“High-class call girls billed to Mastercard. A psychic thirteen-year-old drop-out with a passion for Talking Heads. A hunky matinee idol domed to play dentists and teachers. A one-armed beach-combing poet, an uptight hotel clerk and one very bemused narrator caught in the web of advanced capitalist mayhem. Combine this offbeat cast of characters with Murakami’s idiosyncratic prose and out comes Dance Dance Dance. It is an assault on the senses, part murder mystery, part metaphysical speculation: a fable for our times catchy as a rock song blasting from the window of a sports car.”
At this point, I’m sure anyone reading this post has a little knowledge about Murakami’s books, whether it’s his Coming-of-Age book Norwegian Wood or one of the weirder ones, like Kafka On the Shore. Dance Dance Dance is a little on the weird side. Well, by the book industry’s standards, it’s an odd one. But by Murakami standards it errs a little to the normal side.
The first thing to say about the novel is that it never really gets boring. In this book, you can see the elements forming that pretty much defined Murakami’s career. It starts off enigmatic and strange, and only gets stranger from there. The novel is so off-the-wall that explaining anything about the plot will most likely ruin the experience of reading it. I think Murakami is an author who is more interested in mood, atmosphere and philosophy than a clear-cut ending.
Basically, I like the book. It’s not perfect, because a lot of the relationships that Murakami is trying to create between the characters sometimes end up being undeveloped. I guess I see the book as an experiment in form, and it’s a form that he has definitely perfected since.
If you’ve never read anything by Haruki Murakami then this novel isn’t really the right place to start. It was probably the fifth or sixth one I read by him, and I’m glad I left it that long. It’s an interesting book, but also a flawed one.