“I used to think the years would go by in order, that you get older one year at a time,” said Gotanda, peering into my face. “But it’s not like that at all. It happens overnight.”and
Humans achieve their peak in different ways. But whoever you are, once you’re over the summit, it’s downhill all the way. Nothing anyone can do about it. And the worst of it is, you never know where that peak is. You think you’re still going strong, when suddenly you’ve crossed the great divide. No one can tell. Some people peak at twelve, then lead rather uneventful lives from then on. Some carry on until they die; some die at their peak. Poets and composers have lived like furies, pushing themselves to such a pitch they’re gone by thirty. Then there are those like Picasso, who keep breaking ground till well past eighty.Dance Dance Dance is the sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, though you don’t really need to read that one first; like all of Murakami’s work, this book is self-sustained. Am not reviewing it here (partly because no time, partly because reviewing Murakami is always a scary prospect; writing a structured review somehow feels like you’re being false to the author and what he stands for), but treat this as a strong recommendation. He's one of the world’s truly great writers in my always-humble opinion, and this book isn’t a bad place to start if you haven’t read him before. Norwegian Wood (which I blogged about here) is still the most accessible of his novels, but Dance Dance Dance comes a close second; it isn’t as dense as Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (which I also love) or as long and attention-demanding as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, or as esoteric as A Wild Sheep Chase gets in places.
Some other reviews of Dance Dance Dance here.