Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart

Book rating: 05 Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Haruki Murakami

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 16mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099448475
  • ISBN 13: 9780099448471
  • Edition: 2000
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 2,120

Product description

Twenty-two-year-old Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. Surprised that she might, after all, be a lesbian, Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her. rustrated in his own love for Sumire, K consoles himself by having an affair with the mother of one of his pupils. Then a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island and asks for his help, and he discovers something very strange has happened to Sumire.

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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.

Customer reviews

By Wendy 26 Aug 2010 5

This book is like poetry. I can't say I've ever experienced such strong sensory feedback reading a novel before. I could see the streets, smell the smells.

Towards the end of the book I became incredibly tense, barely able to breathe, anticipating what might happen to the characters.

In some ways, this author seems like a Japanese Kurt Vonnegut in terms of writing style. This is the first novel of his I've read, but I'm about to start another.

The aim of the book ...more This book is like poetry. I can't say I've ever experienced such strong sensory feedback reading a novel before. I could see the streets, smell the smells.

Towards the end of the book I became incredibly tense, barely able to breathe, anticipating what might happen to the characters.

In some ways, this author seems like a Japanese Kurt Vonnegut in terms of writing style. This is the first novel of his I've read, but I'm about to start another.

The aim of the book in many ways seems to be to leave you unsettled and questioning your understanding of the story. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I love that sort of thing ;-)

Don't read the ending just before sleep, you'll be up all night pondering the nature of reality (this is not hyperbole, it happened to me!)

Review quote

"Sputnik Sweetheart has touched me deeper and pushed me further than anything I've read in a long time" -- Julie Myerson Guardian "How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration" Independent on Sunday "A beautiful novel, as light as a feather, and yet enduringly sad... a captivating book from one of the world's most interesting authors" Sunday Herald "Murakami has been compared to everyone from Raymond Carver to Raymond Chandler - which should tell you only one thing: he's unique" Independent "Confirms Murakami as a master of his craft... Out of this world" Time Out

Editorial reviews

A beautiful novel, as light as a feather, and yet enduringly sad... a captivating book from one of the world's most interesting authors

Back cover copy

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel. Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire. Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished... 'Sputnik Sweetheart has touched me deeper and pushed me further than anything I've read in a long time' Julie Myerson, Guardian 'How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration' Independent on Sunday 'A beautiful novel, as light as a feather, and yet enduringly sad... a captivating book from one of the world's most interesting authors' Sunday Herald 'Confirms Murakami as a master of his craft... Out of this world' Time Out

Flap copy

Haruki Murakami, the internationally bestselling author of "Norwegian Wood and "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, plunges us into an urbane Japan of jazz bars, coffee shops, Jack Kerouac, and the Beatles to tell this story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited loves. A college student, identified only as "K," falls in love with his classmate, Sumire. But devotion to an untidy writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments-until she meets Miu, an older and much more sophisticated businesswoman. When Sumire disappears from an island off the coast of Greece, "K" is solicited to join the search party and finds himself drawn back into her world and beset by ominous, haunting visions. A love story combined with a detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart ultimately lingers in the mind as a profound meditation on human longing.