18 Best Haruki Murakami Books

Haruki Murakami Books: Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer. His novels, essays, and short stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside Japan.

Best Haruki Murakami Books

1Q84 (Vintage International) Oct 25, 2011 by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin , Philip Gabriel

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

Kafka on the Shore (Vintage International) Jan 18, 2005 by Haruki Murakami

Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) Aug 11, 2010 by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

Norwegian Wood (Vintage International) Aug 11, 2010 by Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin

Toru, a serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. As Naoko retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A magnificent coming-of-age story steeped in nostalgia, Norwegian Wood blends the music, the mood, and the ethos that were the sixties with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love.

Killing Commendatore: A novel Oct 9, 2018 by Haruki Murakami ,

When a thirty-something portrait painter is abandoned by his wife, he secludes himself in the mountain home of a world famous artist. One day, the young painter hears a noise from the attic, and upon investigation, he discovers a previously unseen painting. By unearthing this hidden work of art, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances; and to close it, he must undertake a perilous journey into a netherworld that only Haruki Murakami could conjure. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art, Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Vintage International) Jul 29, 2008 by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabri

While training for the New York City Marathon, Haruki Murakami decided to keep a journal of his progress. The result is a memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid recollections and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, here is a rich and revelatory work that elevates the human need for motion to an art form.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Vintage International) Jul 29, 2008 by Haruki Murakami , Philip Gabri

Across two parallel narratives, Murakami draws readers into a mind-bending universe in which Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters collide to dazzling effect. What emerges is a novel that is at once hilariously funny and a deeply serious meditation on the nature and uses of the mind.

Men Without Women: Stories May 9, 2017 by Haruki Murakami ,


Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are lovesick doctors, students, ex-boyfriends, actors, bartenders, and even Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, brought together to tell stories that speak to us all. In Men Without Women Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic, marked by the same wry humor and pathos that have defined his entire body of work.

A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel (Trilogy of the Rat Book 3) Sep 1, 2010 by Haruki Murakami ,

An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.

A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel (Trilogy of the Rat Book 3) Sep 1, 2010 by Haruki Murakami ,

In the tales that make up The Elephant Vanishes, the imaginative genius that has made Haruki Murakami an international superstar is on full display.

In these stories, a man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard. By turns haunting and hilarious, in The Elephant Vanishes Murakami crosses the border between separate realities—and comes back bearing remarkable treasures

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After Dark (Vintage International) May 8, 2007 by Haruki Murakami ,

Nineteen-year-old Mari is waiting out the night in an anonymous Denny’s when she meets a young man who insists he knows her older sister, thus setting her on an odyssey through the sleeping city. In the space of a single night, the lives of a diverse cast of Tokyo residents—models, prostitutes, mobsters, and musicians—collide in a world suspended between fantasy and reality. Utterly enchanting and infused with surrealism, After Dark is a thrilling account of the magical hours separating midnight from dawn.

South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (Vintage International) Aug 11, 2010 by Haruki Murakami

South of the Border, West of the Sun is the beguiling story of a past rekindled, and one of Haruki Murakami’s most touching novels.

Hajime has arrived at middle age with a loving family and an enviable career, yet he feels incomplete. When a childhood friend, now a beautiful woman, shows up with a secret from which she is unable to escape, the fault lines of doubt in Hajime’s quotidian existence begin to give way. Rich, mysterious, and quietly dazzling, in South of the Border, West of the Sun the simple arc of one man’s life becomes the exquisite literary terrain of Murakami’s remarkable genius.

Dance Dance Dance (Vintage International) Nov 17, 2010 by Haruki Murakami

Dance Dance Dance—a follow-up to A Wild Sheep Chase—is a tense, poignant, and often hilarious ride through Murakami’s Japan, a place where everything that is not up for sale is up for grabs.

As Murakami’s nameless protagonist searches for a mysteriously vanished girlfriend, he is plunged into a wind tunnel of sexual violence and metaphysical dread. In this propulsive novel, featuring a shabby but oracular Sheep Man, one of the most idiosyncratically brilliant writers at work today fuses together science fiction, the hardboiled thriller, and white-hot satire.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel (Vintage International) Aug 12, 2014 by Haruki Murakami

An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. Here Haruki Murakami—one of the most revered voices in literature today—gives us a story of love, friend­ship, and heartbreak for the ages.

Wind/Pinball: Two novels Aug 4, 2015 by Haruki Murakami

Wind/Pinball, a unique two-in-one volume, includes, on one side, Murakami’s first novel Hear the Wind Sing. When you flip the book over, you can read his second novel, Pinball, 1973. Each book has its own stunning cover.

In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels—Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball, 1973—that launched the career of one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.

These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age—the unnamed narrator and his friend the Rat—are stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism. They bear all the hallmarks of Murakami’s later books, and form the first two-thirds, with A Wild Sheep Chase, of the trilogy of the Rat. 

Widely available in English for the first time ever, newly translated, and featuring a new introduction by Murakami himself, Wind/Pinball gives us a fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings.

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Absolutely on Music: Conversations Nov 15, 2016 by Haruki Murakami

In Absolutely on Music, internationally Haruki Murakami sits down with his friend Seiji Ozawa, the revered former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of conversations on their shared passion: music. Over the course of two years, Murakami and Ozawa discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from Bartók to Mahler, and from pop-up orchestras to opera. They listen to and dissect recordings of some of their favorite performances, and Murakami questions Ozawa about his career conducting orchestras around the world. Culminating in Murakami’s ten-day visit to the banks of Lake Geneva to observe Ozawa’s retreat for young musicians, the book is interspersed with ruminations on record collecting, jazz clubs, orchestra halls, film scores, and much more. A deep reflection on the essential nature of both music and writing, Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Sputnik Sweetheart (Vintage International) May 22, 2001 by Haruki Murakami

Part romance, part detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart tells the story of a tangled triangle of uniquely unrequited love.

K is madly in love with his best friend, Sumire, but her devotion to a writerly life precludes her from any personal commitments. At least, that is, until she meets an older woman to whom she finds herself irresistibly drawn. When Sumire disappears from an island off the coast of Greece, K is solicited to join the search party—and finds himself drawn back into her world and beset by ominous visions. Subtle and haunting, Sputnik Sweetheart is a profound meditation on human longing.

Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (Vintage International) Aug 11, 2010 by Haruki Murakami

In this haunting work of journalistic investigation, Haruki Murakami tells the story of the horrific terrorist attack on Japanese soil that shook the entire world.
 
On a clear spring day in 1995, five members of a religious cult unleashed poison gas on the Tokyo subway system. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe, and in so doing lays bare the Japanese psyche. As he discerns the fundamental issues that led to the attack, Murakami paints a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere.