After the Quake

After the Quake

Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Haruki Murakami, Translated by Jay Rubin

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 10mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099448564
  • ISBN 13: 9780099448563
  • Sales rank: 5,601

Product description

The economy was booming. People had more money than they knew what to do with. And then the earthquake struck. For the characters in After the Quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent thirty years hating one man: a lover who destroyed her chances of having children. Did her desire for revenge cause the earthquake? Junpei's estranged parents live in Kobe. Should he contact them? Miyake left his family in Kobe to make midnight bonfires on a beach hundreds of miles away. Fourteen-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. 'When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes,' says Frog. 'And right now he is very, very angry.' This new collection of stories, from one of the world's greatest living writers, dissects the violence beneath the surface of modern Japan.

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Author information

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

Review quote

"In a dance with the delights of Murakami's imagination we experience the limitless possibilities of fiction. With these stories Murakami expands our hearts and minds yet again" The Times "Ushers the reader into a hallucinatory world where the real and surreal merge and overlap, where dreams and real-life nightmares are impossible to tell apart...this slender volume, deftly translated by Jay Rubin, may serve as a succinct introduction to his imaginative world...Lewis Carroll meets Kafka with a touch of Philip K. Dick" New York Times "Dazzlingly elegant...In a world where even the ground beneath our feet can't be relied on, imagination becomes less of a luxury and more of a duty. It's an obligation that Murakami is busily making his raison d'etre, to our very great advantage" Guardian "In the world of literary fiction, Haruki Murakami is unquestionably a superstar...Many critics have touted Murakami for the Nobel Prize. If he can stay on this kind of form, he could be in with a chance" Scotland on Sunday "Murakami is a unique writer, at once restrained and raw, plainspoken and poetic" Washington Post

Editorial reviews

The menacing little seismographic printout on the translucent dustjacket of this stylishly produced book says it all. This short collection of six stories - few of them taking more than 15 minutes to read - take their origin from the devastating earthquake that hit Kobe in Japan not long ago. None of the stories in this collection are directly connected with the disaster, though all of them are touched by it in one way or another. Each is set in its own odd little world. The opening story deals with an unhappily divorced man who goes on an enforced holiday only to develop sexual problems due to a mysterious wooden cube in his airplane luggage. Then there follows a short tale about a disaffected family man who likes to build bonfires on the beach at midnight. Best of all is the story of Mr Katagiri, who comes home one evening to find a giant frog in his apartment, intent upon having the poor chap help him save all Tokyo from disaster by burrowing down into the earth and confronting an immense and angry worm. Murakami is a world-renowned writer, a master of alienated characters in a disturbing world. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

For the characters in after the quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent thirty years hating one man: did her desire for revenge cause the earthquake? Miyake left his family in Kobe to make midnight bonfires on a beach hundreds of miles away. Fourteen-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. 'When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes,' says Frog. 'And right now he is very, very angry. 'In a dance with the delights of Murakami's imagination we experience the limitless possibilities of fiction. With these stories Murakami expands our hearts and minds yet again' The Times 'Ushers the reader into a hallucinatory world where where dreams and real-life nightmares are impossible to tell apart...Lewis Carroll meets Kafka with a touch of Philip K. Dick' New York Times 'Dazzlingly elegant' Guardian 'A neat, yet somehow insanely generous collection... Murakami speaks to a place so deep inside us that we can scarcely even reply' Daily Telegraph

Flap copy

The six stories in Haruki Murakami's mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakami's characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman. An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package--and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or may not be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. As haunting as dreams, as potent as oracles, the stories in" After the Quake are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.