An Almost Made Up Poem

“Sleep”: Murakami Short Story Leaves Reader Awake
June 26, 2012, 5:15 am
Filed under: Article, Book Review | Tags: , , ,

“Sleep”, one of Haruki Murakami’s short stories in his “The Elephant Vanishes” collection, still sends a shiver down my spine every time I think about it. I got done reading the collection about a month ago, yet I can’t stop thinking about this one short story. Without giving away too much, it centers around a woman who has not slept in 17 days and finds real exhilaration in living in a world without rest, a world where she can make whatever she wants out of her life. No longer does she have to succumb to the everydayness.

Time becomes irrelevant. But with all this liberation comes great terror. Soon her reality starts to escape her as it escapes the reader. The short story leaves the reader with a myriad of questions and most of them disturbing. Murakami does an excellent job of making the reader feel like he or she is in a dream—one that is hard to recall but even harder to forget. Leave it Murakami to work the human mind into an existential crisis with only a few pages of text.

Here’s a link to another blog that has the whole short story: Check it out if you want to question reality or simply if you want to read one hell of a good short story.


2 Comments so far
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Murakami is soooo good! He’s like, hmmm, literary anime. I’ve read a lot of his work and it tends to blend together (like Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick, I mean that in a good way, like it’s all one continuous piece.) Is this the collection that has the weird story about the giant frog? Or is it “After the Earthquake”? it was beyond weird!!!

Comment by Hans

I don’t remember any giant frogs, but I loved his collection nontheless ;). I haven’t read enough of Philip K. Dick or Vonnegut to see the comparison, but I can see how Murakami keeps the same mood throughout all of his writing. his stories make me feel uneasy even though nothing significant is happening plot-wise. Everything that occurs in the stories rarely happens outside of the character’s mind.

Comment by almostmadeuppoem

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