Men Without Women is comprised of seven short stories about, as the title suggests, men without women. These tales all feature male lead characters contemplating on themes like love, loss, solitude, grief, loneliness and infidelity. Every story features a kind of relationship that has a great impact on our male protagonists, how lack of women in their lives affect them and the way they perceive women. No, it won’t take you to the surreal and complexity of worlds in the likes of Kafka on the Shore. These stories are far easier but darker and somewhat reminds me of Norwegian Wood.
As always, Murakami was able to create characters very delicately and similar with his other works, he always gives us the most important details but lets our imagination finish the rest of the concept/idea. Other elements present in the stories familiar to Murakami readers include jazz music, baseball, whiskey and cats.
I don’t think I will ever be disappointed by Murakami though whenever I read his works, I always need to put myself in a particular frame of my mind. I’m not really sure what that particular frame of mind I’m talking about exactly is but it makes me unified with the book. And though you won’t like every story in this collection, I’m pretty sure you’ll like at least one of them. This would be a good choice for anyone who wants to try reading his books but don’t know where to start. Or a well worth stopgap for his fans while waiting for the next big one.
Now this leaves me thinking what about women without men in Murakami’s pen?
Quotable Quotes :
“Everything is blowing up around us, but there are still those who care about a broken lock, and others who are dutiful enough to try and fix it…But maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”
“I guess I was happy then. But that much happiness can lead to an equal amount of pain.”
“As time passes, memory, inevitably, reconstitutes itself.”
“Music has that power to revive memories, sometimes so intensely that they hurt.”
“…in every situation, knowledge was better than ignorance. However agonizing, it was necessary to confront the facts. Only through knowing could a person become strong.”
Rating : 5/5 stars