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Extended Audio Sample Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman Audiobook, by Haruki Murakami Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,323 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Haruki Murakami Narrator: Patrick Lawlor, Ellen Archer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2013 ISBN: 9780804166638
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From the bestselling author of Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle comes this superb collection of twenty-four stories that generously expresses Murakami’s mastery of the form. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining. Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami’s characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a firefly, or the impossible distances between those who ought to be closest of all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This collection shows Murakami at his dynamic, organic best…In Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Murakami demonstrates brilliantly the perils of trying to squeeze life into prefabricated compartments.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • A true miscellany [or] more like one of those overstuffed, career-spanning CD box sets…[But] the tales seem to speak with one, very seductive, voice. That voice, in each of these wildly varied excursions into the strange, dim territory of the self, says that someone named Haruki Murakami is still looking, quixotically, for something less fragile, less provisional than the usual accommodations we make do with on the road. Terrence Rafferty, New York Times Book Review"A virtuosic demonstration of Murakami's incredible range . . . thrilling, funny, sad, moving, scary--all at once. Since 1980, the year Haruki Murakami wrote his first short story, the Japanese author has been a walking definition of genius . . . He is a master of tone, and can manipulate a reader's curiosity at will, [and he] approaches the large subjects indirectly, through mood and bizarre occurrences, and always trusts his reader to be moved.
  • “Whimsical, magical, daring or sometimes played with the mute in the bell of the trumpet…The best of these linger far beyond the reading of them.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A warning to new readers of Haruki Murakami: You will become addicted…His newest collection is as enigmatic and sublime as ever.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Murakami’s writing perfectly captures the way surreal, even seemingly supernatural, encounters can subtly alter the terrain of everyday life.”

    Washington Post Book World

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aleem | 2/20/2014

    " One of the best collection of short stories I've ever read. If you're a fan of Murakami you don't need me to say anymore. If you aren't, this collection is a wonderful introduction and will allow you to see if like his work before digging into one of his novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine Baber | 2/7/2014

    " Another collection of short stories by my current favorite author, some of them completely surreal and some profoundly quotidian. Not my favorite of his collections, but enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarimah Latiff | 2/5/2014

    " Bought this book on Sunday 7th Sept 2008 in Borders, Singapore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 2/4/2014

    " This collection of 24 stories spans Murakami's career and provides some stories not previously translated into English. Some stories are definitely better than others but it is a good book to pick up and put down and intermix with other reading. As usual ,the really fantastic Murakami story provides you with an out-of-reality experience and completely messes with your perspectives and your head. A must read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Przemek Raczynski | 1/12/2014

    " Very touching stories. I should have probably read one, then mulled it over for a few days...Although he does use the device of young people dying pretty often. I like this author's writing, and would like to read something full-length of his. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 1/7/2014

    " I only read 'Birthday Girl' from this collection of short stories by Murakami. My rating is based on this storey; it was short but still really good! I don't know how likely I am to read all of the stories.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shin Machine | 1/6/2014

    " Haruki Murakami is one of the best storytellers ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefanie | 1/6/2014

    " Some were good, some were not. Or maybe something got lost in the translation once in a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 12/24/2013

    " I love short story collections, though I'm not too good at remembering the stories since I usually start the next one without reflecting on the one I just read. Finished this three weeks ago, so now I don't remember much of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ehanson | 12/19/2013

    " Fun stories, most of which have different themes than his novels. It now occurs to me that I've read a lot of Haruki Murakami lately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Javimolina | 12/19/2013

    " Liked some of the tales very much , others are not so o.k, interesting insight into the worlds of a very effective narrator. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meri | 12/10/2013

    " Murakami is at his best when he has several hundred pages to work with, but this collection is as whimsical and thought provoking as the rest of his literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 11/19/2013

    " It's not what he's writing about but the way he writes it. The way he leads you in into seeing the things he may see it as. When you read one of the stories in this book it doesn't seem to end when your done reading the last line...his words linger in your mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nichole | 9/9/2013

    " Some great short stories in this one, but I must say I prefer his novels over the shorts. Definitely worth reading though, it has a little bit of everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ash | 8/7/2013

    " I liked this, but I could have liked it more. I probably should have started with one of Murakami's novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 7/24/2013

    " Beautiful and fantastical, Murakami somehow manages to write short-stories in the tension of vididness and other-worldly distance. I felt like I was supposed to get some deeper meaning, but missed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lysia | 5/20/2013

    " When I have time, I will review in more detail the awesome short stories in this book, but suffice it to say I got everything I expected from this Murakami. More than anything, there were a number of stories that left me wanting more, and that is what I love about everything Murakami writes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Her Majesty | 7/17/2012

    " beautifully weird. I got lost in some of them, but survived most. it's a good read, definately. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jerry | 7/7/2012

    " Has the makings, so far, of a classic Murakami collection of short fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Oanh | 6/11/2012

    " Sometimes you read a favorite author and think: maybe we are done with each other now. And that's how I felt about Haruki Murakami, whose works I have loved, who has been life-changing. But it's time to move on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bisera | 11/15/2011

    " Some cute stories, but for the large part found it difficult to stay interested. So not a fan of the short stories but will give his novels a go... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naseem Sulaiman | 10/25/2011

    " A collection of stories from the master of surreal and beautiful evocative images. The short stories keeps enticing you bit by bit. And once you're done with it, it just leaves you wanting more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 5/11/2011

    " I liked this less than his novels but still found it quite enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefanie | 4/26/2011

    " Some were good, some were not. Or maybe something got lost in the translation once in a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 4/22/2011

    " Everything he writes is completely amazing. His short stories are no exception. Strange, esoteric, existential, completely accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kira | 4/13/2011

    " Though some stories are not understandable, it was a great read for all of them were original. I also love the surrealist quality of Murakami's stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aswin | 4/3/2011

    " A couple of stories stand out in this collection. Murakami's simple language and use of familiar situations gets readers to ruminate on the unexplained very easily. The readers are drawn to superpose their own interpretation in almost every story. Enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hanim | 4/2/2011

    " Not actually finished. But most of the time reading, I am in the dark. Unable to understand, never mind to relate. So I decided to put it down. Murakami is one of my favorite author, so I can say that my liking is more on his novels, not short stories like this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tony | 3/30/2011

    " The weakest of Murakami's short story collections. So many of the stories just don't seem to go anywhere. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mttabor | 3/29/2011

    " It had about three stories that I actually enjoyed, a lot of cast-offs and cutting-room floor type material. Good for his fans, but pretty disappointing. "

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About the Author
Author Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author of fiction and nonfiction works. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage topping the New York Times bestsellers list in 2014. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages. Murakami is the recipient of numerous awards, including the World Fantasy Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the Jerusalem Prize.

About the Narrators

Patrick Lawlor, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television.

Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer with a degree in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters. She has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.