- No comments

One Book A Month Assignment: February

I know, I know. It's already April and this is only my second One Book A Month Assignment (OBAMA) entry for the year. It's the book's fault, I tell you! Haha.

Anyway, my February book is, or should I say, was Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami. This is the third Murakami book I owned, after having bought and read The Elephant Vanishes and A Wild Sheep Chase. Obviously, I was very happy with the first two. If not, why would I bother buying a third. I speed-read through the first two books and at the end of each, was left wanting for more.

Strange but this third book had me struggling. I don't know if it's the lack of continuity, since it's a collection of short stories. But that argument will be invalid since Elephant is also a collection, and it had me reading story after story. Or maybe, it's because of the common themes in his stories like people unhappy with their jobs or marriage, animals (especially cats) behaving strangely, disappearing or attacking humans, jazz record collections, and even people contemplating about things that didn't really matter after all.

But Blind Willow is not all bad. In fact, although I read this book in a long span of time, I found several of the stories memorable enough to stay in my memory where things are always easily replaced. There's the story about the tsunami that ate a young man's best friend, there's the man left with his dead wife's collection of dresses, the husband who suddenly vanished while using the staircase, the mother who went to Hawaii for her son who was half-eaten by a shark... the list goes on.

It's just that the book is too... for a lack of a more intelligent-sounding term, sad. It depressed me. I know I shouldn't be looking at books like this for inspiration - there's a whole range of Chicken Soup for that, but reading this book gave me an occasional heavy feeling that lingers with me even after I put it down.

And having said that, I still believe Murakami is an excellent writer - precisely for the reason I stated above.

And about this being only my second book for the year, I promise, I will keep up. Haha.