Is it our own fault that we find ourselves alone? Do we shun away those that love us because of our inability to commit or cope?
Haruki Murakami explores this concept in his new book Men Without Women. As you can tell by the cover, Men Without Women explores relationships from the perspective of men. In this series of short stories, Haruki highlights several male characters with varying life experiences, who somehow find themselves alone. From a lovesick doctor, to an actor, each character reflects on their own situation, and come to grips with what they endure in their relationships.
"Relationships, between people, especially between men and women, operate on -- what should I say -- a general level. More vague, more self-centred, more pathetic."
How do men cope with loneliness? Perhaps they try to reason with the loss. In Haruki Murakami's novel, one story centres around a man who has lost his wife to cancer, but in reality, he lost her long before the diagnosis. His wife, it seems was having an affair with another man, perhaps more than one. Kafuko, the husband, befriends one of her lovers, in a desperate attempt to better understand his wife's impulse to find solace in the arm's of another. Will this friendship, and understanding, be his healing process? Will it help in coping with loss and loneliness?
With his powerful sense of observation and captivating storytelling, Haruki Murakami is able to bring the reader into each character's world, and instil both understanding and empathy, through his iconic wry wit and pathos.
"There are people in the world who -- thanks to a lack of intellectual acuity -- live a life that is surprisingly artificial."
This book will delight fans of this great novelist, who has a slew of literary feats under his belt. Have you read the Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki? It's a beautiful story of friendship and an inevitable journey into the past...one that's necessary to mend the present. What about Murakami's novel, The Strange Library? While known for telling stories that are rife with wild imagination and whimsy, Haruki Murakami takes a simplified, straightforward storytelling approach in Men Without Women. It's an exploration of ourselves, the human condition, and how many of us must eventually deal and cope with loneliness.