“South of the Border, West of the Sun” by Haruki Murakami

We were, the two of us, still fragmentary beings, just beginning to sense the presence of an unexpected, to-be-acquired reality that would fill us and make us whole. We stood before the door we'd never seen before. The two of us alone, beneath a faintly flickering light, our hands tightly clasped together for a fleeting ten seconds of time.

About a month ago, one of my friends gave me a book "South of the Border, West of the Sun" written by Haruki Murakami. Frankly, I didn`t expect too much of it, even though the name Haruki Murakami was not unfamiliar to me. I haven`t read anything he wrote until now though, so I was totaly unprepared to what I will find there. On the other hand, I am not fond of modern Japanese writers, I`ve read some books in the past twenty years and they didn`t appeal to me.
Written in 1992. while writer was visiting Princeton University in USA, this short novel describes the most intimate thoughts of a man, describing few different stages of his life. From growing in a small town through studying in Tokyo and establishing his own business there, he invites us to some of a key moments of his emotional life, spread over more than 30 years.
At first I thought I won`t be patient enough to read it all the way to the end, even though the book is not more than 100 pages long. But suddenly I have found myself so attached to the story, I finished it in two evenings. A simple way of describing thoughts and insecurities of his youth, till some of the most powerful choices he was facing, choices that could completely destroy whole structure of his life, made me identify myself with the main character more than I thought it would. Of course, events he described are not the same I had in my life but I could recognize thoughts almost as my own.
From the childhood, things we do determine what will happen to us later, over the years. What kind of people we will be. This is the path we follow unconsciously and when we turn back to see, everything looks logical. Like it was meant to be. At one moment, we will see two paths in front of us and there will be no one to decide instead of us. Where to go. No one but us. Then, recognizing the real values in life is essential.

Inside that darkness, I saw rain falling on the sea. Rain softly falling on a vast sea, with no one there to see it. The rain strikes the surface of the sea, yet even the fish don't know it is raining.
Until someone came and lightly rested a hand on my shoulder, my thoughts were of the sea.


On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl – Haruki Murakami
Based on the short story by Haruki Murakami. Starring Dan Dredger, Sarah Guck, Molly Mercier and Kimyana Lee. Directed, shot and edited by Dan Dredger.


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53 Responses to “South of the Border, West of the Sun” by Haruki Murakami

  1. AnitaMargita says:


  2. AnitaMargita says:

    I also have got this book as a birthday present from my friend few years ago. πŸ™‚ With me was almost the same… at first, i didn't like the book, but, as i was reading, it started appealing to me πŸ™‚ And this Originally posted by gdare:

    From the childhood, things we do determine what will happen to us later, over the years. What kind of people we will be. This is the path we follow unconsciously and when we turn back to see, everything looks logical. Like it was meant to be. At one moment, we will see two paths in front of us and there will be no one to decide instead of us. Where to go. No one but us. Then, recognizing the real values in life is essential.

    is very trueIt seems we both have good friends πŸ˜€

  3. gdare says:

    We do :happy:

  4. Dacotah says:

    :up: πŸ™‚

  5. gdare says:

    Carol, I guess you liked it πŸ˜€

  6. wickedlizard says:

    I love this author! I've read nearly all his books! He has a weird way of writing about reality. πŸ™‚

  7. ellinidata says:

    I do love this book Darko,you will remember it for many years to come…for the ones that did not have a chance to read it:this book describes many moving parts, including growing pains, psychological limitations, parenthood, and most importantly, the importance of both romantic love and sexual relations in the man-woman relationship…thanks for sharing Darko,this is an amazing post :heart:

  8. gdare says:

    Isabel – as the next one I will buy Norwegian Wood :up:Angeliki – thank you, I really didn`t know how many people read his books but I am glad there are more than I expected :yes:

  9. Dacotah says:

    Yes, I like your post. I really like this part: Then, recognizing the real values in life is essential.:)

  10. gdare says:

    Carol, thanks :happy:

  11. ellinidata says:


  12. PainterWoman says:

    Great post Darko! I love the quotes from the book. Sounds like another one I'd like to read and it's going on my list.

  13. wickedlizard says:

    Good choice! Books I've read by him:Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, & Dance Dance Dance.Still have a few more to read! πŸ™‚

  14. sanshan says:

    …going to the library today. πŸ™‚

  15. Dacotah says:

    You are welcome Darko :happy:

  16. ricewood says:

    Off to the book-pusher I am. Thanks for the recommendation.

