First Person Singular Is Awesome Book To Read

You can’t talk about literary fiction from the past 50 years without mentioning Haruki Murakami, and First Person Singular reminds us why.

As a standard bearer of contemporary magical realism, Murakami has traveled through the hearts and minds of his characters and readers. In First Person Singular, he offers eight new stories, all told in the first person—hence the title—as perhaps memoirs, perhaps fiction. For example, “The Yakult’s Poetry Collection” finds a baseball-loving writer named Haruki Murakami, who reflects on his favorite team and the bonds that keep us together. Murakami always blurs the lines, and it is up to the reader to decide what is real. By distorting reality, the author creates a special closeness to his audience, and he recognizes this relationship with intelligence and grace.

Murakami’s main (and perhaps only) shortcoming is his frequent clutter of venereal, which makes some of his works cringe, to put it easily. Gender is present in all his books, whether tragic, as in Norwegian Wood, occult and Oedipus, as in Kafka on the Shore or even as the basis for an entire collection, as in Men Without Women. But in the singular first person, venereal takes on a new meaning. Murakami is certainly aware of this frequent review of his work and here plays with the expectations of readers. The story “Carnival” is the best example of this. Her opening line,” of all the women I’ve known so far, she was the ugliest,” introduces an antiquated male voice, but Murakami then undermines expectations to tell a story deeper than a person’s perspective. At the heart of this story are truly moving observations about friendship and the connection between man and art.

While in the past Murakami has written about Norwegian Wood Watanabe sleeping with random women, and Sputnik’s K imposing himself on a lesbian woman, the elder Murakami seems smarter and more compassionate. With this collection, Murakami uses his Position as an aging man in a rapidly changing world to set an example for others: your perspective must never remain the same and your writing must grow until it no longer fits into his baccalaureate.