Murakami on the Shore

Why I agreed to read more than 1000 pages of fiction in two weeks while swamped with deadlines and teaching responsibilities of various sorts I don’t know. I’m an idiot? Plausible. Or maybe I just can’t say no to Rosecrans Baldwin. He’s dreamy. And ridiculously talented.

As a judge in the Tournament of Books, I agreed to read 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah. The whole review is here. But if that exceeds your Why Should I Care quotient, here is a snippet:

In the end, Murakami, the avid runner, limps across the finish line needing an IV. But his canvas is so broad, his imagination so deep and his cojones so big, you’ve got to hand it to the guy. 1Q84 is long, yes, but it presents a fully realized world, with two moons in the sky and sex, drugs, and Little People saying “ho-ho” on the ground. Tengo and Aomame are palpable, memorable characters waging existential struggles, both micro and macro. Could 1Q84 have been 400 pages shorter? Probably. But I’d say the same thing about War and Peace. And Proust.

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