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Certainly, Murakami is well known for his long novels. However, he has written so many fine short stories as well. Among them, The Elephant Vanishes, A Slow Boat to China, and Honey Pie are my favorites. His writing in the anthology of A Slow Boat to China is dry and limpid. I remember reading it fervently when I was at college.
Now, I’ve reread Honey Pie in After the Quake. I felt my heart being warmed up when I read some passages. The underlying theme of the short stories in this collection is the Kobe Earthquake, which occurred in 1995. Kobe is Murakami’s birthplace. A cute bear story which the protagonist recounts to a girl is also very Murakami-like and heart-warming. Not only that charming element, but also the frightening “Earthquake Man” appears in the story. Honey pie could be a panacea.
“Like it or not, he was going to have to make his living as a short story writer. That was his style. No amount of effort was going to change his personality. You couldn’t turn a great second baseman into a home-run hitter”
Like the protagonist, Murakami is also a superb short story writer. If you haven’t read his stories yet, this story could be an ideal piece to take a glimpse of “Murakami-ness” in terms of his plot, sense of humor, and figurative language.
What is your favorite short story of Murakami?