Mini Review #2: After the Quake

*NOTE: This and other early reviews were written on a variety of different sites, and were pulled together here. They remain unedited.

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami - The 4th Murakami book I've read. The stories are very short (the entire book is only 144 pages), but each one resonates with loss and emptiness. Murakami manages to make each loss felt in completely different ways, while making them all relate to one another in a larger scale.

The two best stories bookend the collection. Opener "UFO in Kashuro" shows a man perhaps discovering too late that the emptiness he has inside was once occupied by something, only to have that something possibly tricked away from him. The closer "Honey Pie" is great - a love triangle of sort thats lasts for years as only Murakami can describe, complete with stories of bears and the power to rewrite your own fate. Every character is immediately realized as a "Murakami Man," meaning his characters are imediately identifiable with his writing. Great short read.