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(Credit: Wakarimasita)

Film

Haruki Murakami named his five favourite books of all time

Haruki Murakami is one of the biggest names in world literature, known for his unique interpretation of magical realism which has captured the imaginations of millions of readers around the world. Amplified global interest in Murakami’s works has also resulted in increased awareness about Japanese literature even though he considers himself to be an outcast in his country’s literary cycles.

With each passing year, Murakami is also becoming an important part of the world of contemporary cinema since some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time are tackling adaptations of his novels. While adapting a Murakami novel for the big screen is always challenging, these directors have paved the way for future efforts.

The most famous adaptation among these has been Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car which recently scored four nominations at the Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. With Drive My Car, Hamaguchi conducted a masterful interpretation of Murakami’s short story and turned it into cinematic magic.

This has certainly not been the only adaptation that has received critical acclaim since Lee Chang-dong’s 2018 masterpiece Burning was considered by many to be one of the greatest films of the last decade. Along with more interest in his books, now fans will be eager to see more adaptations of his wonderful novels as well.

In order to understand the creative sensibilities of Murakami, take a look at a list of some of his favourite books below.

Haruki Murakami’s favourite books:

  • The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler)
  • The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • The Castle (Franz Kafka)
  • The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)

Murakami actually translated The Great Gatsby into Japanese and in the book’s afterword, he wrote: “When someone asks, ‘Which three books have meant the most to you?’ I can answer without having to think: The Great Gatsby, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye.”

“All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby,” Murakami declared. “Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there)”.

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