Unravelling Haruki Murakami: A Look at The Author’s Best Works

Written: editor | April 19, 2023

Unraveling Haruki Murakami: A Look at the Author’s Best Works


This list will be a breath of fresh air for people who think they’ve read everything there is to read about Haruki Murakami. Some of these books are by one of the most famous authors working today, but you may not have heard of them. They are sure to keep you interested and keep you on the edge of your seat. So put on your best pair of glasses (or don’t! ), gather around these fire-lit pages, and let’s dive into this list together!

The Story of the Wind-Up Bird

People often say that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is one of Murakami’s best books. It shows Toru Okada’s trip. He and his wife end up living in an apartment building owned by an old man named Noboru Watanabe.

When Toru’s wife leaves him for another man and takes their son with her, the story begins. Toru then spends most of his time alone, drinking beer and listening to jazz music while he tries to figure out what happened in his life that got him to this point and what, if anything, he can do about it.

This book is also an interesting mix of fantasy and reality, with things like talking cats and everyday talks. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle stands out among Murakami’s other books because it gives readers something new while staying true to the style and voice of its author.

Kafka on the Shore by Franz Kafka

The book Kafka on the Shore has a lot going on in it. It’s about a boy who runs away from home and meets an odd old man who turns out to be his long-lost father. They go on a trip together, which helps Kafka figure out who he is and what he wants to do with his life. Through what these people go through in Japan during World War II (the author was born in 1949), the book looks at loss, love, and death.

Due to legal problems with its publisher, Kodansha Ltd., the book didn’t come out in English until 2005. It quickly became one of Haruki Murakami’s most famous books and won several awards, including Europe’s Best Translated Book Award for 2006/2007.

The End of the World and Hard-Boiled Wonderland

Haruki Murakami’s book Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is a strange one. It’s about a man who wakes up in a hospital without any memory of who he is or what happened to him. He leaves the hospital and finds himself in an alien world where people have animal heads and live underground because they can’t live above ground anymore because of pollution. The main character starts looking for someone named Lulu and finds her in a place called The Town Where Nothing Happens, which sounds like something out of a dream.

The book is a mix of fantasy and truth, making you wonder if these things could really happen. In fact, some parts feel like they came from your own mind and were put down on paper (or an e-reader). Since we don’t know much about the main character’s past yet, it’s also hard to tell which scenes are real and which are fantasies. We do know, though, that he had dreams about Lulu before waking up from his coma, so maybe those are also partly real.

The Elephant goes away.

This book’s title is a play on words, since it’s also about other things going missing.

In this book, there are a lot of elephants. One of them is the elephant in the room, which is that thing you don’t want to talk about, but everyone knows it’s there and has an opinion about it. In this case, it’s Japan’s colonial history with China and Korea. Murakami never directly mentions either country by name (he calls them “the East”), but he does make references throughout his work and in interviews after The Elephant Vanishes came out: “I am writing from within Japan, where both sides still exist.”

Norwegian Wood

In Norwegian Wood, the main character, Toru Watanabe, is a college student who is trying to come to terms with his past. The book takes place in Japan in the 1960s. It came out in 1987. It was turned into a movie by Tran Anh Hung in 2010. Kenichi Matsuyama played Toru Watanabe, and Rinko Kikuchi played Murakami’s ex-wife Naoko Nakamura.

A Runaway Sheep

A Wild Sheep Chase, Murakami’s first book, came out in 1982. It’s the story of a man named Masayuki who gets caught up in a secret when he gets a letter from someone saying he must find “a sheep with a white star on its back” or he’ll die. Soon, he meets a character named Miss Midori, and the two of them go on an adventure to try to figure out this puzzle and stay alive while their unknown enemies try to kill them.The book is one of Murakami’s more straightforward works. It doesn’t have any supernatural elements (unless you count sheep with magical powers) or existential thoughts about life like his later books. Instead, it just tells an interesting story about two people looking for something that may not even exist: the meaning of life.

Sweetheart Sputnik

Haruki Murakami’s book Sputnik Sweetheart came out in 1999. It’s the second book in the “Wind-Up Bird” series, and it’s about a man who loves two people at the same time.

In 2001, Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), who made the movie, turned the book into an animated movie.

Look at these wonderful works.

Haruki Murakami is one of the best-known writers in Japan, and his books are read all over the world.

His books have been translated into English and French, among other languages.

Murakami has won several awards for his books, including the Franz Kafka Prize (2006), the Jerusalem Prize (2009), and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award (2014).


If you’re looking for a good book to read, any of the ones above are great choices. All of them are different, make you think, and are fun to read. You will think about them for a long time after you finish them.