“Novelist as Vocation”

Published this month, Haruki Murakami has pulled together a collection of eleven articles all covering the subject of what it is to be a novelist. Some of these have been previously published, some are new.

A keen reader of Murakami’s fiction, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-publication edition of the collection.

My reaction? It’s ok.

The problem I found was that, in needing to give background or context in the majority of the articles, Murakami covers the same ground over and over again. “Yes, you’ve already told me that” became something of a refrain. And in the end, I’m not sure how much I learned that was new – though there were one or two ideas or notions that could prove useful in my own writing.

I don’t think I’d want to put you off buying the book – but if you do, don’t read it all at once. Maybe dip into it once or twice a month…