'Casablanca remade Japanese-style': a moving, thoughtful story of long-lost love and second chances
Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch.
Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present.
“A story of love in a cool climate, intensely romantic and weepily beautiful...it is startlingly different: a true original”
“Casablanca remade Japanese style...It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem”
“This wise and beautiful book is full of hidden truths”
New York Times
“This book aches...an eloquent treatise on the vertiginous, irrational powers of love and desire”
Independent on Sunday
“Impressively written and structured... Above all, the novel is memorable for its unflinchingly extreme treatment of romantic love”
Times Literary Supplement
“Discover what a fine writer Murakami is with this engrossing examination of a male mid-life crisis... He enthrallingly teases out the risks, culminating in a headily sensual finale”
“A beautiful, atmospheric novel sustained by Murakami's flair for philosophical mediation at its most human”