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The Elephant Vanishes

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.

By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami's ability to cross the border between separate realities -- and to come back bearing treasure.
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With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.

By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami's ability to cross the border between separate realities -- and to come back bearing treasure.
Product Details
Paperback (336 pages)
Published: June 28, 1994
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679750536
Other books byHaruki Murakami
  • A Wild Sheep Chase

    A Wild Sheep Chase
    A marvelous hybrid of mythology and mystery, A Wild Sheep Chase is the extraordinary literary thriller that launched Haruki Murakami's international reputation. It begins simply enough: A twenty-something advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend, and casually appropriates the image for an insurance company's advertisement. What he doesn't realize is that included in the pastoral scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man in black who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes our hero from the urban haunts of Tokyo to the remote and snowy mountains of northern Japan, where he confronts not only the mythological sheep, but the confines of tradition and the demons deep within himself. Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best.

    South of the Border, West of the Sun

    South of the Border, West of the Sun
    In South of the Border, West of the Sun, the simple arc of a man's life--with its attendant rhythms of success and disappointment--becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Haruki Murakami's most haunting work. Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime--beginning in Japanese--has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime's happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart. When Shimamoto shows up one rainy night, now a breathtaking beauty with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime's quotidian existence begin to give way. And the details of stolen moments past and present--a Nat King Cole melody, a face pressed against a window, a handful of ashes drifting downriver to the sea--threaten to undo him completely. Rich, mysterious, quietly dazzling, South of the Border, West of the Sun is Haruki Murakami's wisest and most compelling fiction.

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
    An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami.While simply training for New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Haruki Murakami's decided to write about it as well. The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in athletic pursuit.

    1Q84

    1Q84
    “Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.” —The New York Times Book Review   The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector. A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Der Aufziehvogel und die Dienstagsfrauen: Als diese Frau eintraf, stand ich gerade in der Küche und kochte Spaghetti.

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  • Der Bäckereiüberfall: Hunger hatten wir, so viel stand fest.

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  • Der zweite Bäckereiüberfall: Ob die Entscheidung, meiner Frau von dem Überfall auf die Bäckerei zu erzählen, richtig war oder nicht, weiss ich immer noch nicht genau.

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  • Schlaf: Es ist der siebzehnte Tag ohne Schlaf.

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  • Der Untergang des Römischen Reiches, der Indianeraufstand von 1881, Hitlers Einfall in Polen und die Sturmwelt: Sonntag.

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  • Scheunenabbrennen: Ich hatte sie auf der Hochzeitsfeier eines Bekannten kennengelernt und mich mit ihr angefreundet.

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  • Frachtschiff nach China: Wann bin ich dem ersten Chinesen begegnet?

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  • Der Elefant verschwindet: Vom Verschwinden des Elefanten aus dem städtischen Elefantenhaus erfuhr ich aus der Zeitung.

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  • Memory is like fiction; or else it’s fiction that’s like memory. This really came home to me once I started writing fiction, that memory seemed like a kind of fiction, or vice versa....

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  • Der Aufziehvogel und die Dienstagsfrauen: Man kann nicht ewig weiterzählen.

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  • Der Bäckereiüberfall: Klick.

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  • Der zweite Bäckereiüberfall: Ich legte mich der Länge nach ins Boot, schloss die Augen und wartete, dass die Flut mich trüge, wohin ich gehöre.

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  • Schlaf: Sie werden es umstürzen.

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  • Der Untergang des Römischen Reiches, der Indianeraufstand von 1881, Hitlers Einfall in Polen und die Sturmwelt: So lebe ich, ob der Wind nun weht oder nicht.

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  • Scheunenabbrennen: Nachts im Dunkeln denke ich manchmal an die niederbrennenden Scheunen.

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  • Frachtschiff nach China: Ach, meine Freunde, China ist so weit.

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  • Der Elefant verschwindet: Und kommen niemals hierher zurück.

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