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The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
Norman Manea, Angela Jianu
Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel So, back to Murakami, again. I intend to read all his novels, that's for sure, just not on a reading spree. I'm in love with how his words flow, with how he blends fantasy into reality, with the type of characters he creates. But I want to take his prose in small doses, so that it would last longer.

Sputnik Sweetheart conveys the feeling of isolation and loneliness that can be found in most of Murakami's novels (the ones I've read so far). K, the guy who tells the story, and Sumire, the girl he is secretly in love with, are both lonely people, who spend their free time mostly reading. What I found interesting is that they don't isolate themselves in their homes to do this, but go out, read in the park or in a bar. They are lonely but, at the same time, they are surrounded by people and don't cut themselves from the outside world.

{Now, I must confess that I love, love the idea of going to a bar and read. Every time I come across a protagonist who does this so freely, I feel envious. I wish I had such a place to go to in Bucharest, with soft music and customers that don't stare at you if they see you with a book and just by yourself.}

Like in all the other Murakami novels I've read, the love story can't have a happy ending. Usually, the male protagonist suffers in silence and tells the story. K. is in love with Sumire, but she falls for someone else, who in turn is incapable to love, because of something that happened in the past.

I was almost two thirds into the novel and was amazed that there was not one single touch of fantasy, how could that be? Obviously, it eventually came - Murakami just can't stay away! And it was quite a magical scene (the character that experienced it was not so happy about it, though).