In the latest issue of The Paris Review, Haruki Murakami talks with John Wray about the influence of crime fiction and Russian writers on his writing. Revealing that Ross MacDonald’s The Name Is Archer was the first book he read in English, Murakami says:
I learned a lot of things from those books. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. At the same time I also loved to read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Those books are also page-turners; they’re very long, but I couldn’t stop reading. So for me it’s the same thing, Dostoevsky and Raymond Chandler. Even now, my ideal for writing fiction is to put Dostoevsky and Chandler together in one book. That’s my goal.
He also tosses off these great lines: “The good thing about writing books is that you can dream while you are awake. If it’s a real dream, you cannot control it.”