Across the Universe

Photo of bluish-black space with tiny dots of stars
by Kai Pilger/Unsplash

Recently I listened to the audio version of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, which was good but I liked The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle better, and in which the Beatles song triggers memories for the main character — Toru Watanabe — of when he was a young man in the 1960s, so the book is a coming-of-age story with cool music references, and triple which it sparked the idea of me possibly writing a book titled Across the Universe, because I’ve been really enjoying that Beatles song recently, and the sci-fi book could be about a team of astronauts on a deep-space mission, and much of the plot could involve the relationships among the diverse crew, since they’re stuck in a spaceship with limited space (the only opportunity of getting a break: space walks, which of course are dangerous yet would increase plot drama), and given that everyone has different attitudes the astronauts don’t always agree or get along (more drama!), but still they must focus on their mission; however, the situation raises the chance of making puns on relationship and companionship, which readers might think is clever in the first mention of the words but would grow tired if they are used too frequently, so no more than one instance per chapter, adding sprinklings of characters saying “I just need my space” to play on another corny pun, but again I would caution my potential self writing this potential book to not overdo the puns, because they would become monotonous — which could symbolize the monotony of flying through space, all that darkness broken by pinpricks of starlight, and readers might think, This book is so gosh-darn boring, there needs to be some aliens swooping in and a majestic battle commencing between the ships and maybe one crew boarding the other ship and the two crews engaging in hand-to-tentacle combat, and I’d rather not risk that potential thought in a potential reader, so maybe the book is not a great idea.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

15 thoughts on “Across the Universe

    1. I didn’t realize a movie had been made of it. There’s so much emotional depth of the characters in the novel, I wonder how it would translate to a movie. As far as Murakami goes, I have yet to be disappointed in his stories — he’s a wonderful storyteller.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve heard of Murakami, but haven’t read any of his work. Maybe it’s time.
    And concerning your story idea, a lot of mine go in the mental trash heap before a word being written. As you know, one has to write for oneself, but also keep in mind if his words will engage a potential reader. A balancing act there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well said about story ideas… I usually make a note of them, but don’t get around to following up and crafting a story — as other stories grab my interest more. As for Murakami, a nice way to get your feet wet is through his short stories. Several are on The New Yorker’s website. And on the podcast LeVar Burton Reads, LeVar does a fantastic job reading “The Second Bakery Attack.”

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      1. I have Murakami’s novel “1Q84”—recommended to me by a friend—but haven’t tacked it yet. Have you read it?
        I’ll check out his work on The New Yorker’s site and LeVar’s podcast. Thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I haven’t read that one yet… since it’s such a big book, I’m waiting until I have more energy and focus to start it. In the meantime, I’ll read his shorter books 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t approached 1Q84 yet, but I would like to someday read it. Murakami is such a good writer for drawing me into the world of his stories. I aspire to be able to do that someday.


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