When he wrote his first novel, Haruki Murakami confessed in a lecture, friends called to complain because the book made them want to drink. And when he writes, his words have a music all their own, much of it learned from jazz. Jay Rubin, a self-confessed fan, has written a book for. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin.

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He is also a type of novelist muraka,i starts with a title as opposed to let’s say Ken Folett who starts with a story and an outline before thinking about the title thinks of ideas on what the story should be, sits down in front of his computer and types away until he is satisfied.

‘Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words’ by Jay Rubin (Review) – Tony’s Reading List

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words can certainly be recommended to anyone interested in Murakami and his work. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

He discusses Murakami’s interests along with his experience as a translator. I definitely intend rybin read this book as part of my self-set ‘Murakami Challenge’. I hardly know anything about Murakami’s life, but this seems like a good place to start. At the end, it felt like I have not only gained an insight on Murakami’s works, but also a glimpse into his reclusive life and mind.

I think I wanted this to be more of a biography rather than an exploration of themes and techniques, but I enjoyed it all the same. Hxruki Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words Jay Rubin, who has translated several of Murakami’s works, offers the first thorough study of the man and his work in English though he assures readers that there is a veritable Murakami-industry in Japanese.

He is particularly good in giving a musuc for where Murakami stands in relation to the Japanese literary scene generally.

And I learned much about his ‘place’ in Japan. I think the first book-length analysis of the fictions of Murakami, and an indispensable guide.

I confess I like to classify my reading As well as this difference in style, Murakami was also a literary outsider in other ways. You’ll never get a fuller scope of Murakami’s anywhere else, either figurative or historical, Rubin has it locked down. He mentions how we English language readers have been gypped in the “abridgement” of some of his English language translations.


It took me a little longer to finish this book, and I admittedly skipped a small portion as they were covering Murakami novels I have yet to read, and I wish to read Murakami’s words first. Jay Rubin is an American academic and translator. You are commenting using your WordPress.

He loves music of all kinds and when he writes, In this book, Haruki Murakami and the Music of Wordshe tried to give more information about Murakami’s life and art to people who do not know Japanese language.

Rubin’s insight is amazing. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the hafuki reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Rubin gives quite a bit of biographical information about Murakami within the context of his writing, which allows the reader to see the connection between Murakami’s growth and changes of writing style in relation wkrds his maturation as a person.

How Murakami uses inspiration from detective novels to provide novels that have trhe rhythm and drive of a mystery, but the mysteries themselves become unsolveable ones fhe the influence of Murakami’s own disillusionment with the murakamu of his youth – the influences of jazz and other popular music on Murakami’s writing – how Murakami has tried to tackle different genre as his career continued. Don’t read this book until you’ve read all of Murakami’s works. With that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this lengthy critical commentary on Murakami’s short stories, novels and non-fictional works, written in a personal, laid back tone.

Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words

Return to Book Page. Major works like Undergroundpublished in two volumes in Japan, were drastically cut in translation, and Rubin mentions the extensive cuts he made in his translation of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle while mentioning that he also handed in an entirely uncut translation, a version Knopf declined to publish. Thanks for the comments!


I have to say while Jay Rubin can sometimes be melodramatic here, he does a phenomenal job summarizing, analyzing, and at some points defending Murakami’s work. Want to Read saving…. Finally, since I peeked ahead, there’s also another phase – or is it just a temporary breather from chasing Nobel Immortality – to which ‘After Dark’ and some later short stories might belong. I liked the interspersion of reviews with biography in “real time”, as it added quite a bit to my appreciation for Murakami’s development of self and his art.

Vonnegut – one of Murakami’s influences – reuses characters like they were screwdrivers and wrenches. Discussing the texts Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, at some length — and offering excerpts — helps fill in what has been a tremendous gap for English-language readers. Apr 28, Chris Morton rated it it was amazing.

Account Options Sign in. For example, he makes an offhand reference to what he refers to as “Murakami’s many Lolita characters,” but doesn’t seem to give them any importance I was particularly annoyed at how dismissive he was of Yumi To be fair though, there’s just a lot of things that I care about that Rubin doesn’t address, and that’s not his fault or anybody else’s.

Account Options Sign in. He fiercely defended Murakami’s omniscient positio Warning: Or find some other way of dealing with all his obsessions. Though it is obvious that Rubin wants to keep the tone of the book informational and biographical in broad strokes rather than critical, it seems that he cannot resist the occasional foray into psychological criticism, which are typically rather empty in nature and don’t carry much weight.

Probably Murakami somehow managed, in a few places, to describe Carver’s bitter characters slowly making pasta while listening to classical records Sep 24, Vince rated it really liked it.

Murakami, no doubt, was intended to shine brightly in this book, but sometimes he does so more as a competent writer holding power over his admirer. Absolutely rated it liked it Shelves: