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Haruki Murakami: ‘You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light’ 10 Oct 7:01pm Haruki Murakami: ‘You have to go through the darkness before you get to the light’
His surreal stories are read by millions but the Japanese novelist is bemused by his celebrity. The eternal Nobel favourite reveals why his books appeal in times of chaos The day before we meet in Manhattan, a woman stopped Haruki Murakami in Central Park, where he had come for his late-morning run. “Excuse me,” she said, “but aren’t you a very famous Japanese novelist?” A faintly odd way of putting the question, but Murakami responded in his usual equable manner. “I said ‘No, really I’m just a writer. But still, it’s nice to meet you!’ And then we shook hands. When people stop me like that, I feel very strange, because I’m just an ordinary guy. I don’t really understand why people want to meet me.” It would be a mistake to interpret this as false modesty, but equally wrong to see it as genuine discomfort with fame: so far as it’s possible to tell, the 69-year-old Murakami neither relishes nor dislikes his global celebrity. His outlook, instead, is that of a curious if slightly bemused spectator – both of the surreal stories that emerge from his subconscious, and of the fact that they are devoured by readers in their millions, in Japanese and in translation. It’s surely no coincidence that the typical Murakami protagonist is a similarly detached observer: a placid, socially withdrawn and often nameless man in his mid-30s, who seems more intrigued than alarmed when an inexplicable phone call, or the search for a lost cat, leads him into a dreamlike parallel universe populated by exploding dogs, men in sheep costumes, enigmatic teenage girls and people with no faces.
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The Bisexual review – a comedy-drama that is neither funny nor dramatic 10 Oct 5:40pm The Bisexual review – a comedy-drama that is neither funny nor dramatic
Our gender-interrogating, sexually fluid society is thirsty for a taboo-breaking drama about sexuality – but this isn’t it Superficially, at least, a comedy-drama entitled The Bisexual (Channel 4) – about the trials and tribulations of a woman who comes out of a 10-year lesbian relationship and finds herself being drawn peniswards – is a comedy-drama whose time has come. As a society, we are interrogating gender, biology, queerness and the fluidity of all these things and more. Why, we are even learning to cope with a female Doctor Who! And, sex – or the promise of it with any combination of genitalia – always sells.
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Bloomberg HQ in London wins Riba architecture prize 10 Oct 3:51pm Bloomberg HQ in London wins Riba architecture prize
The Royal Institute of British Architects gives out the award every year to the UK's best new building.
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Viktoria Marinova: Arrest over Bulgarian journalist murder 10 Oct 2:02pm Updated Viktoria Marinova: Arrest over Bulgarian journalist murder
German police arrest a man over the murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova.
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Katie Price arrested on suspicion of drink-driving 10 Oct 1:01pm Updated Katie Price arrested on suspicion of drink-driving
Police found the former glamour model inside a damaged car stopped on a roadside in south-east London.
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James Gunn in discussions to write new Suicide Squad film 10 Oct 12:24pm James Gunn in discussions to write new Suicide Squad film
The director was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 in July for tweets sent 10 years ago.
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BBC Parliament programmes saved - but the BBC warns of further cuts 10 Oct 12:12pm Updated BBC Parliament programmes saved - but the BBC warns of further cuts
Plans to axe programmes on BBC Parliament are shelved, but the BBC warns of further cuts to come.
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Bad Times at the El Royale review – twistily kitsch hard-boiled thriller 10 Oct 10:00am Bad Times at the El Royale review – twistily kitsch hard-boiled thriller
Jeff Bridges and Jon Hamm are among the secretive clientele checking in to an equally mysterious 60s motel Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale is a single-location ensemble thriller with flourishes of brutal violence: prolix and theatrical in the manner of Tarantino, complete with flashbacks, rewinds and POV shifts. Like a lot of Goddard’s work – from
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Rihanna and other celebs urging fans to register to vote 10 Oct 9:14am Updated Rihanna and other celebs urging fans to register to vote
Celebrities have been getting political on social media ahead of the US mid term elections in November.
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Dutch museums discover 170 artworks stolen by Nazis 10 Oct 8:15am Dutch museums discover 170 artworks stolen by Nazis
Forty-two institutions have identified items that were taken from Jewish families A project to return artworks stolen from Jewish families by the Nazi regime and its collaborators has discovered 170 such pieces in Dutch museums, including a painting in the royal collection. Of the country’s major collections, only the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has yet to complete its search, despite a team of five experts working on it daily since 2012.
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Netflix: The signs you might need a break from the site 10 Oct 8:07am Netflix: The signs you might need a break from the site
A handy guide on the telltale clues you might need a break from the streaming service.
