Hannah من عند بلدة شيشاير، ميشيغان، الولايات المتحدة
There are probably better introductions to Murakami than this novel, but it was a gift from a wise friend, and so I read it first. For much of the novel I felt like the protagonist - I found myself down a hole, confronted with a set of mysterious problems I could only resolve by asking the right questions or reading the right way, which some of the time means just staying down the hole and waiting in patience. I wouldn't say this is Murakami at his best, or even magical realism at its best, but the novel is a magical journey nonetheless, through time and space and affection (the little-understood other dimension). Though the novel gets to feeling overlong in the middle sections, by the time I reached the end I didn't want it to end. I'm of two minds about the translation. Sometimes it feels jerky, the dialogue stilted, and I find myself wondering if that's Murakami or just the awkwardness of trying to frame one language within another ; and sometimes the passages are nothing short of lyrical. I wish I read Japanese so I could experience Murakami without the filter, because rather than facilitating the reading this particular filter seems to get in the way, which is a shame.