“Men Without Women” by Haruki Murakami (Knopf, 2017)


One good thing fans of Haruki Murakami must really like is the worldwide bestselling author never really slows down or takes a break, but just keeps on writing and writing and writing. The other good thing is the two men who have translated all of his work – Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen – also like translating his work and continue to do so, and Knopf continues to publish his work. So generally readers can expect a new book of some sort every two to three years.

Murakami’s latest volume, Men Without Women, is a collection of seven short stories that all have a similar sense and feel – a vibe if you will. They all deal – as do most of Murakami’s works – with relationships between men and women and how varied and unique they can be.

“Drive My Car” is a story about a man who due to a case of glaucoma and a DUI must be driven around by a female chauffeur who is enigmatic in her own way, as he relates stories about his life as an actor and his wife’s extramarital affairs. In “Yesterday,” Kitaru wants his friend Tanimura to go on a date with Kitru’s girlfriend to learn more about this woman. “An Independent Organ” is a story about a man who has never fallen in love, but seeks out married and committed women for relationships, until he finally does fall in love. The “Scheherazade” of the next story is a woman sleeping with a man who never leaves his room, and each time after having sex relates an unusual tale. “Kino” is a man who after being cheated on, leaves his wife and opens up a bar and meets some interesting people, and a cat. “Samsa in Love” is a twist on Kaftka’s The Metamorphosis where the cockroach wakes up as a man. In the final tale, “Men Without Women,” an unnamed narrator relates stories of a woman he cared deeply for.

Each story in this collections rings true for classic Murakami. Fans will be happy; new readers will enjoy this first foray into the author’s works. Men Without Men is both engaging and delightful.

Originally written on July 23, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Men Without Women from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Advertisements

Ostium Mini Episode: “Nighttime Blues”

Jake has some introspective thoughts after his showdown with Brandon in Episode 7: Visitors, as he drives back to Ostium.

Written by Alex C. Telander.
Performed by Chris Fletcher.

Background music featured in this episode was by Shadows of the Snow, courtesy of the Free Music Archive.

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.

Ostium Mini Episode: “The Crinkle in the Wrapper”

In this mini episode, Monica has some introspective thoughts and contemplations while walking around Ostium.

Written and performed by Georgia Mackenzie

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page www.patreon.com/ostiumpodcast, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in one week.

Check out the Ostium Store

Ostiumstore

It’s official: the Ostium store is now open. In the store you’ll find a whole range of products related to everything Ostium, whether it’s cellphone covers, iPad cases, clocks, shirts, skirts, stickers, posters, bumper stickers, and so much more.

travelmugmugcellphone

To check out the Ostium store, click on the image above or follow this link.

And remember: tell your friends . . . and family . . . and random strangers on the street.

Ostium Mini Episode: “Save the Clock Tower”

Having recently arrived at this strange town called Ostium, Monica decides to go on a bit of an adventure and find out what exactly is going on with this whole clock tower thing. Does the clock wind up? Can she get it working again? Does it have a chime? And how exactly does one get to the the top of that clock tower?

Written by Alex C. Telander
Performed by Georgia Mackenzie

Background music by BG Subset, courtesy of the Free Music Archive.

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.

“The Furthest Station” by Ben Aaronovich (Subterranean Press, 2017)

Furthest Station
StarStarStarStar

The furthest station in question of this short novella refers to the last station on the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground, and the one located furthest from London. What’s piqued the interest of PC Grant and the Folly – officially known as the Metropolitan Police’s special assessment unit, which is essentially your Mulder and Scully: the people you bring in when the case involves something unsolved and what can only be classed as paranormal – are sightings of ghosts on the Underground.

Teaming up with Jaget Kumar of the British Transport Police, along with Toby the ghost hunting dog (one of Grant’s ongoing “experiments”) and his “wizard-in-training” teenage cousin, they meticulously work their way through the investigation: scouting as many of the Tube trains as they can during regular business hours when these ghosts have been sighted; drawing them in with magic, and Grant making a hypothesized deduction that there’s been a kidnapping. The question is who?

Often, these Subterranean Press novellas are really great, because they give fans a new albeit shorter book to enjoy before the next full-length one is released. And, alternatively, if you’re new to Ben Aaronovich and his particular brand of British urban fantasy, the Furthest Station is the perfect introduction, as it features all the main characters, an engaging story, and allows the reader to get sucked into the series and want to start at the beginning once they’re done.

Originally written on April 26, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Furthest Station from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Ostium Mini Episode: EMU #4 – The Beginning of the End

In the fourth installment of Enigmatic Mysteries of the Unknown, Dave is physically and emotionally reeling from the nuclear plant disaster. (For more info, check out Ostium Episode 4.) He also talks about Jake’s latest adventure passing through a door in Ostium.

Written and performed by Alex C. Telander.

Warning, this episode contains explicit language.

We’ve partnered with @Podchaser, a new website for podcast listeners to rate and review their favorite podcast episodes! Visit the website at beta.podchaser.com and review your favorite episodes from our show. Use the key “ostiumpodcast” to gain exclusive access. Only the first 100 listeners can join, so hurry over!

If you want more Ostium, why not become a patron on our Patreon page www.patreon.com/ostiumpodcast, where for just $2 a month you’ll get access to an exclusive brand new mini episode every two weeks (and this includes all through the offseason); and during the regular season of the show you’ll get access to new episodes a full week before everyone else. Alternatively, you could also make a one-time donation and help support Ostium on our website, www.ostiumpodcast.com.

And if you wouldn’t mind leaving Ostium a review on whatever app or program you use to listen to podcasts and that way people can see what you’re saying to convince them to listen to Ostium.

Thanks for listening and see you in two weeks.