Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dance Dance Dance

So I finished another Murakami book today - Dance Dance Dance. Oh and for the record, I have read more than just the ones I've written about on here - I just feel compelled to write about some and not the others, even though I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

Dance dance dance continues the extraordinary adventure of an ordinary man. At thirty something, Murakami's nameless hero lives in a hi-tech, high-rise world where old virtues die fast and success is all that matters. He has shared in the glittering city's spoils, and while he has not sold his soul, he knows that something is lacking in his life.

Now, in dreams, a mysterious woman weeps softly - for him. Yet, even as he tries to understand why, the voice that beckons is not hers. And still he dreams. Bizarre dreams that propel him down byways of his life in search of ... ?

His is a strange odyssey: en route, a thirteen-year-old girl, distressingly beautiful and clairvoyant, is his constant companion; a classmate, now oozing charm on TV soaps, grapples with murder; a lady of the night becomes his guardian angel; and an eccentric Sheep Man materializes to counsel and cajole. What's a fellow to do? Dance. You gotta dance as long as the music plays. And dance is what our hero does ... in the most unexpected ways!

(Hah hah, fancy layout...)

This book is basically a sequel to one of Murakami's other books, The Wild Sheep Chase. There are some things that don't entirely seem to add up, but really I would recommend reading that book before reading this one. There are quite many things mentioned that refer to it and you'll really be missing half the story without having read it.

Dance Dance Dance deals with isolation and abandonment, and revolves around doing your best to get yourself back on track. The themes in Murakami's books are always quite similar and here, just like in Norwegian Wood, one of them is to find the beauty of life again. The protagonist is given a piece of advice, which is to just keep dancing, so that's what he tries to do - keep in step and just dance on, while hoping that eventually his life will start making sense again. I find that to be quite a nice metaphor for doing your best to live.

Another quite important theme is the connections you make with people. There was a nice comparison in the book about how your connection to other people is very similar to the phone - people can answer you, ignore you if they choose, open up to you and so forth. Ultimately, it is up to you both whether there is a "connection", aka the call goes through and gets answered. The book nicely shows how beautiful establishing a proper connection with a person is by throwing the protagonist in a web of tangled connections and showing us how easy it is for people to disappear from your life.

Oh and I must say that I really loved the character called Yumiyoshi for some reason. <3 Can't really say anything more about Yumiyoshi on here, so read the book and see for yourself! Yumiyoshi sort of reminded me of another character I like, not from books though.

And last but least, I think テルミドール -Vingt-Sept- would go really well with the story of the book. If it was possible to make an AMV out of a book, then this combination would definitely be the first one on my list. The lyrics could basically be a synopsis of the book, well nearly anyway - I'm not kidding! xD


  1. hi thereeee,

    So in a way Murakami sensei books are more like personality improvements through books. Like more of a reflection to the reader itself then. When does the story take place ... is it way back in the 60s or more recent?

    I guess the story won't that simple of a proto going to learn how to dance and changes his life so easily. I mean there must be a lot of plot lying around.

    Thanks for the post!!

    1. Dou kanaaa.... well, they do make you think about some important things. All his books tackle similar kinds of themes as this one though, it's like, his thing. Hmhh, well this book was written in the 80's, so I do believe it takes place before then. Don't remember exact timing, as it's been a few years since I read it.

      Well... yeah. The dancing itself is a metaphor too after all.

      Thanks for reading such an old post. :p