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I've just finished reading Haruki Murakami's new book. It was released last month here in Japan and going to come out overseas next year. I've read many reviews of this book in the papers, and oddly enough I found there were none that were particularly positive. Most critics mentioned the aspects they don't like about his books. Although this is kind of the way things go when Japanese critics write about Murakami. I don't know why he's always bitterly criticized here in Japan. It was weird. He is a world-renowned writer now. I read lots of essays and interviews about him and he's not really pretentious or snobbish person. He's actually a very kind and ernest old man. I adore him as a person. So while reading those scathing reviews, I decided again that I would never write or talk about the bad aspects of anything. Your innocent comment might repel someone.

Having said that, I would say his new book was not really my cup of tea. I love his choice of words and crisp sentences. But I couldn't find anything new. It was like a novella version of "1Q84". Cats, traveling, good foods, smart women, raping, cultism, a person vanished. His interests seem to be fixed. Perhaps I expected too much. Also, most of my favorite Murakami works were written in his early days, the 80s and 90s.

After finishing this book, I started reading a biography called "After Visiting Friends" written by an american journalist, Michael Hainey. I've just finished the first chapter, and it made me cry. Maybe it's because I'm reading slowly. I've got the original hardback, so it'll take a while to finish it. But it seems a really nice book so far.
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