Thursday

Book Review: Dance Dance Dance


Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami 
A couple of years ago, I read Murakami's The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I absolutely loved it so I followed it up with Kafka on the Shore and always intended to return to his novels. I find his surrealism and philosophical outlook on Japanese society interesting and his stories are so intricate and intelligent. So the trademark monochrome spine called out to me when I saw Dance Dance Dance in the charity bookshop and I couldn't resist.

Dance Dance Dance tells the story of a 34-year-old divorcé tracking down the high-class call girl he briefly lived with. His search leads him to an array of unusual characters including a nervous, uptight hotel receptionist, an angsty 13-year-old and her negligent separated parents, a clean-cut film star. As our narrator (who remains unnamed) makes sense of the complex ties that link the characters together, he begins to uncover the truth about the call girl who seemingly disappeared. 
As usual with Murakami, the novel features all manner of surreal experiences: A hotel that suddenly transforms into a dark, dank parrallel that houses the Sheep Man, the controller of the narrator's life. Eventually, it dawns on us what has happened to the call girl Kiki, a fraction before the narrator realises. It's almost like Jonathan Creek, set in 1980s Japan!

The only slight problem I had was getting a little confused when events or characters were mentioned that I didn't recall happening earlier in the book. This only happened a couple of times so I didn't think much of it and assumed I'd just switched off when I read those parts but, when looking up others' reviews on Goodreads afterwards, it emerged that this is actually the fourth book in a series. The fact that I haven't read the others didn't cause any problems in terms of following the story but perhaps it would have been nicer to start from the beginning. 
Murakami's writing style is engaging and draws the reader throughout the book. Even when characters are walking through brick walls, we don't doubt the authenticity of events. He has a way of making the most improbable of experiences seem likely. Some have found this book a bit same-y, compared to Murakami's other novels. It certainly does follow the same structure but, as I enjoyed the other novels anyway, I'm happy with this. 

8 comments :

  1. I love surreal books! This definitely sounds like something I'd be interested in, but I might look at book one first, haha! :)
    Mia xo
    miaalice.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. This is one of the few books by Murakami that I haven't read yet so I'm happy to read your review. I wonder if this can compare next to Kafka on the shore and the wind up bird chronicles, which are my favorites. But I think I will read it sometime.

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    1. Those were the first two I read!

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  3. I am a huge Murakami fan and I really enjoyed this book. I highly recomment Norwegian Wood and Sputnik Sweetheart also.

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    1. These are the two I'm hoping to read next.

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  4. he is on my to-read list, because i only read positive comments about him. as soon as i have some free time where i don't have to read books for school, i will definitely give it a try!

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