AFTER THE QUAKE
The economy was booming. People had more money than they knew what to do with. And then the earthquake struck. Komura's wife follows the TV reports from morning to night: images of flames, smoke, buildings turned to rubble, fires everywhere. Pure hell. For the characters in Murakami's latest short-story collection, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent 30 years hating one man who destroyed her chances of having children. Did her desifor revenge cause the earthquake? Junpei's estranged parents live in Kobe. Should he contact them? Four-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her and everyone else inside a little box. Unappreciated and unpromoted, Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. "When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes," says Frog. "And right now he is very, very angry."