Summary of “22 Best Haruki Murakami Books, Ranked”

On the occasion of today’s American release of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, Killing Commendatore, below is a loosely ranked list of every Murakami book published in the U.S. – the classic, the recommended, books for diehard fans, and those we’d throw down one of his deep, dark wells.
Norwegian WoodThis is the book that transformed Murakami from Japanese success to international phenomenon.
In soft, spare prose, Murakami juxtaposes Naoko’s life inside a rural mental-health clinic with Toru’s languid days, loving her from afar while falling for another woman.
It’s a defining love story of the twentieth century, proof that Murakami is at least as effective without his surrealist shtick, if not more so.
One of his own characters, in “The Widow,” nails what makes Murakami tick: “Don’t try so hard to be the penetrating observer. Writing is, after all, a makeshift thing.”
South of the Border, West of the SunWhen Murakami drops the quirk and sticks to classic forms, he can plumb deeper into the pervasive oddity of society than he does depicting vast underground societies or talking cats.
One piece stars a narrator named Haruki Murakami, another a man who eats only spaghetti for a year, and still another a night watchman whose reflection becomes a different person.
What follows hovers between the Murakami of the real and the Murakami of the imagined, and it never quite finds its own voice.

The orginal article.