Katagiri found a giant frog waiting for him in his apartment. It was powerfully built, standing over six feet tall on its hind legs. A skinny little man no more than five-foot-three, Katagiri was overwhelmed by the frog's imposing bulk.
"Call me 'Frog'," said the frog in a clear, strong voice.
Haruki Murakami's After the Quake is a collection of six short stories, some more absurd and bizarre than others. Revengeful ex-wives travelling in Thailand, middle-aged runaways building driftwood bonfires on empty beaches, a giant superfrog in a Tokyo apartment, planning to save the city from a massive earthquake. All the stories are somehow linked by the massive Kobe earthquake that shook Japan in 1995.
Reading these stories is like becoming immersed in a completely different, yet always strangely familiar world. A world that is intriguing, savoury and wonderfully disturbing, but has a certain quality that makes even the mundane seem entertaining and imaginative. A harukimurakami-ish world. :)
Haruki Murakami: After the Quake. Vintage. 2003. 132 pages.
Originally published in Japanese as Kami no kodomo-tachi wa mina odoru
Translated by Jay Rubin
Wikipedia: After the Quake
NY Times review: "A Shock to the System"