This book was intense. It really got me in and had me talking out loud to the characters (and even covering my eyes at one stage - not that that is much help with an audio book). Very few books make me stop doing jobs and sit down and focus on listening; this was one of them.
This novel is hard to quantify but it is up there amongst my " memorable" list. I am familiar with Mr Murakami's work and a few of his contemporaries so the context, the mode of thinking towards the modern world and modern attitudes in Japan are not mysterious, per se, to me. Mind you I did feel reassured about the author's well being when I read his more accessible little book on running. The peculiarly Japanese take on magical realism, if a label helps, does not seem to have the universality of say, Isabel Allende or Franz Kafka or the kindness and humanity we might be more familiar with, but we can "get it" if we listen carefully. Sean Barrett and Mr Le Souef et al do an amazing job with the narration. Really.
The old, cat whisperer character and trans gender hero will live forever in my imagination thanks to the insightful delivery by these voice actors.
In spite of my leanings towards affection for a plot, I have no problems with the strange but wonderful meanderings in this novel. There is no inexorable conclusion. Characters learn and become so we are on a journey too..but it isn't comfortable.
Interestingly I do not feel as though this novel will ever end. Like any existential body of ideas one is never quite sure where it really all began, never certain of where one has been and almost definitely each event has a very ambiguous end. Perhaps there are endless groups of children on a mushroom picking field trip or various American iconic product personages conducting tours around various cities in the world? I am certain there will be no end to the young people looking for answers, old people still searching and people who are kind enough to notice and to participate.
As many before me have acknowledged, Sean Barrett's cat whisperer is of superlative quality and a mainstay of the authentic feel of the translation and a tour de force in characterisation. The truck driver, although a little weak in the context of the novel, is given sufficient substance by the actor to just get us on board.Mr Le Sueur lends a cool counter point to the richness of the other voice and a credible vehicle for the transgender anti hero.
I heart huckabee. No just a tiny reference to another attempt to represent existentialism.
Waiting for Godot? No. That has been used before also. I know. " get this!"
Congratulations again to those who eschew solely commercial ambitions. Although Mr Murakami is popular, particularly in Japan ( but not yet the Nobel prize judges) and somewhat so in other parts, the investment in titles such as this might be risky? But please do more of the challenging, peripheral titles. There are many of us who long for compelling texts to listen to.
I just loved this book. As I've loved every book by Murakami I've read so far. He has a style of writing that is his own. And it suits me perfect.
There are two major ways to tell a story. The first asks "what will happen?". It's typical for thrillers and dramas. Will the hero survive? Will the young lovers get together?
The second asks "what is happening?". Murakami is a master of this technique. He is not interested in moving fast forward, rather in taking a situation and letting the reader slowly understand what the situation is. And Kafka on the Shore is another of his books that follows that recipe.
After reading a lot of his books i have realized that Murakami really believes in the good in people, believes that people are good. Bad people are often just good people in bad situations. And sometimes there aren't any bad people at all.
This is a truly good book, in the same tradition as Fjodor Dostojevskij, Emile Zola or Salman Rushdie, three of my favorite writers.
Two story proceeded parallel in different space and merge at the end. The only complaint is some interesting quest unanswered such as the mass student coma, What is Johnnie Walker and the slimy creature, the hidden village.... However, the story is still anticipating. I really like the narrator, the perform really great especially Oliver Le Sueur. Very enjoyable narration.
When Kafka throw away all his belonging behind in the forest.
This is just great!
You've got to be the world's toughest fifteen-year-old on the world.
I've loved all of Murakami's books (except Norwegian Wood), but hearing this book performed by these superb readers takes the enjoyment factor to another level. Most highly recommended.
The long listing of mundane things makes this book tiresome very quickly. Maybe someone who enjoys minutia would enjoy this book.
After six hours, I didn't like any bit of it.
Sorry, not for me.
After looking for something a bit different to read, I came across Murakami's The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, this could be a review for both, because whilst the stories are very different, they both affected me in the same way. The Wind up Bird lead me to Kafka as I hadn't yet had my fill of Murakami's unusual, haunting and intelligent style.
Kafka on the Shore is not brilliant or perfect, and there are many flaws (I think), but despite all this, the story grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end.
I liked the characters and found them believable, even though objectively they were all a tad unbelievable. I didn't find the story confusing, despite many confusing elements. Murakami leaves a lot to the reader (listener) to decide. I have my own theory on what it all meant, which works very well for me, but may not be even close to what others believe. That's one of Kafka's many appeals.
I loved the surreal style where you constantly wondered if it was supernatural events, or some kind of schizophrenic characters interpretation of the world.
It is hard to select one. Kafka, because I think you can relate to his lost-ness. Nakata is a character you cannot help but love, especially his conversations with cats. Colonel Sanders and Johnny Walker are right up there because of the absurdity.
The end of the book is moving but specifics would spoil it for those who have not read the book.
I listen to audiobooks when I drive and when I hike.
I tried a couple times to get into this novel, but I never got past the first three hours. My mind would just drift away because it was so slow moving. Maybe a story eventually develops, but I'll never know.
The story and the performance was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this author and the performers. I thought it was humorous though hearing a New York accent for a Japanese truck driver; very entertaining.