Saturday, February 22, 2020

Eight weird literary romances

Amy Bonnaffons's new novel is The Regrets.

At Lit Hub she tagged eight novels of unlikely love, including:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (1994)

This is my favorite book of all time, for many reasons—one of which is the way it depicts love, of even the most ordinary variety, as an underworld journey requiring the stoicism of a detective and the quiet bravery of a monk. When Toru Okada’s cat disappears, followed by his wife Kumiko, he embarks on a quest to find both of them and in the process to figure out where and how things began to go wrong in his marriage.

Along the way he meets many unique characters: psychics, traumatized veterans, a mother-son team named Nutmeg and Cinnamon, a sarcastic teenage girl who leads him to an abandoned well where he’ll battle the dark psychic force of his evil brother-in-law. If this sounds confusing, it is—in the best possible way. The book has the suspense of a detective novel, the dreamlike weirdness of a David Lynch movie, and the earnest beating heart of a simple husband who simply loves his wife (for Murakami, the “simple” is the strangest of all).
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is among KT Tunstall's six best books, Matthew Carl Strecher's ten best Haruki Murakami books and Colette McIntyre's eight books every college-bound student should read.

--Marshal Zeringue