Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami
My final book also comes from Haruki Murakami as I really cannot stress his talent as an artist. Sputnik Sweetheart is heart-breaking on so many levels: the male protagonist, K, is in love with a girl called Sumire, who is in love with a women named Miu, who is 17 years older than her and has a husband. Yeah, life sucks. While Murakami clearly deals with themes of sexuality, the novel centres more around the futility of love. After Sumire disappears while on holiday with Miu, K travels half the world to try and find her. His loves means he has no choice but to stand by her side, even if he knows she will never be able to love him back. A book that should come with a saying: ‘WARNING! THIS BOOK WILL CAUSE OUTBURSTS OF FANATIC TEARS!’ Sputnik Sweetheart must be accompanied with tissues and a teddy bear, at all times.
Without giving too much away, something that you should be aware of with any Murkamai book is how he always leaves his conclusions ambiguous. While I first found this quite fustrating, it has since changed my perception of ‘literature’. Why does the author have to provide a clear cut ending? Why does the final destination of the novel even matter? Surely the enjoyment of literature comes from the journey of such beautiful lyricism rather than the completion of the last page? Murakami has the ability to pick you up and rip you to shreds before gluing you back together with pieces of his beauty plastered inside you. Or, at least this is the impact he has had on my life, anyway.
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