The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories that cover a wide range of topics. All have a very friendly, conversational tone that makes reading it quite a joy. I had read one Murakami short story before ("On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning") and admittedly, I loved that experience. The honest delivery of the lines made me relate with the narrative so well, I could not fathom ever liking something that way again.
I was wrong.
The story entitled, "The Silence" deals with a resharing about the events that transpired when Ozawa tells the narrator (and in effect, us readers) about the time when he had punched someone and how it lead to him being shunned by people in his childhood. Simple yet brutally honest, the story paints the picture of a young man who simply wanted to do his best, is wronged and maligned by a classmate with a persuasive ability to lie. I found myself relating so much to wanting to face the person who did me wrong and spread lies about me and then later on, like Ozawa, realized that maybe just maybe the Aoki in my life is just as sad:
"To think that this fool would be eternally incapable of knowing true happiness, true pride. That there existed creatures so lacking in human depth."
I found myself resonating to what Ozawa felt about the many others who so willingly embraced Aoki's lies as facts, without bothering to know the truth or to search for the silver of possibility that Aoki's words failed to capture everything right. I found myself smiling and seeing how this short story captured so much of what I had gone through some time ago, and what I had to seemingly face in private. True, I had my ranting and my blog posts which tried to channel out the anger and frustration I had of the events. But unlike Ozawa, I never taken the chance to literally confront the person face-to-face and deliver what he duly deserves.
The story made me feel better. Made me realize others did understand how frustrating it can get. Made me realize there wasn't anything wrong with having this inner true pride.
Now at the last few pages of The Elephant Vanishes, I can only wonder what book will I start on next? Is it time to dive into Terry Pratchett and hopefully survive all the puns his stories tend to contain (Trust me, I loved Piers Anthony's Xanth novels but I can only take so much of it at a time). Maybe even take a different direction and try Yann Martel's Life of Pi or finally try Neil Gaiman's American Gods (Yes, I have NOT read it, would you believe it?)
So much to look forward to in this life with Rocky.
Nothing can get better than this.