A Very Short Book Review: Men Without Women By Haruki Murakami
This is a very short book review on the book titled Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami.
What is it about?
Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami is a collection of seven short stories about the lives of lonely men who were lost after separating from their significant other. With Japan as the backdrop of most of these short stories, readers get a glimpse of what is going on behind the curtains when one hits the ripe period in life called “middle age”.
How I Discovered It
To be quite honest with you, I was trying to cheat my reading goal of 50 books by the end of 2022 when I found this book. Since I was quite behind on my reading, I came up with the smart idea of reading short stories–as it is shorter, no duh–to help me catch up with my reading goal on Goodreads. That was the story of how I met this book of Murakami’s. Plus, throughout the years I have heard so many praises for Murakami’s work, so I thought, why not give it a go?
Hmm…frankly, I am not impressed. Men Without Women is subpar at best with the repetitive theme and sexist undertones throughout the whole book. The men either have lost their wives either to death or through infidelity. Some yearn for someone else’s wife, others became bitter by life or fall in love at first sight with a stranger. While this book is nothing to write home about, after finishing Men Without Women, it made me realize that getting older doesn’t necessarily solve any of the problems we had when we were younger. Now, with me being in my 20s, I feel lost. I don’t know why I was always under the impression that once I get older, I will somehow figure all of this out and none of the feelings that I feel right now will be an issue when I am much older. In reality, we know that is not true. Men Without Women opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how long we have been alive on this rock called Earth, most of us are probably facing the same issues be it loneliness, mental issue, finance, or life path.
Who would like it?
Fans of Haruki Murakami’s work and readers who would like to explore more on themes of loneliness through fictional characters.
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My Top 3 Quotes
“Whether you want to or not. But the place you return to is always slightly different from the place you left. That’s the rule. It can never be exactly the same.”
“Tobacco’s a killer,” Kafuku said.
“Being alive is a killer, if you think about it,” Misaki said.
“There were times he thought it would have been far better to never have known. Yet he continued to return to his core principle: that, 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.”
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