After the Quake: Book summary and reviews of After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

After the Quake

Stories

By Haruki Murakami

After the Quake
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2002,
    160 pages.

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Book Summary

The six stories in Haruki Murakami’s mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakami’s characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman.

An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package—and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or may not be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. As haunting as dreams, as potent as oracles, the stories in After the Quake are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Murakami has created a series of small masterpieces." - Publishers Weekly.

"Murakami's writing examines the state of the human condition in a manner similar to that of National Book Award winner Ha Jin, but Murakami's stories often end abruptly, leaving readers to determine for themselves how the stories are to be resolved, if at all." - Library Journal.

"It really is a wonderment to see how Murakami develops bizarre, "impossible" premises into emotionally and thematically satisfying explorations of genuine human longing, extremity, epiphany, and growth. This writer goes from strength to strength. Magnificent." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Murakami magically links the mythical past, when animals spoke to humans and dreams mattered, to today's anxious world, where, tattooed by the fitful light of televisions emitting images of disaster, people stand on ever-shifting ground and valiantly offer a hand, and their love, to one another." - Booklist.

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Author Information

Haruki Murakami Author Biography

Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and graduated from the Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1975. He and his wife lived in Europe and the United States from 1986 to 1995 before returning to Tokyo. He did not write his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing (1979, translated 1987) until he was in his thirties. His major breakthrough came in 1987 with the publication of Norwegian Wood - a coming of age story named after the Beatles' song, which is somewhat different to his other books in that it is written in a realistic style, whereas his other books all ...

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