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Enter the surreal and enchanting world of Haruki Murakami Toru Okada’s cat has disappeared. His wife is growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada’s vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out. He embarks on a bizarre journey, guided by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell. ‘Mesmerising, surreal, this really is the work of a true original’ The Times Part of the VINTAGE JAPANESE CLASSICS series – five masterpieces of Japanese fiction in gorgeous new gift editions. BUY BOOK



Eyes mark the shape of the city The midnight hour approaches in an almost-empty diner. Mari sips her coffee and reads a book, but soon her solitude is disturbed: a girl has been beaten up at the Alphaville hotel, and needs Mari’s help. Meanwhile Mari’s beautiful sister Eri lies in a deep, heavy sleep that is ‘too perfect, too pure’ to be normal; it has lasted for two months. But tonight as the digital clock displays 00:00, a hint of life flickers across the television screen in her room, even though it’s plug has been pulled out. Strange nocturnal happenings, or a trick of the night? BUY BOOK





In spite of the perpetrators’ intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious after-effects. Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day. He also interviews members and ex-members of the doomsdays cult responsible, in the hope that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it was that their guru instilled such devotion in his followers. BUY BOOK



A young man accompanies his cousin to the hospital to check an unusual hearing complaint and recalls a story of a woman put to sleep by tiny flies crawling inside her ear; a mirror appears out of nowhere and a nightwatchman is unnerved as his reflection tries to take control of him; a couple’s relationship is unbalanced after dining exclusively on exquisite crab while on holiday; a man follows instructions on the back of a postcard to apply for a job, but an unknown password stands between him and his mysterious employer. In each one of these stories Murakami sidesteps the real and sprints for the surreal. BUY BOOK





Growing up in the suburbs in post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father’s record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at risk all he has in the present. BUY BOOK



Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire. Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished… BUY BOOK





For the characters in after the quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent thirty years hating one man: did her desire for revenge cause the earthquake? Miyake left his family in Kobe to make midnight bonfires on a beach hundreds of miles away. Fourteen-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. ‘When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes,’ says Frog. ‘And right now he is very, very angry. BUY BOOK



A dizzying short story collection that displays Murakami’s genius for uncovering the surreal in the everyday, the extraordinary within the ordinary *Featuring the story `Barn Burning’, the inspiration behind the Palme d’Or nominated film Burning* When a man’s favourite elephant vanishes, the balance of his whole life is subtly upset. A couple’s midnight hunger pangs drive them to hold up a McDonald’s. A woman finds she is irresistible to a small green monster that burrows through her front garden. An insomniac wife wakes up in a twilight world of semi-consciousness in which anything seems possible – even death BUY BOOK





Beguiling… Murakami is brilliant at folding the humdrum alongside the supernatural; finding the magic that’s nested in life’s quotidian details’ Guardian When a thirty-something portrait painter is abandoned by his wife, he holes up in the mountain home of a famous artist. The days drift by, spent painting, listening to music and drinking whiskey in the evenings. But then he discovers a strange painting in the attic and unintentionally begins a strange journey of self-discovery that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt and a haunted underworld. A stunning work of imagination, Killing Commendatore is a surreal tale of love and loneliness, war and art. BUY BOOK



A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami’s international following. Tracking one man’s descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. BUY BOOK





A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning `red pine’, and Oumi, `blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, `white root’, and Kurono, `black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago. BUY BOOK



VINTAGE JAPANESE CLASSICS – five masterpieces of Japanese fiction in gorgeous new gift editions. Each morning, the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to one another. The Professor may not remember what he had for breakfast, but his mind is still alive with elegant mathematical equations from the past. He devises clever maths riddles – based on her shoe size or her birthday – and the numbers reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her ten-year-old son. With each new equation, the three lost souls forge an affection more mysterious than imaginary numbers, and a bond that runs deeper than memory. BUY BOOK





An exquisite novel about four sisters living though a turbulent decade…I’d put it in the 10 greatest books of the 20th century’ David Mitchell ‘A near-perfect novel’ Hanya Yanagihara In the years leading up to the Second World War, four sisters live in dilapidated houses in Osaka and Ashiya, and each navigate their own complex, personal relationship to the fading lustre of the Makioka family name. Rich with breathtaking descriptions of ancient customs and an ever-changing natural world, Junichiro Tanizaki evokes in loving detail a long-lost way of life even as it withers under the harsh glare of modernity. BUY NOW



A fully illustrated, beautifully produced edition of Junichiro Tanizaki’s wise and evocative essay on Japanese culture. `We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.’ This book is in fact a portal. Reading it, you will be led by Junichiro Tanizaki’s light touch into a mysterious and tranquil world of darkness and shadows, where gold flashes in the gloom and a deep stillness reigns. If you are accustomed to equate light with clarity, the faded with the worthless and the dim with the dreary, prepare for a courteous but powerful realignment of your ideas. BUY NOW





VINTAGE JAPANESE CLASSICS – five masterpieces of Japanese fiction in gorgeous new gift editions. In the Tokyo suburbs four women work the graveyard shift at a factory. Burdened with heavy debts, alienated from husbands and children, they all secretly dream of a way out of their dead-end lives. A young mother among them finally cracks and strangles her philandering, gambling husband. She confesses her crime to her colleagues and unexpectedly, they agree to help. But then the dismembered body parts are discovered, the police start asking questions and more dangerous enemies begin to close in. OUT is a psychologically taut and unflinching foray into the darkest recesses of the human soul, an unsettling reminder that the desperate desire for freedom can make the most ordinary person do the unimaginable. BUY NOW



VINTAGE JAPANESE CLASSICS – five masterpieces of Japanese fiction in gorgeous new gift editions. A band of savage thirteen-year-old boys reject the adult world as illusory, hypocritical, and sentimental, and train themselves in a brutal callousness they call ‘objectivity’. When the mother of one of them begins an affair with a ship’s officer, he and his friends idealise the man at first; but it is not long before they conclude that he is in fact soft and romantic. They regard this disillusionment as an act of betrayal on his part – and the retribution is deliberate and horrifying. BUY NOW


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