I just finished reading Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase (1982). I was going to say that it's a little creepier than the other stuff of his that I've read, but... come to think of it, all of his short stories and novels so far have had a little weird twist to them. Anyway, this book was lovely and chilling at the same time. It's about a former ad exec from Tokyo who gets sent on a literal sheep chase through the countryside /mountains of Northern Japan.
Here are my underlinings (no it doesn't give anything away, don't worry!):
There was a small coffee shop near the university where I hung out with friends. It wasn't much of anything, but it offered certain constants: hard rock and bad coffee (4).
The air was alive, even as everything seemed poised on the verge of collapse, waiting for a push (5).
"The sun climbs high in the sky, then starts down. People come, then go. The time breezes by. That's like a picnic, isn't it?" (7)
She tossed the twig to the ground and stood up, brushing the dry bits of grass from her coat (9).
whiskey fog (15)
A short ray of sunlight divided the table, me in light, her in shadow (17).
The tip of the cigarette crackled dryly as its lavender smoke formed a tracery in the morning light (19).
"I still love you. But I guess that's not the point now, is it? I know that well enough myself." (22)
"I do believe that my ears aren't dying properly," (40)
...letting go a trial balloon (49).
Russians have a way with aphorisms. They probably spend all winter thinking them up (112).
The rain had been preceded by four or five days of crisp, clear early summer skies, fooling people into thinking the rainy season was over (113).
In a sunken area in the middle of the coffee lounge, a woman wearing a bright pink dress sat at a cerulean blue grand piano playing quintessential hotel-coffee-lounge numbers filled with arpeggios and syncopation.
With my eyes closed, I could hear hundreds of elves sweeping out my head with their tiny brooms. They kept sweeping and sweeping. It never occurred to any of them to use a dustpan (151).
Strings of tiny yellow streetlamps threaded everywhere below (152).
I got orange juice out of the refrigerator and popped three-day-old bread into the toaster. I tasted like wall plaster (161).
Far off, someone was practicing piano. It sounded like tripping down an up escalator.
He gave me a blank-white-sheet-of-drawing-paper look (195).
The conductor was so totally without expression he could have pulled off a bank robbery without covering his face (249).
...if the roof caves in, you got yourself some flat sheep (260).
My girlfriend appeared with coffee, and we faced each other as we drank. Drops of rain tapped intermittently on the windows. The time passed slowly as chill infiltrated the room. The yellow glow of the light bulbs drifted about the room like pollen (285).
Birds of a kind I'd never seen before clung like Christmas ornaments to the pin oaks by the front door, chirping away. The world shone moistly in the morning light (290).
It's hot and stuffy. ...Someone opens a window. Shivering cold. Seagull cries, sharp piercing voices ripping at my flesh (341).
The sea was shining when I arrived at my destination (351).