Saturday, February 28, 2015

Novella: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Although I'm not really sure if this is truly a first on its entirety but on one fateful boring afternoon, I decided to quickly drop by the bookstore and buy a book that's been keeping me intrigued since I saw it in the book stands: The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. It was my first illustrated Murakami.

It was a bit pricey, considering that it's just a short story/novella and that it was roughly a hundred pages. But as far as I'm concerned, I tend to be a little impulsive when I see names of my favorite authors sprawled across a book cover. And so I bought it, and the strangeness that ensued was totally uncalled for.

From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library. 
A lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plot their escape from the nightmarish library of internationally acclaimed, best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination. (via Goodreads)
I'm not really sure if this is a children's book, but it felt like it is -- with a very graphic description of scenarios that qualifies for very strange dreams. Things morph into something else entirely. And impossible things happen with a transition as if its the most normal thing in the world.  The illustrations are something that adds up to the experience. Like the part with the looming eyes and you immediately see that big print of hound eyes staring back at you. Creepy and awesome at the same time. Reading this feels like reading through somebody's dream. A nightmare, in a good way. A beautiful mess, if I may.

I was waiting for a message or whatever, but I don't know if it's just me being tired but I failed to see one. Maybe, if I have the time, I'll reread this to get a better grasp of it. If one should read this, it's the experience that count. Despite this book, it's still that distinctive surreal, dreamy Murakami feeling that I've grown addicted to in the past that resonates in this work. Reading his work right before going to sleep and after waking up is truly an unparalleled experience, it almost felt like self hypnosis.

Ayway, I am giving this 2 stars out of 5. Lowest star I gave to a Murakami. But what can I expect? This is a novella and it is short as it is vague and totally strange. Maybe I would've found it more rewarding if it were part of collection or something. His short stories always make you want for more.

My Rating: ★★☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
"The world follows its own course. Each possesses his own thoughts, each treads his own path. So it is with you mother, and so it is with your starling. As it is with everyone. The world follows its own course." 
"No matter the situation may be, I still take pleasure in witnessing the joy of other." 
"And any anxiety that is not especially anxious is, in the end, an anxiety hardly worth mentioning." 


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  2. I've seen this one around too. I've never read any Murakami, but I like this title and from other reviews I'm very curios and do want this one to be my first read by Murakami.


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