Friday, March 27, 2009

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Title: Sputnik Sweetheart
Author: Haruki Murakami

ISBN: 0375726055
Publisher: Vintage/2001
Pages: 210

Sputnik Sweetheart is my second book by Murakami. As I had liked Kafka on the Shore, I bought this book. This has been written before that and is entirely different.

The narrator, known as "K" is in love with Sumire, who aspires to be a writer. She is his best friend and she also likes him a lot but she doesn't have any romantic feelings for him. She falls in love with Miu, an older and very sophisticated businesswomen. When Miu offers Sumire a job, she grabs it although K has some misgivings. Sumire disappears in a remote island in Greece and Miu calls K. He leaves everything to go search for Sumire. There he has strange visions reading her writings and is haunted by her thoughts. But his longings for her remain unfulfilled.

With beautiful prose, it is a meditation into the human mind, its deepest desires and longings. Love maybe unrequited but it is very much there and very much real. It gives K pain yet he considers love so beautiful. Same is the case with Sumire. She loves Miu but Miu does not return her feelings. Miu has her own demons to kill. Sputnik Sweetheart is for those who wantto dwell deep into the human psyche. Sumire is there yet not there.In other words, it is a stream of consciousness novel.

Very apt title as all three characters try to connect with each other but cannot. Isn't it true for all of us? We are essentially all alone.