Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women is a collection of short stories based on a somewhat non typical theme – men, without women. While it is also the title of the final short story in the compilation,all the stories (bar one) are essentially about men who have loved and lost their women, be it from the protagonist or an observer’s point of view. One story is of a man who has met the woman he loves, but whether they will meet again is yet to be seen (so perhaps he has already lost her). But if you really break it down, a more uniting theme emerges across all seven stories – loneliness, or rather, male loneliness. And these words in the very last story sum it up nicely, “Only Men Without Women can comprehend how painful, how heartbreaking, it is to become one.”

The stories are all very Murakami, and even the most ‘ordinary’ of them takes on a less than straightforward feel, as if there’s a deeper meaning to the whole story, hidden under the surface. What it is you’ll never really know, and can only ponder upon…

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