magic-realism

“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage,” a Review

 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage
Haruki Murakami
Vintage International, 2015
314 pp

Magic Realism, Interiority, Bildungsroman Tradition

Haruki Murakami appears to have captured the imaginations of a lot of readers. And that’s saying a lot because he is not a writer who seems to be satisfied with just a story line.

In two other novels I have read, he clearly mixes his own brand of magic realism (fantasy, dream narratives, science fiction, fable) and a very realistic narrative (It would be an understatement to say that Murakami does not shy away from sex or death. He also manages to blend the murder mystery genre into some of his stories).

He is also a writer who has a strong interior sensibility and appears to be particularly drawn to millenials.

A third motif of Murakami’s fiction is a penchant for story lines that resemble the Bildungsroman tradition (stories about self-knowledge journeys, usually about younger protagonists moving through a variety of intense rites of passage). Continue reading

Share

“Big Machine” by Victor LaValle

Big Machine
Victor LaValle
Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperbacks
New York, 2010
370 pp

In all of the reviewing I have done over the years, I don’t ever recall using a statement from an author’s acknowledgment page.

When I read the last paragraph and then went back to look at the last page of the narrative itself, there appeared to be some covert, even tendentious wrapping up, some moral statement LaValle seemed to be making in this part allegory, part fantasy, part gothic, part magic-realism, part gruesome, grim-reality novel. Continue reading

Share