loneliness and meloncholy is as poignant as it is beautiful. Still doesn't measure up to Norwegian Wood though. That book has probably spoiled me for life. ( )
  Crontab_e | Sep 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (16 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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