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'A remarkable writer-he captures the common ache of contemporary heart and head' Jay McInerney

When a man's favourite elephant vanishes, the balance of his whole life is subtly upset; a couple's midnight hunger pangs drive them to hold up a McDonald's; a woman finds she is irresistible to a small green monster that burrows through her front garden; an insomniac wife wakes up to a twilight world of semi-consciousness in which anything seems possible - even death. In every one of the stories that make up The Elephant Vanishes, Murakami makes a determined assault on the normal. He has a deadpan genius for dislocating realities to uncover the surreal in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary.


How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration

Independent on Sunday

Enchanting...intriguing... All of these tales have a wonderfully surreal quality and a hip, witty tone

Wall Street Journal

All the stories take place in parallel worlds not so much remote from ordinary life as hidden within its surfaces: secret alleys that afford unexpected - and unsettling - views

New York Times

Like the best thriller fiction, it nags you with the sensation that Something Nasty is about to happen

Sunday Times

Most collections of short stories work by the interplay of different voices. This one offers the more satisfying rewards of a novel: unity of tone and a richness of recurring detail that creates its own texture: spaghetti, lawns, hamburgers, beer-drinking, kid sisters, Sunday afternoons, a man's name


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Formats & editions

Also by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood
Men Without Women
1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3
Kafka On The Shore
Absolutely on Music
Wind/ Pinball
The Strange Library
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Murakami Diary
1Q84: Book 3
1Q84: Books 1 and 2
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
After Dark
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Birthday Stories
South of the Border, West of the Sun
Dance Dance Dance
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
A Wild Sheep Chase
After the Quake
Sputnik Sweetheart
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


Norwegian Wood
No Middle Name
The Thirst
Uncommon Type
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View
Paris For One And Other Stories
The Owl Always Hunts at Night
The Shogun's Queen
The Sixth Watch
The Pier Falls
Sudden Death
Some Rain Must Fall
The Shore
The Troubled Man
The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories
Homesick For Another World