Book Review: Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

This edition published by Vintage in 2002

229 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

A mystery story about love, the cosmos and other fictional universes

Sumire is in love with a woman seventeen years her senior. But whereas Miu is glamorous and successful, Sumire is an aspiring writer who dresses in an oversized second-hand coat and heavy boots like a character in a Kerouac novel.

Sumire spends hours on the phone talking to her best friend K about the big questions in life: what is sexual desire, and should she ever tell Miu how she feels for her? Meanwhile K wonders whether he should confess his own unrequited love for Sumire.

Then, a desperate Miu calls from a small Greek island: Sumire has mysteriously vanished…

My Review:

Please excuse the blunt gif below:

Look, don’t get me wrong, I adore Murakami. I buddy read this with a close friend who loves him too, we were mutually excited for this, having pretty much gone crazy in the best way after Murakami’s Kafka on The Shore (which we also read together), and the 1Q84 trilogy, which we loved. Might I add we were both traumatised in the mostly best way after The Strange Library.

This book though, okay, it made us laugh in the most random ways, and never will I not see a carrot or cucumber the same way. And I loved Sumiere, which I thought the book should’ve been ALL about.

The thing is, it wasn’t. It was so confusing! And not in the amazing way some of Murakami’s other books have been, but this left both myself and my friend confused. I can’t even fathom what I read. It made no sense! Nothing connected together, and what happened in this book made NONE OF THE SENSE.

Happy reading 🙂


  1. I completely understand! This novel left me confused, more so than his other novels. The ending especially left somewhat of a whole in me. Do you usually like to analyze his novels? Is it the analyzation part that gets you confused or what happened in the plot in general?

    Liked by 2 people

      • (SPOILER to those who hasn’t read it)

        Hey! So I did reread Sputnik Sweetheart and I finished it. (I can’t believe I actually did in a short span of time, and with my hectic schedule to top it off). But I think you’re right about the first half not matching up with the last half. I think it was supposed to be that way. In the book, Murakami reveals that there was two worlds, one side and the other side. I think that the first half occurred in one world, and with the incident in Greece being the transition part, the last half occurred in the other world. So do you remember how the narrator was following some Greek music to the top of a mountain? I think that was when he himself crossed over to the other side. If you think about it this way, the incidents that happened in the end totally makes sense! Carrot’s strange shoplifting tendencies, the security guard telling him there was something off about him, Miu not contacting him, Sumire calling him from a telephone booth! Everything had changed and I think it’s because he’s gone through that door on the other side.

        Anyways, that’s how I analyzed it. What do you think?

        Liked by 2 people

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