Excerpt from Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

by Haruki Murakami

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami X
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"That's enough," my cousin said.

He spun around to sit facing forward, shifting around on the bench. "So, see anything unusual?"

"Nothing different as far as I could see. From the outside at least."

"Anything's okay-even a feeling you got or something."

"Your ear looks normal to me."

My cousin looked disappointed. Maybe I had said the wrong thing.

"Did the treatment hurt?" I asked.

"No, it didn't. Same as always. They just rummaged around in the same old spot. Feels like they're going to wear it out. Sometimes it doesn't feel like my own ear anymore."

"There's the number twenty-eight," my cousin said after a while, turning to me. "That's our bus, right?"

I'd been lost in thought. I looked up when he said this and saw the bus slowing down as it went round the curve coming up the slope. This wasn't the kind of brand-new bus we'd ridden over on but one of the older buses I remembered. A sign with the number 28 was hanging on the front. I tried to stand up from the bench, but I couldn't. Like I was caught up in the middle of a powerful current, my limbs wouldn't respond.

I'd been thinking of the box of chocolates we'd taken when we went to that hospital on that long-ago summer afternoon. The girl had happily opened the lid to the box only to discover that the dozen little chocolates had completely melted, sticking to the paper between each piece and to the lid itself. On the way to the hospital my friend and I had parked the motorcycle by the seaside, and lay around on the beach just talking and hanging out. The whole while we'd let that box of chocolates lie out in the hot August sun. Our carelessness, our self-centeredness, had wrecked those chocolates, made one fine mess of them all. We should have sensed what was happening. One of us-it didn't matter who-should have said something. But on that afternoon, we didn't sense anything, just exchanged a couple of dumb jokes and said goodbye. And left that hill still overgrown with blind willows.

My cousin grabbed my right arm in a tight grip.

"Are you all right?" he asked me.

His words brought me back to reality, and I stood up from the bench. This time I had no trouble standing. Once more I could feel on my skin the sweet May breeze. For a few seconds I stood there in a strange, dim place. Where the things I could see didn't exist. Where the invisible did. Finally, though, the real number 28 bus stopped in front of me, its entirely real door opening. I clambered aboard, heading off to some other place.

I rested my hand on my cousin's shoulder. "I'm all right," I told him.

Translated by Philip Gabriel. Copyright (c) 2006 by Haruki Murakami

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    A hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.