Feb 042016
 

Liquorature #062 – “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” (Haruki Murakami)Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Date:  March, 2014

Host:  Lorenzo

Whisky:  NA

 

And then the wheels fell off.

It was almost enough to bring a tear to my eye.  While I can look back fondly now through rose-colored glasses, taking something positive out of each of our past events, there was a cancer that had grown in the club.  A dark presence of malaise.  I wouldn’t say interest had flagged, but there seemed to be less love shown toward what we had painstakingly built up over the years.

It became harder and harder to keep conversations on track.  One or two individuals would engage in side conversations directly over (and louder than) others discussing the book.  Constant late arrivals and early exits.  An increased frequency of no-shows with little or no notice.  And a voice among us that brought a constant negativity to the table, bordering on belligerent at times.  Frustrating and derailing at all times.

I can’t now recall what the catalyst was, but halfway through reading Lorenzo’s pick for March, Murakami’s ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’, I’d had enough.  I pulled the plug.  And Liquorature died.

I was pretty forthright about what was going wrong.  I had some pleas to carry on, but the bitter taste in my mouth could only be washed away by the malts we drank for so long.  I told the guys that I had no idea what the future might bring, but as if now…it was over.

Needless to say we never did gather to discuss this book.  Most never finished, as far as I am aware.  Those that did expressed sentiments straddling the line between confusion and hostility.  Perhaps it’s best we didn’t gather on this one.  Someone (ahem…Lorenzo) probably would have died.  Murakami’s ‘1Q84’ threw us for a loop two years prior, but if that was a mindfuck this was a mindfuck while on acid.  In hindsight…some of this one was ok.  Mostly it was literary masturbation.  Hentai-style.

R.I.P., Liquorature.  You were loved.

 

– Curt

Mar 052014
 

Bird Chronicle

This month’s selection: “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”, by Haruki Murakami.

A couple years back we tackled another of Murakami’s books, “1Q84”, and were all somewhat blown away.  The man has a voice and vision unlike anything I’ve ever read. 

As we speak, I’m on page 101 (of 607) and wish I could simply curl up with this book and a dram of old BenRiach in front of the fire.  Alas…work keeps getting in the way.

If you haven’t read Murakami, let me offer up highest recommendations.

– Curt 

Aug 252013
 

Liquorature Gathering #039 – “1Q84” (Haruki Murakami)1Q84

Date:  April, 2012

Host:  Chris

Whisky:  Amrut Portonova, Tomintoul 12 Oloroso, Bowmore Tempest Batch 3

Rum:  Mekong

 

Oh, man, am I behind in these things.  Worse still…I’m about to start knocking them off out of order.  As inspiration strikes…not as desperation demands.  Apologies to those faithful readers (all two of you) who have been anxiously awaiting word on what the Literate Gang has been up to.

This evening, under the guiding hand of our host, Chris, turned into quite a ‘do’.  For starters, Chris’s mate Lorenzo joined us this eve as one of our Occasional Travelers.  Always fun to have the injection of a new perspective and the associated pressure to perform.  Come on…of course we wanna show off our little enterprise as something rather more than the pedestrian tripe that most of the populace find themselves surrounded by.  Check the egos?  Bah!

Days earlier Chris got hold of me looking for a bit of help picking a few malts to offer up.  Our little man-date took us to Willow Park Wines & Spirits, where we spent the better part of half an hour shuffling up and down the looooooong wall of whisky and weighing this against that.  Credit all to Chris, I was only there providing some background on some of the malts he was less familiar with.  In the end he went with a Tomintoul 12 Oloroso, a Bowmore Tempest (for those dirty peaters in our midst) and the absolutely stunning Amrut Portonova.  This last was a showstopper.  Everyone in attendance was bowled over by this one.  An absolutely mind-melting bucket of rich and luscious fruit notes and exotic spices.  Needless to say, even at ~60% abv, this was the first to go.  The others…well…not long behind.

And for those who needed still a little more sweetness than that offered up by the Portonova and Tom12?  A rum by the handle of Mekong.  I’ll let Lance speak to this one, as to be fair…I steered clear.  (Why reach for rum with an Amrut this great at the ready?)

Though I don’t remember being too uncomfortable, the heat in Chris’s place must have been stifling.  The rate of evaporation on the whiskies was simply astounding.  In fact, I think we were desert dry by the evening’s end.  Always the magnanimous host, Chris pulled out a couple from his personal stores.  A 21 year old Glenfarclas ended up being a brilliant nightcap.

And as to the book?

A whole helluva pile of fun really.  Though maybe not in the conventional sense.  Damn!  What a cheeky little tale this was.  I simply refuse to try to dumb it down for you here in a few words or less.  Personally, I’ll go on a limb here and highly recommend this one.  I can promise that even if you don’t like it, per se, you’ll certainly not have read anything even remotely similar to this one.  1Q84 was our first go at a Japanese author, though hopefully not our last.  It certainly took us into an immersive new world that seemed completely at odds with our own, and the surreal aspect kept a few of us tottering between adoration and utter what-the-f*ck?

Interestingly enough, Lorenzo is a huge Murakami fan.  If Chris was at all fence-sitting as to whether or not to invite his mate to join us, this must have been the icing on the cake.  Lorenzo’s insight and input this eve were invaluable and absolutely welcome.  And what does one do when the night wears on into the small hours?  Why, get a little shut eye, of course.  Lorenzo’s Houdini act and subsequent catnap-atop-the-washing machine will go down in the annals as one of Liquorature’s all time funniest happenings.

All in all…one of my favorite gatherings to date.

The randoms:

“I clearly thought she wanted me” … “I’d like to shake your head” … intel-lush-uals … “I want to sleep with her actually” … napping on the washer and dryer … “and suddenly…a dog explodes!” … “yep!  I’m here”…Lorenzo sitting in.

 

 

 

– Curt