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Mandy review – fabulously ferocious Nicolas Cage revenge horror 10 Oct 8:00am Mandy review – fabulously ferocious Nicolas Cage revenge horror
Cage is on magnificent, mind-boggling form as a chainsaw-wielding lumberjack hunting the gang who invaded his home Now I need someone to kiss me and stop me from shaking. Mandy, starring
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Martin Freeman break-up advert banned 10 Oct 7:52am Martin Freeman break-up advert banned
The Advertising Standards Authority says the advert implied customers could leave their contract any time.
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Red Dead Redemption 2: three hours with the most anticipated game of the year 10 Oct 7:42am Red Dead Redemption 2: three hours with the most anticipated game of the year
Rockstar Games’ upcoming wild west adventure is a step forward for virtual world realism – and a reminder that cowboys, too, had to face up to modernity Left to my own devices with Red Dead Redemption 2 for a few hours, I was expecting to see sweeping open plains interrupted by mesas, dusty frontier towns with swing-door saloons and wary inhabitants, and a gang of crusty outlaws sharing stories around a campfire then riding through the woods on their way to a shootout. This astounding virtual wild west models itself on the classic Hollywood image of that time, the same fantasy as depicted in
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Taylor Swift breaks all-time American Music Awards record 10 Oct 7:05am Taylor Swift breaks all-time American Music Awards record
The pop star wins four trophies at the American Music Awards, and again urges fans to vote.
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A Star Is Born: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper film not in Vue cinemas 10 Oct 6:22am A Star Is Born: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper film not in Vue cinemas
Warner Bros. and Vue say they are working hard to come to an agreement.
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Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth review – good grammar, with jokes 10 Oct 5:00am Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth review – good grammar, with jokes
The former Conservative MP has written an entertaining guide to how to write properly, with an anecdote about the Queen’s loo breaks thrown inIt beggars belief today, but
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Ruby Rose seen in first Batwoman picture 10 Oct 4:48am Ruby Rose seen in first Batwoman picture
The Australian star is seen in her superhero costume as filming begins on her introductory episodes.
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Giorgio Moroder announces first ever live tour at 78 10 Oct 4:46am Giorgio Moroder announces first ever live tour at 78
The synthpop pioneer behind I Feel Love will play four UK dates in April After a long career in which he revolutionised the world of pop, Italian producer Giorgio Moroder is, at 78, embarking on his first live tour. He will play across Europe, including four dates in the UK in Birmingham, London, Glasgow and Manchester from 1-5 April 2019, performing on piano, vocoder and synths alongside a live band and vocalists. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, 12 October at 9am on the website
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Made up places and costly mistakes: a history of unfortunate maps – in pictures 10 Oct 4:00am Made up places and costly mistakes: a history of unfortunate maps – in pictures
For all their inaccuracies, falsifications and fantasies, these cartographic antiques tell us a great deal about their times
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Can Mad Men’s Matt Weiner escape the dreaded ’second show syndrome’? 10 Oct 4:00am Can Mad Men’s Matt Weiner escape the dreaded ’second show syndrome’?
The creator of Mad Men returns with his Amazon series, The Romanoffs, but recent history is littered with showrunners who struggled the second time round Next week, one of the big beasts of TV drama’s box-set golden age makes his comeback. Matthew Weiner, fastidious overlord of Mad Men, is the man behind
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French Exit by Patrick DeWitt review – eccentric pleasures 10 Oct 4:00am French Exit by Patrick DeWitt review – eccentric pleasures
A dysfunctional mother-son duo flee to Paris in a dazzling tragicomedy from the author of The Sisters Brothers Patrick deWitt likes to send his characters on quests: a contract killing in his picaresque gold-rush western
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Brexiters like realism, remainers prefer impressionist art, study finds 10 Oct 3:14am Brexiters like realism, remainers prefer impressionist art, study finds
Experts say findings reflect difference between social conservatives and liberals Brexit supporters are more likely than remainers to prefer artworks that realistically depict their subjects to more impressionistic paintings, according to a study from three Oxford University sociologists. The researchers surveyed thousands of British voters, asking them to pick their favourite painting from four pairs of artworks – each containing one realistic image – from artists including Thomas Kinkade and Michael Klein, and one impressionist work from artists such as Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko.
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Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif review – a thrilling satire of US foreign policy 10 Oct 2:30am Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif review – a thrilling satire of US foreign policy
The ugliness of war is brilliantly captured in this wildly original novel narrated by a teenage refugee and a philosopher-dog “When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.” So says John Yossarian, the pilot protagonist of Joseph Heller’s
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Becky Hill performs in street after gig cancelled 10 Oct 2:14am Becky Hill performs in street after gig cancelled
Becky Hill sings outside the Manchester Academy after a burst water pipe cancels her show.
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