Book Review: “Sputnik Sweetheart” by Haruki Murakami


I have already posted yesterday night about my insight of Murakami’s Book. It was an inspirational moment. You can read about it here:

Now I want to come to the main review. I have started this book on Wednesday and finished it yesterday. It was a really fast read, exciting, mysterious, inspirational, and interesting.

Here we go!

Plot: Twenty-two-year-old Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel.
Surprised that she might, after all, be a lesbian, Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire and should she ever tell Miu how she feels about her.
Frustrated in his own love for Sumire, K consoles himself by having an affair with the mother of one of his pupils. Then a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island and asks for his help, and he discovers that something very strange has happened to Sumire.

Topics: Of course, typical for Murakami, this novel is about two different worlds to which the characters seem to have a connection to. It has a mysterious touch, by using elements familiar to Murakami readers like the importance of cats, the significance of the moon for those two parallel existing worlds, the inability of middle aged women having sex, and more mysterious elements. This story is not only about parallel worlds, but also about love and sexuality. The funny thing here is that a normal relationship between two opposite sex and right age difference doesn’t exist. A young girl loves an older woman, a young teacher has an affair with older women.Furthermore, there are themes like friendship, beauty of nature, loneliness, even about music and literature itself (also elements that appear often in Murakami’s books). Many readers complain about Murakami using the same elements in his books, finding it unimaginative, but for me, they all contribute to a bigger masterpiece. I like reading a Murakami book and looking forward for the typical mysterious elements. 

Writing style: A kafkaesque style for a mysterious story. Murakami loves to play with words. He describes everything in a detailed way, but it is still not boring, quite the contrary: I want him to describe more people and their appearances, and more landscapes, and more feelings. I especially liked his description of the Aegaeis. I felt like back in turkey again, on vacation. Murakami is a genius for both, writing style and story. He is my idol. 

Characters: All his books have interesting characters. Many are similar to other characters from his other books. You’ll often read about a lonely single man, having an affair with an older woman, or a main character who likes to smoke and write, and many characters who like listening to classic music. In this book, I really liked Sumire. I can’t say that she will be one of my most favorite characters ever, but Ireally liked her. She was so imperfect and interesting. 

Final review – 8/10: It is a must-read for every Murakami fan, and also for Murakami newbies, to get to know his style the best. It is nothing special like Kafka on the Shore or 1Q84, but still it seems to be like a foretaste for his later novels.



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