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South of the Border, West of the Sun (国境の南、太陽の西 Kokkyō no Minami, Taiyō no Nishi) by Haruki Murakami.
Oft documented on Daisybutter is my love for Murakami. Haruki Murakami is one of those contemporary authors that once you’ve sampled, you can’t resist again. Following my enchantment with both Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 - my two favourites - as well as a handful of other titles, I picked up the short but sweet South of the Border, West of the Sun.

At just 180 pages in relatively medium-large type, SBWS was a light read for me while I was in bed and ill last week. The novel documents the story of Hajime, beginning treacherously in his childhood tapering to middle age. Like many of his works, the novel uses a captivating style that makes you completely empathise with the main character. As an only child in a post-war Japan full of two or three children families, Hajime can’t quite put his finger on what feels different about his lifestyle in comparison. Meeting Shimamoto, another only child, the pair spend most of their time together, simply talking and listening to music.

Suddenly the two are separated when Shimamoto moves school. Hajime struggles through the rest of the school, and the novel catalyses when Hajime marries, starts a family and runs his own business - with the sudden reappearance of Shimamoto.


I love nostalgic tales and Murakami’s simplistic novella style that somewhat always reminds me of fairytales. This is no exception and whilst simple in material with an inevitable (to me, anyway) ending, I enjoyed the casual pace and self-depreciating tones throughout this story. I’d highly recommend this as a light read for fellow Murakami fans and as a easy starter to his work for newbies.


  1. Ahh Murakami takes me back to my uni days, I love Norwegian Wood. I've also read a series of his short stories but I can't remember the name!

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

  2. Murakami has this brilliant way of finishing a book but not exactly ending it or giving a definite conclusion and it turn, his works live past the last page. I just finished Kafka on the Shore and it may be one of my favourites of his!

  3. That's precisely it! I like that you can always finish the book yet not actually finish it, and apply your own meaning and senses to the ending. That's on my Goodreads list to read this summer - can't wait to read it.

  4. Norwegian Wood is a close second to my ultimate favourite which is the 1Q84 trilogy. That was one of my favourite stories ever.

  5. I haven't received any messages on my Facebook page?

  6. Oh high5, Murakami is one of my favorite authors out there!
    Last week I've bought: 'Kafka on the Shore' c: have you read
    that one as well? Xx

  7. Kafka on the Shore is far and away my favourite - give that one a whirl next! Also of a fantastical ilk is Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Like you say, I love the fairytale-esque quality of Murakami's writing. Can't wait for Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki to come out!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

  8. That's next on my list now - a few of you guys in the comments seem to like it!

  9. That's firmly on my list now! HBW and the End of the World was SO good, I read that last summer and it was so darn good.

  10. Is this a large or small tote?


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