BOOK REVIEW: MEN WITHOUT WOMEN BY HARUKI MURAKAMI


Eiyo Fadneiras,

Welcome back to Fadima Mooneira. Time really envies us. I can't believe June is coming to an end already. So today's entry is going to be my last post for June. And for today's post, I want to share my review of Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women. Now let's not waste time and begin this review with the author's bio...


ABOUT HARUKI MURAKAMI

Japan's bestselling author ~ Haruki Murakami (Image: the-tls.co.uk)

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author. He was born in Kyoto, Japan on the 12th of January 1949. Before Murakami became an author, he ran a small jazz bar business with his wife for seven years. Murakami’s first novel was titled Hear the Wind Sing (HTWS). HTWS won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. After his success with HTWS, Murakami wrote two sequel novels: Pinball, 1973, and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form “The Trilogy of the Rat”(TTOTR).


Besides HTWS and TTOTR, some of Murakami’s novels are Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood, Dance Dance Dance, South of the Border, West of the Sun, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, 1Q84, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Most of Murakami’s novels are listed as bestsellers.


Besides novels, Murakami has also written three short story books: The Elephant Vanishes, After the Quake, and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Murakami has also written an illustrated novella titled The Strange Library.




ABOUT MEN WITHOUT WOMEN (PLUS MY REVIEW)




Men Without Women (MWW) is a book of seven short stories: Drive My Car, Yesterday, An Independent Organ, Scheherazade, Kino, Samsa In Love, and Men Without Women. MWW was first published in April 2014 and translated into English in 2017.


All stories in MWW are about men coping with loneliness and life struggles. These men lost women in their lives, usually to other men or death. Besides loneliness and life struggles, this book also highlights mental health issues. All stories in this book come with dark vibes. Nothing flowery in it, guys. Plus, some stories have detailed spicy scenes. Most character dialogues are very adult. So this book is unsuitable for those below 18 years old. Keukeukeu :P


My favorite story in MWW is Yesterday. This story is inspired by The Beatles' greatest hit song, Yesterday. It follows two men in their early 20s named Tanimura and Kitaru. Both of them are good friends and work together at a restaurant. 


Kitaru has a few idiosyncrasies. It makes his girlfriend, Erika feel uneasy about their relationship. Kitaru speaks in a Kansai dialect even though he is from Tokyo. Kitaru also does not want to study hard despite having university aspirations and seems to be asexual around Erika. 


One day, Kitaru suggests Tanimura go on a date with Erika. Tanimura agrees with Kitaru's suggestion. On their date, Tanimura and Erika talk about their personal lives. Tanimura's girlfriend could not commit to him, while Erika admits she is seeing another man because of Kitaru's apathy. Even though Erika is unfaithful, she still loves Kitaru. 


A week later, Kitaru quits his job. Tanimura loses contact with Kitaru and Erika. Sixteen years later, Tanimura meets Erika at a wine-tasting event. Tanimura is already married, but Erika is still single. Erika tells Tanimura that Kitaru is now a sushi chef in Denver and is also still single. Erika also tells Tanimura that she and Kitaru had sex.  But the sex did not lead their relationship to anything...




I've been a fan of Haruki Murakami since I read Norwegian Wood back in 2021. I really enjoyed the novel. That novel made me fall in love with Murakami's work. Plus, I learned a lot of things about life struggles and mental health from reading Norwegian Wood.  


I wish I could say the same thing for MWW. But unfortunately, I can't. Ahax :P  This book is just too dark for me and some scenes in the stories are quite disturbing.


However, MWW is not a bad read for me. I just did not 100% enjoy it. But I do see this book as a page-turner and quite a fast read. It took me five days to finish it. And I'm sure those who are into stories with this kinda vibe will enjoy it. 


Overall, I rate this book 8/10. Even though MWW is not one of my favorite reads this year, I still would like to recommend my fellow bookworms to check it out. After all, MWW is still an interesting read. All stories are interesting to read. So you guys shouldn't miss MWW. Plus, Haruki Murakami is one of the legendary writers in modern literature. So I hope you guys will give this book a try ^_^





Okay, so this is my review of Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women. Has anyone read Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami? If yes, what is your favorite story in the book? And why?


Thank you for reading this review. I'll see you guys again in July. Insya-Allah, July will be another good month for us. Aamiin.


XoXo,


Fadima Mooneira ^_^


(Authorpreneur, Content Creator, Blogger & Illustrator)




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SIMILAR POSTS


NOVEL REVIEW: NORWEGIAN WOOD BY HARUKI MURAKAMI




BOOK REVIEW: SEPTEMBER LOVE BY LANG LEAV


Comments

  1. This sounds like a great book from Japan's best selling author! x

    Lucy Mary

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  2. Sounds like an interesting book. I wonder what motivated him to write a book like this one.

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  3. The review of 'Men Without Women' makes the book sound really intriguing. However, the plot seems to have a darker undertone that might not be my cup of tea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

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    Replies
    1. Same here. It’s not my cuppa tea either. But I like Haruki Murakami’s writing style.

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  4. I’m loving there are 7 different short stories In one book that are all based on the same concept. The concept itself has really interested me. Loneliness by death or loss to another man? 🤔 I’m intrigued. Thanks for sharing

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  5. The cover and title would attract me firstly. This sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts of this book.

    Lauren - bournemouthgirl

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  6. This sounds like quite an interesting book. I've read one of Haruki's books and enjoyed it. I'll have to check this one out.

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  7. Fab review! I do like a book with short stories and the titles sound intriguing but I think this may be a little too dark for me - like you said x

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