Original title: Chūgoku-yuki no surō bōto
Edition Language: Russian
Series: short story collection
Genres: Magical Realism, Contemporary
A Slow Boat to China is the first book of short stories by Haruki Murakami. "In this book you will find what you can call my world" - said the author about this book himself.
If you choose this collection of short stories to read in order to get to know Murakami, it might end up you'd really hate him. It almost happened to me. Later on, I was told that for the beginners of Haruki Murakami's world, it is better not to start reading his works by selecting the "short stories", as Murakami seems to do best with the novels.
Reading this book was quite an adventure: I loved the first story and was really excited about the author's style, and then I totally hated the following two stories. I could not connect to the characters and was lost in a magical side of the writing. At the end, I was totally confused as if I read two completely different authors. The next four stories were a bit better, not excellent, but rather interesting and catching, so I still enjoyed the book, especially the first story "A Slow Boat to China" (1980): a Tokyo man remembers his three most significant contacts with Chinese people.
In the story "Her dog in the soil" we encounter the young attractive lady who tells the story of her most painful and probably most psychologically damaging childhood experience. The last story "Green street in Sydney" is about the well-off man living in Sydney. He owns a private detective agency which helps him to hide from every day life and drag out an empty existence without any worries and efforts, until one day a man-sheep ask him to conduct investigation.