South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

80%

6 Critic Reviews

One thing for sure, I need to read the rest of this guy's works.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

Following the massive complexity of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle--Haruki Murakami's best-selling, award-winning novel--comes this deceptively simple love story, a contemporary rendering of the romance in which a boy finds and then loses a girl, only to meet her again years later.

Hajime--"Beginning" in Japanese--was an atypical only child growing up in a conventional middle-class suburb. Shimamoto, herself an only child, was cool and self-possessed, precocious in the extreme. After school these childhood sweethearts would listen to records, hold hands, and talk about their future. Then, despite themselves, in the way peculiar to adolescents, they grew apart, seemingly for good.

Now, facing middle age, finally content after years of aimlessness, Hajime is a successful nightclub owner, a husband and father, when he suddenly is reunited with Shimamoto, propelled into the mysteries of her life, and confronted by dark secrets she is loath to reveal. And so, reckless with enchantment and lust, Hajime prepares to risk everything in order to consummate his first love, and to experience a life he's dreamed of but never had a chance to realize.

Bittersweet, passionate, and ultimately redemptive, South of the Border, West of the Sun is an intricate examination of desire, illuminating the persistent power of childhood and memory in matters of the heart.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Haruki Murakami

See more books from this Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. The most recent of his many honours is the Franz Kafka Prize.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published August 11, 2010 by Vintage. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Education & Reference, Sports & Outdoors, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for South of the Border, West of the Sun
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Jan 01 2008

The ending, at once tender and hopeful, shows Murakami in a more mellow aspect than his work has exhibited before.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Murphy on Nov 11 2008

One thing for sure, I need to read the rest of this guy's works.

Read Full Review of South of the Border, West of ... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Margot Mifflin on Mar 05 2008

Although Murakami's writing — or possibly the translation — is a bit stiff in spots, this is an escapist urban drama in which marital fidelity eventually wins out over romantic passion and, magically, doesn't seem like a compromise in the least.

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New York Magazine

Good
Reviewed by Alexandra Lang on Jan 01 2008

As in much of Murakami's work, the mystical denouement leaves you with more mood than satisfaction -- the perfect mood, in fact, for listening to Hajime's favorite song, Duke Ellington's "Star-Crossed Lovers."

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Vivid Scribe

Good
Reviewed by Kate Murphy on May 23 2011

Beneath these somewhat typical Murakami themes and stories is a summarising thought that separates this novel from other, similar Murakami works. The concept is reflected perfectly in the title.

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Ezine Articles

Above average
Reviewed by Marco Gustafsson on Jun 11 2009

Whilst the clichéd plot of a middle-aged crisis/love triangle may seem trite and stale by Murakami's standards, South of the Border, West of the Sun adds a new dimension to the tale.

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Reader Rating for South of the Border, West of the Sun
79%

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Alessandro Spiganti 12 Sep 2014

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

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Matt 10 Jun 2015

Rated the book as 2.5 out of 5

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