Looking in his litter I saw he had nothing out of the ordinary. An empty tin of soup, egg shells, kitchen paper, a human finger and some chicken bones. It was quite unusual for the contents to be so usual yet I was absorbed by what he had thrown away. Something so plain was so amazing when it was him. The Elephant Vanishes is another plain, slow, yet truly spectacular collection of short stories from Haruki Murakami.
Mowing lawns, walking past a beautiful girl, robbing a MacDonald s of Big Macs, a dancing dwarf. These are some of the story points through the collection, each dealt with in a casual yet fascinating way. Nothing huge happens in most of the stories, just a conversation between two characters, The weirder topics come across as something you’d expect to happen on a daily basis as the characters take them on with little surprise and the regular topics are full of little tangents, forever interesting, forever bizarre. The description is easy to visualise with the simple descriptions, packed with more depth and beauty than a page of fancy words could ever hope to achieve.
The short stories are hands down some of the best I’ve read, each offering something either saddening, interesting or strange, all full of heart and beauty. Seeing a man’s past of bakery robbings come to fruition once more is a moment which has you chuckling while feeling a touch of melancholy. Meanwhile we have the story of a lazy kind of guy who doesn’t approve of his sisters new boyfriend. Starting off as featuring the least likable protagonist has a stunning change which left me in silence hours after. Quite simply, The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories which burrow deep into the mind and play around with your emotions as it sees fit. The minute the book ended I was deeply distressed. I was like that with A Wild Sheep Chase too, Murakami brings you in bored, but leaves you feeling hollow that there is no more.