12 Problems Only Haruki Murakami Fans Will Understand

Turn up the jazz and pour yourself a whiskey.

Haruki Murakami is something of a literary rock star €“ his book launches are so sensational they're akin to movie premieres, championing sales well into the millions in his home country of Japan alone.

His breakout out novel was Norwegian Wood (named after the Beatles track of the same name). The novel was so popular in Japan that it catapulted Murakami into the realm of superstar, reportedly forcing him to flee the country due to dismay at his new-found fame. Since then, Murakami has found incredible success around the world - his books have been translated into more than fifty languages, and every year he's one of the favourites for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Murakami's books are extremely popular with young adults; many detail the mundane lives of twenty to thirty year olds, lives that list lazily along until suddenly they're interrupted by utter strangeness €“ an erotic phone call, a missing cat, a particularly long traffic jam €“ these are the conduits through which our protagonists bizarre journeys begin. Thus far Murakami has had thirteen novels translated into English, and several short story collections too. Throughout these books fans have picked up on certain staple traits, plot devices and characteristics that are not so much repetitive as familiar territory, marking the welcome return to the strange, magical world of Haruki Murakami.

Commonly found reading, sitting firmly in a seat at the cinema (bottle of water and a Freddo bar, please) or listening to the Mountain Goats.