I reached to the front pocket of my suitcase and let my fingers feel it. The satisfyingly reassuring feeling of confirming the existence of what you need.
I bought “Sputnik Sweetheart” at Gatwick airport on my way to Stockholm. I did not got a chance to read it until on my way back to London at Vasteras airport. Flight delays being the theme of this short holiday, it didn’t come as a huge shock that the plane would leave 2 hours later. The airport didn’t announce the delay until an hour was already passed the departure time, but I already knew it thanks to the power of the Internet. I guess they didn’t want to upset the passengers too early!
I remembered the book right the second I was aware of the delay with a big grin on my face. Yet I still needed to confirm it was actually still in the front pocket of my luggage. Saved, is what I felt.
I was reading this on the back of “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”, so my head was already full of Murakami. This one though punched me hard within only a few pages and a few tears rolled down my 4 days unshaven face. Sumire’s sudden love and Murakami’s way with words, made the time fly and kept my sleepy eyes open as if possessed.
Once during the flight I even fell asleep, but my hand was clinging to the book and not letting go! I was surprised to wake up and see I’m still holding the book.
I feel I shouldn’t read Murakami back to back. I’m picking up too many common themes that I don’t mind, but I don’t want to get distracted or reminded of some other character in some other story.
And just as I about to put it down and take a break, something happenes! Phew.. Murakami knows when just to reveal a twist!
This is the story of loss. The search to find a connection or a struggle not losing those you have. There are times that in order to carry on we give up a part of ourselves, but will the life be worth living afterwards? Perhaps only if you have a real connection to someone. Loneliness is a peculiar thing and the characters of this story find different ways to cope with it. I didn’t find their solutions helpful to me. I wish I could live in the dream world forever but the reality always yanks you back.
There’s a lot to absorb here and think about. Murakami’s ideas and philosophies on life seeping through the characters take you to different directions. It’s a kind of book that needs to be read slowly and to let one’s mind wonder.