...feels something like this. Every novel is a bit of a goose chase (or Wild Sheep Chase, if you will), a story within a story, a maze to conquer, a knotted ball of yarn to unravel neatly or not. Each Murakami story requires a certain amount of burrowing deeper and deeper in, unsure of what lies at the center. Will it be full of nougaty goodness or hot lava or will the trail go cold halfway there in some middle earth madness? Murakami readers must be game to go along for an often circuitous ride. This effect is compounded when re-reading these novels back to back. There is a distinct dialogue between the novels (and, I believe, the characters from one novel to another) that I find fascinating.
The references between the works shine forth in a way they never did when I read the novels separately, with years and many other novels in between. While I planned to re-read all of Murakami's novels (and of course 1984) before reading 1Q84 this fall, I did not initially intend to re-read them in a row. Yet once I'd read two back to back, I saw things I knew I'd never see if I had not done so.
I'm only just finishing novel number three in a long line, so bear with me while I give chase to this unexpected (and frankly, exhausting and often bewildering) adventure.
*Image via Ceramics at the Barn