Read this a few years ago, and recently re-read it again.
It’s amazing how some books can be so impactful in terms of the emotions they conjure in me, yet I don’t remember anything about the storyline after awhile.
Because sometimes, all that remains … are the emotions.
Reading this book again made me realise how it is possible that I could easily forget the storyline. The characters are not dramatic. The events are not action-packed. If anything, the story is scene after scene of seemingly mundane conversations, short exchanges, reminisces, and self-reflections.
“Only now, when that thirst is satisfied, do I realise how empty I was. And how I’ve been hungering, thirsting, for so many years. I can’t go back to that kind of world.”
But what stayed on after the text had ended were not these scenes. What stayed on in the sea of my mind were the emotions, poignant and thoughtful, easily buried yet also easily resurfaced.
“No one will weave dreams for me – it is my turn to weave dreams for others. That’s what I have to do. Such dreams may have no power, but if my own life is to have any meaning at all, that is what I have to do.”
Feelings are a mysterious thing. And words are powerful tools, potent in the hands of a master storyteller.
“It’s not so strange that when your memories change, the world changes.”
“Most human activities are predicated on the assumption that life goes on. If you take that premise away, what is there left?”
A world of dreamreaders, unicorn skulls, Calcutecs, Semiotecs, sound removal technology, and nameless librarians. And as if one world wasn’t enough, the story alternates between two parallel worlds.
And in usual Murakamian style, the plot kept suspense till the end, making one wonder whether we might all have an “end of the world” within our souls.