The Sputnik Sweetheart

The Sputnik Sweetheart

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Combining the early, straightforward seductions ofNorwegian Wood and the complex mysteries ofThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, this new novel--his seventh translated into English--is Haruki Murakami at his most satisfying and representative best. The scenario is as simple as it is uncomfortable: a college student falls in love (once and for all, despite everything that transpires afterward) with a classmate whose devotion to Kerouac and an untidy writerly life precludes any personal commitments--until she meets a considerably older and far more sophisticated businesswoman. It is through this wormhole that she enters Murakami's surreal yet humane universe, to which she serves as guide both for us and for her frustrated suitor, now a teacher. In the course of her travels from parochial Japan through Europe and ultimately to an island off the coast of Greece, she disappears without a trace, leaving only lineaments of her fate: computer accounts of bizarre events and stories within stories. The teacher, summoned to assist in the search for her, experiences his own ominous, haunting visions, which lead him nowhere but home to Japan--and there, under the expanse of deep space and the still-orbiting Sputnik, he finally achieves a true understanding of his beloved. A love story, a missing-person story, a detective story--all enveloped in a philosophical mystery--and, finally, a profound meditation on human longing.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A Knopf, 2001.
ISBN: 9780375411694
Branch Call Number: MURA
Characteristics: 210p. 24cm.
Additional Contributors: Gabriel, J. Philip


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 10, 2021

Murakami has a magical way of capturing people and human emotions; his characters always have a surreal air about them, yet feel very relatable. The only downside to this particular edition is that the language feels clunky in the beginning, but that’s probably a result of the translator trying to be as close to the original as possible.

Aug 16, 2020

ended up being surprisingly good, actually. the story was so simple and concise to the point that reading it was like a breath of fresh air, safe from all the wildly intricate and complicated plots and added details that murakami often uses in his books. it was easy to empathize with the characters too.

Feb 18, 2020

I liked the book but pales by comparison with some of his other novels. I gave it a rating of 3.

Jul 17, 2019

One of my favorites from Murakami. Sputnik Sweetheart requires the reader to suspend some disbelief for its sake, but it's entirely worth it for anyone who enjoys a dive into the surreal.

Mar 27, 2019

The novel was an intriguing recount of Sumire's disappearance from the perspective of her best friend. The readers are given a lot of depths into the characters, but somehow they appear superficial - probably because there is no resolution or the absence of a transformation. It's not necessarily a bad thing since it allows one to predict the fate of these characters. K. K.'s thinking resembles a lot of mine. His encounter with Carrot at the end is somewhat a resolution to his doubts for a story with no ending.

Feb 19, 2019

This was a little too surreal, as opposed to sci-fi, for me, and I got confused a few times. But it was nevertheless a pleasure to read.


Add Age Suitability
Jan 10, 2021

martinarv thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Quote
Apr 17, 2015

"And the half that was left is the person you see here. I've felt this way for the longest time- that in a Ferris wheel in a small Swiss town, for a reason I can't explain, I was split in two forever. for all I know, this may have been some kind of transaction. Its' not like something was stolen away from me, because it all still exits, on the other side. Just a single mirror separates us from the other side. But I can never cross the boundary of that single pane of glass. Never."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Find it at CAPL

To Top