books, REVIEWS

The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

A short story collection in which Murakami explores the mundane and treads the thin line between magic and reality (as usual!)

This was my second short story collection by Murakami, having read Men without women I had a general idea about his style when it comes to short stories.

I always have trouble reviewing short stories as it seems to become more about the author than about the plot or characters, there are simply too many.

Which gives me full rights to fangirl on this review!

What I like about Murakami is how he squeezes out interesting moments from daily life and how he can focus on one moment and make it feel like time is not a factor, like he’s taken us on a story telling limbo.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how almost all of his characters are regular people, no one too beautiful, no one too out of reach. The one thing he does seem to work on his characters is their absolute mediocrity. People with unfulfilling jobs, broken relationships and silly thoughts.

The highlight of this book was The Second Bakery Attack and The Elephant Vanishes.

The first is a weirdly eventful night between a newly married couple who end up roaming around town looking to steal bread from a bakery.

The Elephant Vanishes is one of those of Murakami’s where he leaves things unanswered and flirts with the idea of endless possibilities. You can buy the book here

If you are new to Murakami, I’d suggest reading my blog post ‘Why I no longer recommend Murakami to readers’

Another Murakami I have reviewed is his latest Killing Commendatore

12 thoughts on “The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami”

  1. This book was my introduction to Murakami some 15 years ago! I’ve since read almost everything he’s written (I need to catch up with his new stuff). Thanks for the review and for reminding me of that. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely surreal. It was actually a theatrical production that I saw as well as reading it. And Norwegian Wood was the second of his that I read. One of my faves! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Which gives me full rights to fangirl on this review!’

    Haha! Totally! I plan to do the same after I finish reading my first Murakami which is a collection of 24 ‘some short, some a bit long’ short stories. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. I agree, reviewing short story books becomes more about the author than the stories. I have also noticed another thing in Murakami’s short stories. The characters don’t have a name, and somtimes one can’t even put a face to it. Have you observed that too? For me, who fangirls about characters endlessly, this was a new reading experience.


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