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Download The Elephant Vanishes: Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Elephant Vanishes: Stories Audiobook, by Haruki Murakami Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 5 3.91 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Haruki Murakami Narrator: John Chancer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2013 ISBN: 9780804166577
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With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.

By turns haunting and hilarious, The Elephant Vanishes is further proof of Murakami’s ability to cross the border between separate realities and to come back bearing treasure.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Enchanting…Intriguing…All of these tales have a wonderfully surreal quality and a hip, witty tone. Mr. Murakami has pulled off a tricky feat, writing stories about people who are bored but never boring. He left me lying awake at night, hungry for more.” 

    Wall Street Journal

  • “These are beautifully written stories, often funny, always moving.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • These are beautifully written stories, often funny, always moving. Chicago Tribune
  • Eerie, unsettling. . . . [A] wonderful combination of the bizarre and the mundane. Village Voice Literary Supplement
  • Charming, humorous and frequently puzzling . . . The Elephant Vanishes [is] fun to read. The New York Times
  • These stories show us Japan as it’s experienced from the inside. . . . [They] take place in parallel worlds not so much remote from ordinary life as hidden within its surfaces. . . . Even in the slipperiest of Mr. Murakami’s stories, pinpoints of detail flash out . . . warm with life, hopelessly–and wonderfully–unstable. The New York Times Book Review
  • “Charming, humorous, and frequently puzzling.”

    New York Times

  • A stunning writer at work in an era of international literature. Newsday
  • Enchanting…intriguing…all of these tales have a wonderfully surreal quality and a hip, witty tone. Mr. Murakami has pulled off a tricky feat, writing stories about people who are bored but never boring. He left me lying awake at night, hungry for more. Wall Street Journal
  • The Elephant Vanishes, through [its] bold originality and charming surrealism, should win the author new readers in this country. Detroit Free Press

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy White | 2/19/2014

    " As someone who feels they are experiencing a mid-life crisis in their late twenties, this book filled me with a mixture of hope and shared melancholy. Read to dip into the lives of people touched by strangeness, who pass through it like a mist, for the most part. Murakami finds beauty in strange places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon Bailey | 2/1/2014

    " It takes a lot for a short story to win me over, so often you reach the end with only a 'so...?' but by the second story here I was taken. Delivered with a simplicity and directness which defies the little works of magic that each one is. There is a great comic at work here too, but overall i feel like this has stirred and chimed with the inner melancholy lying a little below the surface of things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Manda Harsy | 1/30/2014

    " I liked over half of the short stories in this book. I enjoy the straightforwardness and dryness of the author who states things as they are and often has characters who do so as well. (although maybe that is the translation?) Most of these stories involved some outer-world experience or unexplainable occurance that Haruki Murakami does not try to explain. it still works and is nice. I especially enjoyed the story about the young boxer's tale called, The Silence. I loved the story about the relationship between a sister and her brother in Family Affair, and I enjoyed the story On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning which is about well what it sounds like. The other stories are good too like the Kangaroo Communique and the Dancing Dwarf and The Window. But I did not care for TV People and I didnt finished "Sleep" because it creeped me out and was a little too close to home (it is about an insomniac). Anywho it's a great book to read especially for something contemporary and different. I liked Norwegian Wood a little better overall, but I liked some of the short stories better than it...but i guess that is how short stories go.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Qiling Liang | 1/28/2014

    " It's much better than the Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natsumi | 1/23/2014

    " Phenomenal. This has become one of my new favorite book of short stories, and I can't wait to own/read it all over again. I would recommend this to anyone who loves and appreciates great short stories; quirky stories, haunting stories, profound stories, this book has it all. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anuradha S | 1/22/2014

    " Okay finished the first story and all i can say is "what???!" So there are no explanations for anything and Im just supposed to call him a 'genius' and 'poetic' or something or risk sounding like an idiot who didnt "get it"? Well so be it. I think he was trying to say how cold and self centered the protagonist was or maybe how bland his life was (only explanation for how freakin boring it was) but a good writer couldve implied all of that with a coherent story while Murakami just gives long blank streches of nothingness interspersed with random incidents. Have you ever seen one of those people who can look at a painting with a single black blot of paint and nothing else and declares it to be "art" and "deep" only because everybody else thinks its crap? Thats probably how this lazy, pretentious, look-at-me-being-all-deep-and-cryptic writer became famous. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy | 1/12/2014

    " Haruki is amazing, he has an amazing way of blending the common everyday life with the surreal dream scapes of the characters imagination "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyssa | 1/5/2014

    " One of my favorite short stories is in this book. On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful april morning. This is one of the stories in this collection that has really stuck with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly Lynn Thomas | 1/2/2014

    " Some of the stories were great, and some were pretty lame. Worth reading for the good ones, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angel | 12/23/2013

    " The American-Jap fusion causes the stories to lose their authenticity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Shoe | 12/8/2013

    " Murakami's work seems at the same time both calculated, and open to the flow of consciousness. At moments these stories seem very literal and true, and at other times they seem governed more by the laws of dreams. The title story is highly recommended! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Riene | 11/26/2013

    " i loved this book. It was the first book by Murakami that I read and have become addicted to his style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nestor Del Rio | 9/28/2013

    " "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning" my favorite "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri-Lea Chowles | 8/13/2012

    " The Dancing Dwarf is one of his most horror-esque stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maija | 9/26/2011

    " murakami's short stories are awesome! gets you right at the beginning and with every next story just keeps getting better. this and "blind willow, sleeping women" are great. i think they're even better than his novels (thou i have read only "a wild sheep chase") "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alissa Maddren | 7/10/2011

    " There just aren't words - I love everything he writes... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sahidzan | 5/12/2011

    " Cerpen-cerpen Murakami. Macam-macam perasaan menyelinap masa baca buku ni. De-javu, pemerkosaan minda, lapar sampai rasa nak merompak McD, insomnia, romantis, erotis,perang, damai etc etc.. Sehinggakan helaian kertasnya hampir renyuk diselak berulang kali. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gesse | 4/21/2011

    " "The Second Bakery Attack" is one of my favorite short stories. And I read a fair amount of short stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 4/15/2011

    " Great collection of short stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scotch | 3/20/2011

    " About half are wonderfully strange and inventive stories about monsters, sleep, guilt and loneliness (and elephants, of course). The other are a bit less interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mónica | 2/25/2011

    " De Murakami me gustan mucho sus títulos. Son bonitos y etéreos como lo que escribe. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vivien | 2/8/2011

    " Not his best book of short stories but still some dreamy gems in here - no one does wistfulness like Murakami. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyler | 1/25/2011

    " The title story is absolutely brilliant, like Dr. Seuss meets David Lynch. The Bakery robbers is also a pretty good one as well. "

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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 Narrator

John Chancer is an award-winning narrator of numerous audiobooks. He has performed in theaters on both sides of the Atlantic. His television appearances have included Any Human Heart, Episodes, Spooks, The Long Firm, and William & Mary. His films include Casino Royale, Unstoppable, Grim, and Project: Shadowchaser.