Friday, January 07, 2005

New Murakami!

Sweet Jesus, it's true. A new Murakami novel, Kafka on the Shore is coming out January 18. Found out about this on Moorish Girl. The article in The Guardian freaked me out a bit on a few levels. First off, the title of the article is "How to have sex with a ghost." Um... for anyone who actually has read the chapters of Cacophony here, does this sound familiar? Oddly, though, the article makes no mention of screwing ghosts at all. Hmm.

But here's something that grabbed me for a completely different reason:
He has talked often in interviews of allowing his stories to lead him where they want to go, from one sentence to the next. It is a risky, jazz-like strategy and it leads to dead ends as well as open roads.

Yikes! And cool! I don't trust outlines when I write. I find that if I know where a story is leading, or how it ends, I get bored. And when I get bored with my writing, it really, really shows. Especially if I'm forcing the characters in a direction that I thought they wanted to go, but really don't. So it was great to see that someone I deeply admire writes similarly.

That said... a couple of Murakami's novels nearly get done in by this. They meander off on paths that, truth be told, aren't all that interesting. "South of the Border, West of the Sun" comes to mind. Most of the time, it works really well, like in "Norwegian Wood" (one of my all-time favorite books by anyone). But there are those times that, as a reader, I've thought, "What happened to the story?" Characters who were instrumental to plots have tendencies to disappear without warning, never to reappear, or to come back without explanation. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle," for example, did this rather a lot. And reading The Guardian's write-up here, it sounds like this may be most similar, of all Murakami's books, to that one.

Regardless, I can't wait to read it.


At 5:16 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Exciting, isn't it?

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Dave Clapper said...

Intensely so! Wheeeeeeeeeee!


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