Murakami’s peculiar writing style in “The Elephant Vanishes”

Reading “The Elephant Vanishes,” one thing I noticed was the major differences in writing and storytelling style between Murakami Haruki and George Saunders. Compared to Saunders’ style, which is very action-packed and transports the reader directly into his world, Murakami’s style tends to be slower, but in a very particular fashion. While he skips over entire months after the elephant vanishes (packet page 36), he focuses, with peculiar intensity, on the elephant-house dedication ceremony (packet page 34). 

Having read other work by Murakami, I noticed that this style is consistent throughout most of his writing. While this style does give some parts of his writing a “slower” feel, it actually gives the reader more insight into the stories he is trying to tell. Specifically, by showing some parts and omitting others from the narrator’s perspective, readers are better able to understand their perspective and opinions. As a result, I feel that I know and understand the narrator in “The Elephant Vanishes” better than I do Robin in “10th of December,” for example. However, in my opinion, George Saunders’ writing is more enjoyable due to its fast-paced, engrossing nature. 

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