by Luciana Leitão

I have to start by acknowledging this is by far not one of Haruki Murakami’s best books. Still, despite the parenthesis, I appreciated the language — which is great as always — and I admit it is funny. All in all, The Bakery Attack and The Second Bakery Attack are still worth to read, even though probably more suited to a youngster.

It is a cute little book with two short stories. It is a tale about a couple who wakes up hungry and realises, after talking about the past, the only way to cure the hunger is through robbing a bakery — or, the best possible option at a late hour, a McDonald’s. Instead of bread, the couple steals burgers because they are hungry, while being convinced by the staff to steal money from the cashier. “We only steal bread,” the wife said.

The stories are a bit surreal, as you keep moving forward and waiting for something entirely different to happen. Surreal and funny. Yet, I have to say I felt something was missing, as if the reasons behind the irony and the jokes did not really exist, and I was merely overthinking it, eager to find some substance. That’s not necessarily bad, as maybe it means it is not self-evident. The other way to put it is: this is just a crazy little story, without much substance.

Still, only Murakami can know the answer to my doubts. The illustrations are very good though, and well worth to look at.