Monday, March 08, 2010

Reader's Diary #589- Haruki Murakami: The Second Bakery Attack

(Another pre-scheduled post while I'm in Japan.)

Haruki Murakami's "The Second Bakery Attack" is a story about a newlywed couple who wake up in the middle of the night finding themselves incredibly hungry and without food (barring butter, onions, French dressing and beer). For some reason, the husband finds this to be the appropriate time to let his wife in a secret: he and an old friend attacked a bakery 10 years ago. His wife's reaction is not what you'd expect.

I loved this story. It was wildly amusing: great plot, fascinating characters, and an understated but absurd sense of humor.
We had two black ski masks in the glove compartment. Why my wife owned a shotgun, I had no idea. Or ski masks. Neither of us had ever skied. But she didn't explain and I didn't ask. Married life is weird, I felt.

I also liked seeing how similar Tokyo felt to Canadian cities. Truth be known, I'm nervous about visiting Tokyo. I've been in large cities before, but nothing with the population of Tokyo. Add to that, it being a different culture and language, and it's a bit intimidating (in a good way, of course, else I wouldn't be going.) It was nice to see that Murakami's version of Tokyo wasn't overly different. I'll let you know how that pans out in real life. Have you visited Japan or any city that was out of your comfort zone?

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Allison said...

This story sounds interesting. I'm off to read after I comment.

Visiting Central America when I was a teen definitely had me outside my own comfort zone, as I didn't know the language. But it was also one of my most rewarding travel experiences, too.

I hope you have a great trip!

Hannah Stoneham said...

Fascinated to read what you make of Tokyo - I too wonder how I would respond to being somewhere so densely populated...

The book sounds very surreal but interesting and unconventional - thanks for sharing your recommendation!


Margot said...

This sounds like a fun story to read. I like the quote you used. I'm off to check it out.

I read a Louisa May Alcott story. You can find it here.

Anonymous said...

I love the quote. Sounds like a great story.

As far as visiting cities, I've only been outside the US once and that was to Toronto, so not that far afield, really. I pretty much stay in my comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

I should have left a link to my short story. It's an interesting one.

JoAnn said...

I didn't know Murakami wrote short stories! Can't wait to read this one... thanks for the link. Also look forward to hearing more about Tokyo.

I've decided to feature Irish authors all month.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a strange little story! I sure hope that you don't run into that fellow's wife while in Tokyo. But you aren't going there to go to MacDonald's anyway, I hope.

Unknown said...

Oh I loved this story. I love it at the end when the wife is explaining to the McDonald's crew that they're only stealing the burgers and will pay for the sodas. Just perfect.

Melwyk said...

This sounds entertaining! I like Murakami so will check this one out. My out-of-comfort-zone trip was to Kyiv, where I didn't speak the language or read the alphabet (well, I did, but at the level of a kindergarten student). But it was an amazing learning experience.

Anonymous said...

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