The Elephant Vanishes

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

A dizzying short story collection that displays Murakami’s genius for uncovering the surreal in the everyday, the extraordinary within the ordinary

*Featuring the story ‘Barn Burning’, the inspiration behind the Palme d’Or nominated film Burning*

When a man’s favourite elephant vanishes, the balance of his whole life is subtly upset. A couple’s midnight hunger pangs drive them to hold up a McDonald’s. A woman finds she is irresistible to a small green monster that burrows through her front garden. An insomniac wife wakes up in a twilight world of semi-consciousness in which anything seems possible – even death.

In every one of these stories Murakami makes a determined assault on the normal.

© Haruki Murakami 1993 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Critics Review

  • How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration

    Independent on Sunday
  • Enchanting…intriguing… All of these tales have a wonderfully surreal quality and a hip, witty tone

    Wall Street Journal
  • All the stories take place in parallel worlds not so much remote from ordinary life as hidden within its surfaces: secret alleys that afford unexpected – and unsettling – views

    New York Times
  • Like the best thriller fiction, it nags you with the sensation that Something Nasty is about to happen

    Sunday Times
  • Most collections of short stories work by the interplay of different voices. This one offers the more satisfying rewards of a novel: unity of tone and a richness of recurring detail that creates its own texture: spaghetti, lawns, hamburgers, beer-drinking, kid sisters, Sunday afternoons, a man’s name

    Independent

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