South of the Border, West of the Sun

Okay this is review about Murakami's book, again. Since I've promised to myself to finish all of his books. After Sputnik Sweetheart, I continue to South of the Border, West of the Sun. Unlike his more dreamy, surreal fantastic story, this one by Murakami is more realistic. A domestic tale about a Japanese man named Hajime who's married to a woman he's never truly connected with. He always trapped inside his memories about childhood. Reminiscing about his first love: Shimamoto, an attractive girl whom he used to share a love of music and books with and whom he lost touch with decades ago. Someone that he can't get rid off his mind and heart.

In his perfect adult life, in his late thirty age, Hajime got everything that everyone wants too. Beautiful and kind wife with two beautiful daughters, running successful business, money, everything. But deep down in his heart he knows that something's missing. And he begin to longing for his first love, and searching for Shimamoto. No, it's not that kind of melodrama and romantic yet melancholic book, but a book on persistent memories, revised fantasies, and questions that sometimes must remain unanswered. Its a novel about longing, about small pains and aching regrets:

 "But I didn't understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair."

 It is, in point of fact, a very subtle ghost story, about being haunted by your own past. It carries the very real sense of always being about things that are just out of its reach, explanations that are never given.Among 5 books of Murakami that I've read, for me this is the one that touch me most. Because in some part, this book is related to me. And Hajime is just like someone that I used to know. Reading it makes me feel blue and the memories of past suddenly come like movie trailer in my mind. And in some part I was like get some hard slap on my face. And I have no idea why somehow this book can makes my mind messed up for couple days after I finished it (until now, actually). A lot of unanswered things in my head become clearer yet more complicated. Damn.

“Hajime,” Shimamoto said as we approached Aoyama Boulevard. “I was thinking back then how nice it would be if the plane didn’t take off.”
     I was thinking exactly the same thing, I wanted to tell her. But I said nothing. My mouth was dry, and words couldn’t come. I merely nodded and reached out for her hand. At the corner of Aoyama 1-chome, she told me to stop the car, and I let her out.
     “May I come to see you again?” she asked me softly as she opened the door. “You can still stand being around me?”
     “I’ll be waiting,” I said. Shimamoto nodded.
     As I drove away, I thought this: If I never see her again, I will go insane. Once she was out of the car and gone, my world was suddenly hollow and meaningless.

1 comment

  1. mir2, keknya malah jagoan kamu bahasa inggrisnya. hahaha.. :D

    itu kamu baca versi inggrisnya asli mir? :O
    keknya dari review2 murakami yg kamu bikin, bagus2 bukunya. di perpus ada gak ya? :p