All Shook-Up

Katagiri is a 40-year-old loan collector who gets no respect. Until a human-size frog, over green tea in Katagiri's Tokyo apartment, exhorts him to engage in mortal combat with a gigantic, destructive worm kilometers beneath the city center. Katagiri doesn't think he has it in him. The frog persuades him otherwise.

So begins a tale in Haruki Murakami's After the Quake, a collection of six stories set in Japan immediately following the 1995 earthquake that ravaged the city of Kobe and gave a psychic jolt to the entire nation. In Murakami's novels, including A Wild Sheep Chase and...

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