Men Without Women is a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami. There are 7 stories in this book capturing the emotions and lives of men who somehow find themselves alone in this world after their loved ones have departed.
“Losing one woman means losing all women”
This is my first book by Murakami and I picked this book without knowing anything about it. Though I am not a big fan of short stories I found myself hooked into this book. Murakami is a master storyteller and I felt the narrative was a kind of lyrical poetry. Adding to it the stirring emotions of love, romance, heartbreak, and loneliness, it just breaks your heart. There are some stories which I liked more than the other and there are some with rather abrupt endings. Since I have been fairly warned about the way Murakami brings conclusions to the stories, I wasn’t that surprised. There is a good touch of philosophy too in this book.
“Whether you want to or not. But the place you return to is always slightly different from the place you left. That’s the rule. It can never be exactly the same.”
The book also captures the pain and loneliness in the world for the people who have lost their loved ones and how hard some find it than others to cope with it. It will definitely imbibe a sense of empathy in you and you will try to look around the world in a much kinder way than you used to.
“I’ve finally experienced what the poet felt. The deep sense of loss after you’ve met the woman you love, have made love, then said goodbye. Like you’re suffocating. The same emotion hasn’t changed at all in a thousand years.”
Even though the book is a romantic genre, I found that all the stories are quite non-conventional and it was a breath of fresh air for me. As each story holds a different kind of charm and essence I would advise you to take a break in between 2 stories so that you can totally wrap your head around what happened in the current story and truly enjoy its essence. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves short stories or anyone who wants to read Murakami to get a hang of his writing style. This book is only 228 pages long and definitely a quick read.