If there is one author I cannot get enough of, it is Haruki Murakami (Henning Mankell is a close second at present).
I don’t recollect how I came across his name, but I first read his Kafka on the Shore. It was a strange book, unlike anything I had ever read before, and while I tried hard to make sense of it, I just couldn’t. I learnt to accept it as is, and I moved on.
I began reading many of his novels after that. Somewhere (again I don’t quite recollect where) it was described best: reading his books is as if you are in a dream. When you wake up from the dream, you can’t quite narrate what you experienced, but it leaves an intense impression and emotion which lingers on for quite some time.
It’s difficult to say what exactly I like about the books. The narrator is almost always a loner, a person who does not mind being alone most of the time, who cooks and cleans with precision, who listens to jazz or at least some sort of music, and who has strange experiences. The strange experiences seem almost natural in the book, it does not seem in the least bit bizarre. His language is terse yet not abrupt, his writing is clean but flows like a natural stream, clear and sure.
Every time I read or re-read any of his books, I am loathe to reach the end. I yearn to read more, to go along with him on this journey he takes, into a strangeness that is comforting in its unfamiliarity.
Above all, I want to shake his hand and say: Thank you, thank you for writing with such understated brilliance. There will never be another quite like you.