South of the Border, West of the Sun

South of the Border, West of the Sun

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South of the Border, West of the Sun 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
I've seen several reviews comparing this novel to Norwegian Wood, and I have agree with the comparison; this is the perfect companion piece to NW. Like NW, SOTBWOTS is a more straightforward novel than most of Murakami's other works; no magic realism or SF elements. But where NW is a novel about young love, SOTBWOTS takes a much more adult perspective. Once again Murakami explores the themes of love, loss, and obsession, but this time through mature characters. For me this makes SOTBWOTS the more powerful novel. Where in NW there's a slight sense on youthful melodrama, a feeling of "get over yourself, this is life", SOTBWOTS feels more like real people, facing real problems. Recommended for all Murakami fans, especially those who enjoyed Norwegian Wood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am truly surprised critics find THIS MUCH to say about the book! Murakami's style is easy-to-read and hard-to-stop. The book is colorfull in events, characters' feelings and thoughts. It takes a breath away and you finish it in no time. Although the book leaves a 'heavy' feeling, because of characters' broken dreams, your world is fuller after you've read it. Highly recommended!
The_Beastlord_Slavedragon More than 1 year ago
This book was my introduction to Haruki Murakami. The story is heart warming, like the romance we all had but yet never had, once upon a youthful innocence. His other books seem to build on this theme. For example, Nori No Mori Norwegian Wood. Beastdragon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the 1st book I read from Murakami, for those who wants to start with this author's book I recommend starting with this one or Norweigan wood. why should start with this ones? Because the rest have magic realism elements that could be difficult to understand. NW and this books are really easygoing to read, love story from an Oriental point of view. If after finishing you love it, you won't be able to stop reading the rest of the pieces from Murakami.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Murakami's books (from Hear The Wind Sing to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and this is the only one that has made me cry. Of course, Kafka had made me a bit sad and Norwegian Wood too but this made me sit down and cry for a bit. It also made me confused as well. If you dont want spoilers dont continue reading but I thought that possibly, Shimamoto was never real. I mean, she was real in his childhood of course but when he saw her that day and followed her, I dont think that was real. I think he had created an alternate reality South of The Border and West Of The Sun (you know, if you look at the title in terms of the body, South of the border could mean below the belt and West of the Sun could mean the direction of the heart). Anywa, Hajime had been missing her for so long, suffering because of his unfinished relatonship with her that he created her in his mind to try to resolve everything. I came to this conclusion because of the envelope that went missing and the record that she supposedly gave him. Also, there was the Izumi incident and well...Izumi is supposed to be dead. However, the book ends with rain falling in his mind (and rainfall is apparently a sign that indicates Shimamoto is about to arrive) and then he feels a hand on his shoulder. For all I know, he could be imagining that hand or, Shimamoto could be real either way, his life is a mess because of it. If Shimamoto is real then I dont like her at all. She is every bit the description of an only child that Hajime spoke about. Selfish, self-centred, spoiled. She apparently lives a life of luxury without having to work for anything and then she just pops up onto Hajime's life, disrupting him, his wife and everything around him. She could have left him alone. His life would have been perfect. I didnt get the bits with his father-in-law though. Struck me as a bit disjointed from the story but I feel they have significance. You never know with Murakami. Anyway, it was a rather short story, moving, slightly disturbing, creative and mind-boggling. I would only recommend this to Murakami veterans, since it might not be a good book to start the Murakami collection with. 4 stars for this.
HairlessJoe More than 1 year ago
It reminded me of a girl when I was that age. Now I wonder where she is now and how different things might have been.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my first reading of Murakami's, recommended by a Japanese friend. Though it might seem a redundant tale about a middle-aged Tokyoite who finds warmth and purpose in the rekindling of an old but unconsummated flame, South of the Border, West of the Sun stroke me as a profound book. It tells us about timing, about recognizing the very one love of a lifetime when it is there to take. If life is about making educated choices, then Hajime is an unlucky man because he was very young when Shimamoto entered his life in their teenage years. Only as he drifted through his 20s and 30s did he come to realize how he let his chance slip away and longs for her. All the rest is just backdrop: he can be poor, single and bored as a student and then a small-time editor, or wealthy, married and mildly satisfied as a jazz-club owner, the emptiness remains identical. Murakamis provides only minimum descriptions of places and people to let us concentrate on Hajime and Shimamoto. Their re-encounter is a long, dreamlike, uninterrupted sequence that you can visualize perfectly. There is obviously no escape for him but to reach for her. The ending is pessimistic but banal, making us once again realize that second chances are unattainable luxuries. What you come to realize after shutting this book close is that what you don't need to possess something to lose it, and with it the better part of yourself.
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mikedee23 More than 1 year ago
A spectacular exploration of a 37-year-old man forced into an existential crisis. 
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Ciufi More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Sad at times, but such a unique story.
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