Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Forty Days of Rain or the Tale of Two Murakamis

Ryu Murakami's new book, Piercing, is a wonderful touching love story. The two lovers are a man who has a desperate Freudian desire to stab a woman with an ice pick, and a woman who likes to stab her own thigh with a Swiss army knife, and dissolve Halcion into her lover's food/drink and do strange things to them while they sleep. A match made in, well, hell. This is the dark vein of Japanese culture, and brings to mind the films of Takashi Miike, who perhaps voices the implosion of the horror that was nuclear half a century ago, and is now something quite else.

Another Murakami, far better known, & equally strange at times, and particularly in time, Haruki, has put out his tightest novel since South of the Border, West of the Sun. After Dark is is a wonderful book, full of youth at the border of life, and jazz, and love hotels, and Denney's restaurants, and a woman who moves between realms. The entire action takes place in the course of one night, that endlessly mysterious terrain.

Forty days of rain. Build me an ark of books.

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