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Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Kafka on the Shore"

by Haruki Murakami, 2002--original, 2005--this translation, 436p, rating=5

Another mind bender of a book.  The first half was incredible!!  I fell out of my seat and rolled in laughter when I got to page 240 (now don't peek!!).  I tell ya, Mr. Murakami does not suffer from lack of imagination when he wrote this book!  I found my jaw dropping and was in complete joy at turning from one page to the next.  Moreover, the character developments were amazing.  Also, the dream/reality sequence was spell bounding.  It was a roller coaster riddle of a ride!!  Truly an enjoyable read.  I think I might have found myself a new favorite author. =]

If you like Greek mythology (or maybe paranormal fiction) then I think you will like this book.

Book's synopsis:
"This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader.  A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters:  a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.  Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events.  Cat and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky.  There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a ridddle--yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own."
My quote-ables:
"In traveling, a companion, in life, compassion." pg 21.
"...where there's no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise." pg 122.
"It's like Tolstoy said.  Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story." pg 145.
"Actually what I'm doing is shifting the analogy, ... One of the most effective methods of argument, according to Aristotle." pg 164.
"...asking a question is embarrassing for a moment, but not asking is embarrassing for a lifetime." pg 235.


  1. I should read this book and give him a second chance. I read the wind-up bird chronicle and it was too much for me. I have read good reviews about this one!!! Thanks.

  2. I think this might be a good example of "don't judge a book by it's cover". The cover looks SO strange to me. I would automatically label it as not my kind of book. Thanks for the head's up on this. :)

  3. I don't know that I've rolled off my seat with laughter; I will definitely have to check this out. I can already tell it's funny if it has a ghostlike-pimp in it. How cool. I might add this to my Christmas wish list:)
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

  4. Wow, I did actually read this book in my motherlanguage before; yet I didn't find it that stunningly funny. Perhaps a lot of puns get lost because of the translation. But I've got to admit that the protagonist is a little weirdo x ) Shall give this a second chance.

  5. I didn't care for the cover either but read it for a book group. The book was not overall the normal kind of funny (that KFC just surprised me and threw me off for a loop)..more a soooo out there kind of funny. Probably timing of the read too, I was vulnerable or something. :)
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to write a comment.


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