Having written more-or-less of a downer of a review, no one should go to his grave without having read Murakami, and this is as good a place to begin as anywhere else.
One thing I've noticed after looking at a lot of blurbs, descriptions, and reviews of Japanese novels in translation is that so many of them include some mention of Haruki Murakami. The basic formula looks like this: [New-to-reviewer Japanese author] is a blend of Haruki Murakami and [first big-name author the reviewer can think of whose primary genre is the same as the Japanese book being reviewed].
I've never read any of Murakami's books or stories, so for all I know some of those other Japanese authors' works do have something in common with his works...but probably not all of them. The most amusing blurb I've come across so far was the one that said Koji Suzuki's Ring was a blend of Haruki Murakami and Stephen King. It's been a while since I've read any of King's works, but Ring didn't remind me of them in terms of content or style, so I doubt the comparison to Murakami was any better. It was basically just "this author is like the first Japanese author I can think of and the first horror author I can think of."
If this book was based today instead of the 80s, it would make one hell of a blog. Toru would have a million followers wanting to know what batshit event happened in his life that day.
Day 19: wife lost her shit and sat at the kitchen table crying because I bought toilet paper with flowers on it. She told me she hated toilet paper with flowers and I should know this and I only think of myself. It's got to be a full moon or something.
Day 90: Got crank-called by a sex worker. All day. Like 40 calls. I only answered the first 2. Omg. Did I want her dressed or naked? Wtf? Need to download a caller ID app.
Day 120: Met a girl in the neighborhood that talked about murdering someone and "pulling out the dead part". I need to invest in better locks. Maybe a Vivant system or Ring.
Day 192: Cat ran away and wife hired a psychic. I can't even. I was thinking more along the lines of a missing flier. But sure, a psychic is okay, too. Only, she's crazy and talked about a water cleanse on the island of Malta and spoke in riddles. Oh, and she could only say the cat was gone. Thanks so much, weird clairvoyant woman.
I am taking a break from young adult books right now. I have been striking out repeatedly with them this month, to the point my eyes want to bleed. So I'm going to read some manga and some contemporary fiction for a while. Maybe that will break my slump. I was feeling myself become revolted at the sight on my current book. Never a good thing.