  17. gdare says:

    Issy, I think I will read the rest too…. just need to wait for them to be translated and published here :DPam, the one that will stay in my memory forever is the last one, about that sea. I can see it myself…San, I hope you will like them :)Carol :happy:Allan, you are welcome πŸ˜€

  18. Dacotah says:


  19. L2D2 says:

    Very nice post, Dare. I liked what you said about choices. I happen to believe that our lives are made up of the choices we make, and therefore, i truly have a problem with people who blame their failures on someone else, never on their own choices.

  20. Stardancer says:

    Ditto what Allan said.:smile:

  21. L2D2 says:

    Kind of doubt the book is available where I live. I can check in to it I guess. We have a Barnes and Noble and a Hastings that might have it or can order it.

  22. L2D2 says:

    Looks like there are a lot of immature adults in this world, then, Dare. Because these days, people just don't take responsibility for their own actions. Remember my blog about the lawsuits?

  23. gdare says:

    Linda, I think it needs maturity to admit that choices we take are our own and no one else`s – therefore if the choice is bad, no one else is to blame. I was thought that lesson long time ago. I hope you will be able to find it. Or any other of his books.Star, thanks πŸ™‚

  24. gdare says:

    Yes, it is easier to blame others for own mistakes :left:

  25. gdare says:

    Yes, this is deeper understanding of making choices. Sometimes it is not easy to tell the truth from the lie, illusion from reality.

  26. wickedlizard says:

    I agree that we are responsible for our own mistakes, but we are not responsible for the mistakes that others have brought down upon us.And give us the wisdom to know the difference. As long as one is aware of all the facts in whatever scenario – and we make a clear choice – then yes.If for whatever reason, the facts are hidden behind illusions, lies or other types of falsehoods, then no, we are only responsible when we become aware of them and the choices we make from that point onwards.

  27. wickedlizard says:

    yes. Once the deception is exposed, and depending on how bad it is, we can make a choice whether to walk away or stay.

  28. gdare says:

    Making a decision is a sort of cruelty. Either toward other or to self….

  29. glenno says:

    Hi Darko, I think I need to get a copy of that, thanks for the tip :yes:

  30. thaodp says:

    I've been to library today. I like it, thank for the recommendation πŸ™‚

  31. gdare says:

    Mit and Glenno, you are both welcome :up:

  32. sanshan says:

    1/2 way through it…

  33. gdare says:

    I hope you like it πŸ™‚

  34. MirabelaTM says:

    Hello Darko πŸ™‚ Thank you for the post. I'll add this book on my to-read list πŸ™‚

  35. AnitaMargita says:

    Mira, i think you know someone who will be very :happy: to borrow it to you πŸ˜€

  36. MirabelaTM says:

    Yes dear, I know :happy:

  37. gdare says:


  38. rose-marie says:

    I think his breakthrough here was with the novel Kafka on the shore. I haven't read anything of his, but have only heard good things so… I guess I know what to do ;).

  39. MirabelaTM says:

    Darko, I think Anita told you πŸ™‚

  40. MirabelaTM says:

    Eh..ja sam mislila da si to ozbiljno mislio πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

  41. gdare says:

    Rose, I think his first two books here were "South of the Border, West of the Sun" and "Norwegian Wood" but I might be wrong. At least these are the first two I have heard of :DMiro, malo sam se blesirao πŸ˜›

  42. rose-marie says:

    You're probably right, but he didn't get much notice here before "Kafka on the beach" πŸ™‚

  43. gdare says:

    Rose, they have said it will be more of his books published here, so I will see, maybe I will make another post about some of them :DMira πŸ˜€

  44. AnitaMargita says:

    Awww…A ja sve lepo obajasnila… πŸ˜€

  45. gdare says:


  46. edwardpiercy says:

    Never read him. I did like the quotes, though. Thanks for the introduction.I think all of our life is connected, like a jacket with sleeves and back and hood, all of the same fabric, past with future, future with past, all connected.

  47. gdare says:

    Nice comparison, Ed. Now I will think of my life as a clothe. Like: wearing an old clothe πŸ˜€

  48. gdare says:

    I think you would πŸ˜€ Hope you will find it down there πŸ™‚

  49. Marike79 says:

    Sounds like a book that I will like to read. :up:

  50. Marike79 says:

    I will look out for it. Thanks πŸ˜€

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