Tag: books

Dance Dance Dance

I finished the “sequel” to The Wild Sheep Chase last Thursday (yup, two Murakami novels in one week).  Dance Dance Dance takes place four and a half years after the conclusion of The Wild Sheep Chase.  There is definitely more “meat” to this novel than the earlier one.  It also helped fulfill that desire I had after the earlier novel for more story.

Reading Murakami is like reading a dream.  Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it feels like reality and sometimes its so bizarre that it surprises even the wildest imaginations.  Time often disappears leaving only shadows of memory.  

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A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel

This was a quick easy read.  Murakami’s first book published in English, it is not near as complex as his current stuff.  However, there is still much to be had from this novel.  The style of this book foreshadows where his style will go in his later works.

All and all, I don’t have much to say about the novel itself.  While I still enjoyed it a lot, it is probably my least favorite of his novels (and the only one I have left to read, is the “sequel” to this one).  This would make a great traveling book. 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/a-wild-sheep-chase-a-novel/

one deep breath: books

dreaming and loving
through ink sacrificed to page
worlds created

 

more sweet serenity (books) from one deep breath 

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Snow

I really enjoy novels that deal with the conflict between east and west.  One of my favorite contemporary novelists is Salman Rushdie, whose novels all deal with this conflict in one way or another.  Up to this point, the majority of my experience with this conflict has been from India/Pakistan/Afghanistan and the West. So when my boss let me borrow this book I was definitely intrigued.

The book is set in Northeast Turkey in essentially a border town.  This town has been part of Armenia, Russia and Turkey.  What for me was one of the most interesting things about this novel is the conflict with secular Turkey and those wanting a religious Turkey.  It was another layer to the East/West concept that isn’t touched to the same level of detail as Rushdie’s novels.

The novel is narrated by the eponymous novelist friend of the poet Ka.  Orhan (the narrator) is visiting both Kars and Frankfurt trying to make sense of Ka’s murder in Germany and find a lost collection of poetry written while Ka was in Kars.  In the early parts of the novel however, the narrator is only identified as a friend of Ka’s.  The story is told from Ka’s point of view with the narrator occasionally foreshadowing events before Ka would know them.  It isn’t until the later chapters of the book that the narrator really steps out as his own character in the book.

I really enjoyed this book.  While none of the poems actually are actually in the book, the inspiration for Ka’s poems is evident.  Pamuk’s description of Kars and the effect of the snow is beautiful (despite describing poverty and depression often).  I also think that looking at Turkey and its culture and society is a good place for westerners to begin to understand the conflict between Islam and the west.

On another note, Orhan Pamuk is often mentioned as a leading candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature in the near future.  British oddsmakers Ladbrokes has Pamuk as its favorite for the prize this year.  It was also speculated that he was under serious consideration for the Prize in 2005 (eventually awarded to British playwright Harold Pinter).

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The Seven Storey Mountain (pt 2)

For my review of Part 1 of The Seven Storey Mountain click here.

Parts 2 & 3 of The Seven Storey Mountain were much more enjoyable for me.  And as a result, I got a lot more out of these sections of the book.  I think in the end I had the expectation of the later Merton who was much more open to non-Catholics.  The harshness of the young Merton (and Father Louis) was a little unsettling for me.

The things that stuck most for me in this section were nuggets of wisdom about discernment and vocation.  Merton’s journey from conversion to the monastery was fascinating for me as well.  My reading of this book has been timely for me.  This was of course a purposeful reading on my part.  With the hiatus of my path to seminary it has been a time to rediscover aspects of my faith.  My faith hasn’t been something I’ve questioned, however I have let it coast somewhat recently.  Its time for me to get my hands a little dirty with my spiritual life again.

I’m going to take a weekend retreat at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey next month.  I’m really looking forward to this time to really focus on my faith life.  There are also a few sections of The Seven Storey Mountain that I plan to meditate over the next month or so.  I’ll probably post on a few of those later on this blog.

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