12 days ago
❓ QOTD: How much does the quality of character dialogue influence your engagement with a book?
Happy Friday, Instafam. I've been out of sorts this week, so I haven't managed the posts I wanted to. I'd planned to do a proper review of Murakami's Men Without Women earlier this week, but I'm still feeling naff, so we're going to do it informally today. As a point of note, this is actually my first Murakami book. I'd have preferred to start with something like Norwegian Wood, but this one was on offer during my last book traunch, and I could't resist.
Men Without Women is an odd little book full of short stories that doesn't lend itself to a traditional review. It focuses primarily on men who are, in various ways, alienated from the people around them. Often they're lonely, and for the most part they're missing something in their lives. In all cases, women - both in the general and the specific sense - play a pivotal role in their recognition of this fact. It's a philosophical piece, and there's plenty to muse on throughout the collection.
Unfortunately, if you're a fan of traditional fiction, the book's likely to bother you. Murakami's characters are prone to lapsing into rambling, inorganic conversations which muse on the story's themes. It's great for getting the point across - but less so if you were hoping for something that reads like human conversation. It's a difficult aspect to consider, given that Murakami's work isn't written in English and any fiction is likely to suffer as part of the translation process, but still; if dialogue is important to your immersion, you'll want to keep this in mind.
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