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The New Yorker's Literary Darling

Yep our man Haruki has yet another story in the fiction section of The New Yorker, to be posted there till November 17. Title is "Hunting Knife", translated by Phil Gabriel, and I was suddenly reminded of that Guided by Voices song (duh) "My Valuable Hunting Knife".

Noticed a few of Murakami's recurring themes:

1. Fascination with overweight women, ala girl in pink in Hard-boiled Wonderland
2. Methodical approach to swimming, ala the female narrator in "Sleep"
3. Autobiographical detail (young married Japanese couple travelling all over, no kids)
4. Insomnia, again like in "Sleep"
5. Some existentialism, an ephemeral connection between strangers

The paragraph about the overweight woman takes the cake. Almost spat out a piece of pear I was eating when I read this:

It was strange to think that she’d been a stewardess. I’d seen plenty of brawny stewardesses who could have been wrestlers. I’d seen some with beefy arms and downy upper lips. But I’d never seen one as big as her. Maybe United didn’t care how heavy its stewardesses were. Or maybe she hadn’t been this fat when she had that job.

Was also glad to see that our man's strange but effective similes still showed in full force:

1. Folded parasols = sleeping pterodactyls
2. Overweight woman = dolphin
3. Paralyzed face = cracked vase
4. Suitcases = stealthy animals

Fast weekend reading. Read "The Big Bazoohley", the first children's novel of the amazing Peter Carey, Booker Prize winner twice over for Oscar and Lucinda and in 2001, The True History of the Kelly Gang. Just like in Oscar and Lucinda, elements of gambling appear in this children's book. Sam Kellow's father Earl is a charming gambler, while mother Vanessa is a giantess of a woman who creates intricate paintings as small as a matchbox, which sell for buckets of money but take a year to make. Rich Mr. de Vere, who's supposed to buy the painting, looks like a mole, his mansion built into Toronto's subway system and his front door marked Cleaning 201. The book is so fantastic it should be made into a film.

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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