South of the Border, West of Sun – Murakami

Hajime and Shimamoto are both only children in their families. They are drawn to each other for that and many other reasons.

The hours they spend together listening to records and discussing books, forges a special bond between them. Though the families move apart, they both carry each others memory deep in their hearts.

When they meet again after a decade, Hajime is a successful family man and businessman and the mysterious and alluring Shimamoto keeps returning and disappearing from his life, strengthening her hold over him.

Like most of Murakamis books, there is something deeply unsettling about this one too. Not so much in the beginning as in the end. Shimamoto remains a confusing mystery in Murakamis trademark style.

When the books ends, one is left wondering if they missed a crucial few pages somewhere, even if they didn’t skip any….

I love the way Murakami comes upon titles for his novels. They are always uniquely chosen and never fail to introduce me to new concepts or songs that I am motivated to learn more about.