Dance Dance Dance
So what’s it about then ? I only have a vague idea. Is it any good ? Oh yes. Very good. I liked this book a lot. The story made me smile. It made me feel very sad but every now and then Murakami lets a ray of light pass through the story.
The book begins with the narrator dreaming of The Dolphin Hotel. A hotel he had visited four years previously. He dreams of the hotel and of some one there crying for him. He thinks of the woman he spent time with at the Dolphin Hotel. An enigma answering to the name Kiki. He decides that he must go back to the Dolphin Hotel. Find Kiki again. Dance Dance Dance is at its most basic level a search for friendship, companionship and love. The narrator moves from one setting to the next befriending people, connecting and all the while searching for Kiki. The one he lost, the one he let get away. Just one of the many that he has lost and just as always convinced himself that it wasn’t important. He comes into contact with a psychic 13 year old girl, an old class mate from school who is now doomed to play doctors and teachers in day time soaps, a one armed poet and the sheep man who tells him to dance. Keep on dancing. Something he tries to do to the best of his understanding and ability.
The book is also a strong statement on the capitalist leanings of modern society. Go ahead and put everything on that expense account. From high class call girls to dinners to fees for chaperoning your daughter. Everything can be put on your expense account and everything can be written off. Still, for the narrator it becomes more and more difficult to write off the expenses of his life.
Murakami writes with such a laid back sense of style that it becomes almost impossible to put this book down. Murakami excels in creating set pieces with two of his characters. The interactions, the oddities of every day life as portrayed through his characters have a strange sense of magnetism. The narrator’s relationship with the receptionist at the Dolphin Hotel is the lynchpin of the book. The slow setting of terms and the formal intimacy that develops between them is beautifully written.
In the end, Dance Dance Dance is a story of love, friendship, missed opportunities and a longing for something better out of life. All told in an unbelievably imaginative style. A great story told beautifully.