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.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
This long, winding book tackles so many uncomfortable topics in such a mystical way it is sometimes like you're reading an x-rated nursery rhyme. You squirm your way through some difficult concepts that the author manages by not quite telling you whether you're dealing with reality, dream, or divinity. But each and every character is relatable and empathetic and as we move from one character to the other I found myself longing to hurry to get back, then melting into the new character only to be snapped back again.
My only real criticism is the British narration that makes some characters sound like they're from Dickens, not Murakami. Even this is not enough of a distraction to prevent enjoying this incredible, but slightly mind-boggling book.
Probably no. It was wierd but not bad, just wierd.
I don't know. There was alot of unimportant information that did nothing to enhance the book.
The old guy, Nacamura something.
I can't be to negtive about the book it just wasn't my cup of tea and I can't really say anything to bad since this is someones hard work. Alot of wierd stuff went on in the book.
Thank you Barry, Grace and James for your insights. I will add this book is not for the rest of our Audible colleagues if their literary predilections do not include:
a) cats being captured, drugged and graphically murdered;
b) elements of Sophocles' Oedipus trotted out in a sophomoric ploy to graft a motif onto a teenage runaway tale;
c) writers like Murakami when they say things like "what I'd like to be is a unique writer who's different from everybody else" and "the key to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times."
Really? I mean really?
The audio version comes in 3 parts, and I stopped for good early into the third, out of respect for how little time we have on this earth, and how badly in need of a much ballsier editor this "unique" writer's work is. The narrative is a hot mess, and Murakami knows it, but wishes to continue the ruse, given his existing reputation. Interviews with him reveal he may believe himself to be a medium or channel. Tut tut.
Story aside, performance kudos to Sean Barrett whose Nakata & Hoshino voices alone were a welcome break from the book's meandering miasma.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
Well, I have yet to listen/read any Murakami title and NOT love it.
Kafka on the Shore weaves together mythology, Jungian archetypes, the paranormal and reality, creating a surreal world that is much like ours, and yet very different as well.
I feel as though I've gone through the looking glass, and emerged fascinated, in love with the bizarre ways things operate, the strange ways things are symbolic, the relationship between life and death, and everything in between.
I wanted to know what's next through the entire thing, and even though I just heard the last line five minutes ago, I wish I had more. Not that the story feels incomplete, as it is quite perfect. I just wish I had more Murakami in my library. I hungrily devour everything he's ever written and can't wait for more.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
It took me almost a week to finish reading "Kafka on the Shore." It is not because it was a bad read, but I wanted to take my time at consuming the story. I could had finish the book a lot faster, but after each break, it helped me understand what I read before and I could not wait where I left off..
By far, this book is well written, well executed and just overall good. I did not wanted the dream to end. It's just a brilliant read from start to finish and the fantasy world, talking cats and the family incest between Kafka and his mother and his sister(?), makes it to be a taboo subject, but they all come together so graciously that you just appreciate the mind of Haruki Murakami.
It took me a while on what should I title this review, but after writing this, the title just came to me.
A Gracious Dream.