Last night, Elliott Bay Book Company hosted a midnight sale for the new Haruki Murakami novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. They had a costume party and snacks and a trivia contest and they raffled off almost a hundred autographed copies of the new novel for customers who pre-ordered the book. They also gave away masks of Murakami's face with the eyes cut out for people to wear. I spent a good portion of the night walking around the bookstore, finding new eyes for Murakami. (I've been told that one Elliott Bay staffer now owns a bag full of Murakami eyes, which is certainly not creepy at all.)
Seeing over a hundred people come out to celebrate the publication date of a new book that was not about a young British wizard was a whole lot of fun, and it was a reminder that Haruki Murakami can claim a global celebrity that no other novelist can approach. He's got to be one of the most popular novelists alive today. And so I'm wondering: Among you five Slog readers that still read fiction, what's your favorite Murakami novel? I'm sticking to novels only, much as I love Underground and some of his short stories, because it seems unfair to pit one form against another. And I'm leaving his first two novels off the list because they have yet to be widely released in America (though I hear that may be about to change.) You can complain about my decision-making process in the comments.