This is a short story about a waitress who has to serve dinner to the reclusive owner of the restaurant where she works and was written to celebrate Murakami’s 70th birthday.
At just over 40 pages it can read in the time taken to eat a slice of birthday cake. It’s a strange little tale, abstract as the names of the characters aren’t revealed and with a hint of magic to it.
It has the hint of a modern fairy tale to it, the story ending with a vaugeness that allows the reader to interpret it in their own way.
The difficulty with reviewing such a short story is that there is the potential to simple re-tell the tale and thereby spoil the book for any potential audience.
There is a craft to short story writing, setting the scene, creating character connections and telling the narrative arc in a limited number of words. Here the characters could be imagined, the scene too. As said above, there was some distance to those characters, given they are not named and the limited information about them doesn’t really allow the reader to get a true sense of them. That said it may not be necessary that they do, given this is a short story.
An enjoyable enough tale, one to pass 10 minutes or so with.