Monthly Archives: September 2011

1Q84 – Haruki Murakami (U.K. book trailer)

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The English translation of 1Q84 has not yet been published, but Murakami’s new novel is set to be a literary sensation

Yesterday, the Guardian published an article about Haruki Murakami’s new novel. There is an insightful opinion from Jay Rubin, one of Murakami’s regular translators. What Mr. Rubin said about the Japanese author is entirely spot-on.

“Rubin also remarked on Murakami’s ability to convey the commonplace in an extraordinary way. “What I love,” he said, “is how he can describe eating yoghurt at midnight or the best way to cook a hamburger or someone pouring ketchup into a sock drawer. He is very down to earth, but also has passages that are very comically detailed.”

“And it is not because he is writing about Japan that people love him. I’m not sure his readers are interested in Japan. It is about the moment to moment sensation of being in his world. Inside his head.”

Some people have said that he has never given clear and satisfactory answers in most of his stories. To me, this is just the way he treats his readers without being condescending. People who read his books should come to their own understanding and it does not really matter whether or not we can completely grasp what he means in the stories. In fact, we don’t need to try very hard to read his books, but if we can stay with each moment from the beginning to the end, the reward will be amazing. It is like a journey that we have chosen to embark on. We may not comprehend all the things that we have seen throughout the entire adventure, but the experience is simply worthwhile.

It is irrelevant whether Haruki Murakami is the greatest living author or not, but in the world of literature, he is undoubtedly a superstar. That is what I said on Twitter yesterday.

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (U.S. book trailer)

In the UK, the novel will be published in 2 volumes and have different covers from the US version. I would love to buy 1Q84 in one volume. However, I was not very impressed with one of Murakami’s novels which I bought from an American publisher. It was badly bound and unevenly cut. Hence I have pre-ordered the British version instead. The novel will also be published in Kindle format.

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HEADSHOT: A Crime Noir by Pen-ek Ratanaruang

HEADSHOT is based on a novel called “Rain Falling Up the Sky” by a well-known Thai writer, Win Lyovarin. Initially, the author did not intend to write it as a novel, but rather as a script for an indie movie forming part of a film noir project. For some reason, it did not materialise, so the writer decided to transform the script into a novel instead; or as he called it, a film noir novel.

Every element of the book was written according to the concept of early Hollywood film noir: there is an investigation, murder, sex, corruption, crime, bad cops, prostitutes, gangsters or hoodlums, mafia, hitmen and so on, as well as a sexy sinister beautiful woman. The author also interspersed the story line with black and white images. The novel could easily be called a book noir with images, or a gallery novel. It is unsurprising that the novel is replete with a movie atmosphere such as the way the story develops, the use of flashback and a narrator voice over etc.

The movie version directed by Pen-ek Ratanaruang is scheduled to be in the cinema in Thailand on 3rd November.

More details in English about the movie can be found via ThaiCinema.org: http://www.thaicinema.org/kits279headshote.asp

Note: WordPress would not allow me to link the web address to the website name above for some reason.

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