Sunday, 27 July 2008

Murakami Review, Ten Things You Should Know About Him, and Fangirling.

The Guardian has one of the first reviews for Haruki Murakami's latest, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, up online and is written by Alastair Campbell.

The Times meanwhile, has helpfully put up an article telling us the Top Ten things we need to know about Murakami, for those who haven't already.

MG Harris, owes her published book to reading Haruki Murakami...and is now all fangirl about him:
...I do know what reading Murakami did for me and it’s nothing less than this: it enabled me to write a publishable novel.

I’ve written before about the day I met several publishers who were interested in acquiring ‘The Joshua Files’. And one of them commented “We can’t believe this is your first novel!” to which I replied (laughing) - “Well it’s not - it’s my first publishable novel. I’ve written three before this.” “So what happened,” they asked, “between writing the other three and writing Joshua Files?”

So I told them the truth. In the meantime I’d read almost all of the works of Haruki Murakami.

Backtrack a little. There I was with two manuscripts written in 6 months and both getting essentially rejected by agents. Actually the second ms was getting some interest but it wasn’t quite making the grade. And I understood this: without a quantum leap, my writing was not going to be good enough to be published. Something had to change; something major. I had maybe 50% of what was needed. The rest of the 50% was going to have to come with hard study, graft and experience. Or a bolt from the blue.

I couldn’t be bothered to do it the hard way. Crumbs, I was almost 40 years old! I didn’t have too much time left to get a writing career off the ground whilst I was still young enough to enjoy it (both my parents died aged 46 - that gives you a sense of urgency…).

So I began actively to search for the bolt from the blue.

I read a book on how to structure stories for screenplays, even wrote a screenplay for practice. And meantime, I read all the works of an author until then unknown to me - Haruki Murakami.


  1. You're such a fangirl, Tiddy! Fangirl! Go propose to Murakami and get it over with already! >_>

  2. I did but he was already taken! Besides! Lina doth protest!

  3. Ooh hello Ted, thanks for excerpting my blog! Nice to come across another Murakami fan...

    In my wildest fantasies I get invited to go to Japan to promote my book when it is published there and I get to meet Haruki.


    I am going to send him my book though...

  4. Hi MG! haha! I hope your dreams come true then. If ever I get my work-in-progress published, I'd send a copy to him too!

    I'll try to find a copy of The Joshua Files here in Malaysia and will post up my thoughts on them when I've read it.

    Good luck!

  5. Good luck to you also, with your work-in-progress.

    It's very kind of you to think of buying 'Joshua Files: Invisible City' - thank you! If you manage to find it, I do hope you ennjoy it.

  6. Ted...been a while!

    You know I'm no big fan of Murakami but I still read him because even though the ending disturbs me and name-stealing monkeys spook me, he is a good writer.

    However, I too like MG (though putting my name and hers side by side seem blasphemous for my writing career is totally 'nada') need a boost. No urgency but I'd like to get it to take off. But I dont find it in Murakami. I, however, find it in Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Will spend everything I have on his books...making a collection out of it.

    I'll let you know how it goes. Or you'll come to know it yourself if anything happens to my writing career. Close knit circle we aspiring writers live in.

  7. Good luck Bibi! Marquez is as good a hero as any!

  8. Great to read about Murakami from yet another fan. I haven't read all of his stuff, but what I've read I really, really like.

    I've been wanting to read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and will get my hands on it soon.

    Cool blog you've got here.

  9. Thanks for dropping by, Damyanti. I can't wait for the running book either but it seems the local distros are taking their time bringing it here even though it's already out in the US.


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