Blind Willow Sleeping Woman - Haruki Murakami
Let me admit that I have somewhat of a crush on Haruki Murakami. I so wish I were capable of writing this review in his metaphorical meter and cast upon you such a spell that you would be compelled to question your existence without having read Murakami. He is simply a fantastic story teller, and even though his stories have no real point, no true conclusion, you are drawn in and captured. He never preaches, there is no stated moral, yet, at the close you find yourself certain that there was something profound you missed. In searching, you take a meaning that is truly yours - perhaps there is no other true path to profundity but self discovery. And that is Murakami's magic; he writes a story in the surreal, in a crazy way that can never be part of our lives, yet that connects on a deeply personal level. And so, the stories stick, floating around in some metaphysical way.
Blind Willow Sleeping Woman is a collection of short stories that are often sad; describing with some detachment people dealing with regret and loss. Murakami glazes the window from which you peer into the characters through abstract metaphor just so that you could project your own world into the poetic surreality.
Personally, I prefer his short stories over the novel because you can stop and contemplate more easily. For example, after a point the quirks of the world in Kafka on the Shore lose you.