An Honest Review Of “ Men Without Women” By Haruki Murakami


Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer who is well – known for his published books such as 1Q84, Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the shore.  


About the Book

His characters and I lead to polar opposite lives. But when you read between the lines there’s something you could relate- the sentiments involved in their subconscious minds. I was awed because at one point I wondered so much about myself that it dragged me down to deeper realms of my existence. 


I feel connected as if I’m swimming through the minds of men. Knowing all their secrets, and this book also describes a gender that doesn't need anybody’s permission to feel and express, throw up the weight in heart!


There are seven short stories about men, their mysterious women, loneliness, bars, never-ending suffering, etc. Each story is written in such a mysterious way that the reader is compelled to read the whole story just to realize the ending. My most favorite among the stories is ‘Kino’- a simple man gone through so much in life convincing himself that he’s perfectly comfortable with it, but in the end truth’s urge to hurt him takes over his feelings or (he surrenders) to a certain point where he regrets a lot but heals over time( personal viewpoint). 


Murakami undoubtedly has done a great job in weaving different emotions felt and lived by men when they either lose their beloved or are betrayed in an aching awful way. The characters are sketched in a way that you could feel for them and sketch them in your mind. However, I felt even talking about men without women, there definitely is more meaning in their lines in between, which make you reflect a little more. 


The last chapter sums up what "men without women" are like, using metaphors that romanticize the feelings of a lonely man. According to the male character of the last chapter, "losing one woman means losing all women".


This book is actually another work of art by Haruki Murakami. The book is more about the writing style that gets one hooked. Life does not fit into a neat little box. We don’t always get what we want, and simply giving up is not the answer. We have one life, and despite how painful our own experience can be, there is always a reason to carry on. If you’re not living for yourself, then live for other people.

But don’t some people have the strength to carry on?


The Loophole

After reading “Kafka on the Shore '' I did like Murakami work too much to read all of his books . However, I felt this book didn’t quite reach that mark for me. It could be as it’s the collection of 7 distinct short stories. Or maybe I’m not quite a fan of explicit language, which according to me, is used a little too much in some of the stories 


The Bottom line

Women are considered the epitome of emotions while neglecting the men too feel unfathomable emotions. Emotions are spoken about as if they bring disgrace, shame, and weakness while it’s not so. Mostly it’s so difficult to talk about emotions felt and lived by men because men are expected to be composed and tough at all times. 


As ever Murakami’s prose is precise with the ability to handle such complex emotions. And he has tapped into something here, something true to life, but not everybody will react in such a way. We must move forward no matter how hard it may seem.  This book is certainly worth a read, though it falls short of its potential. Not all men without women react the same way.


Written By - Ifrah Amin

Edited By - Pavas Shrigyan

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