I found this book hard to listen to, do you see what I'm saying? Maybe it was the translation, do you understand me? But it was just painful how repetitive certain phrases were, do you see what I mean?
ARGH. I hate to be so childish, and maybe it's a cultural thing that got 'lost in translation' but so many of the very long monologues ended each sentence with a confirmation that the they were being understood.
The plot itself is very odd. The main character has weird sex encounters throughout the book, and some suggestive stuff with a young girl. The character accepts without question a series of very strange events, so much so that it just misses out on being believable, even in a fantasy world. I did not enjoy the story, felt it moved very spasmodically and slowly. The very, very, very long monologues were frustrating... either not revealing the point of them, or repeating the point over and over. But the story was better than...
The narration... I have never wanted to claw my ears off before the long letters from May, the young girl. A valley girl accent for what should have been a Japanese girl, it just didn't fit at all. One of the other reviewers here hit the nail on the head when he said that he sounded like a drag queen for most of the female roles, or an out of breath prostitute. It took all dignity away from the female characters, and honestly was almost impossible to listen through. He was also awful with many of the male characters, making a poet out to sound like a dead beat surfer, or the wheezing-sucking sounds for Noboru Wataya's off sider... Again, literally had to stop listening at those parts. I have written a note and stuck it to my monitor with Rupert Degas's name on it so that I never accidentally purchase another book he has narrated.
I'm baffled by the popularity of this book. I regret spending my credit and feel foolish for listening to the end based on the belief that all the other good reviews must have been written for a reason.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
A lot of folks liked the TV series Twin Peaks though they were hard pressed to explain exactly why. When plumbing the depths of likes and dislikes this is often the case with surrealism. We know that there is something about the surrealism of a piece that we are attracted to but exactly what that is is hard to two say. I found this to be the case with my third excursion into the Lynchian world of Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (tWUBC), the first two being 1Q84 and Kafka on the Shore in that order. While I definitely appreciated the second of these more than the last, it might even be true of the first, his most celebrated novel.
I was not as drawn into this labyrinthian plot as I was the other two novels’. There seems to be a common thread in many Murakami books involving sex between male protagonists and their sisters and/or mothers. tWUBC does not “deviate” from that. It’s not always clear whether the tryst is dreamt since entire novels can be interpreted as dreamlike or whether they actually occur (if that can ever be said about a work of fiction in the first place). What is perhaps most remarkable is that Murakami gets away with describing, though not always in lurid detail, these affairs with veritable impunity and no one seemingly objecting to this recurring theme. It does give one pause to wonder though, what’s up with this and Murakami in the first place?
Another recurring theme has to do with cats... in particular, lost cats and their relationship(s) with other characters in the books i.e. retriever of lost cats, cat whisperers and the like. What’s up with that? Who knows. Who can possibly know the mind of this talented and seductive author.
Murakami’s writing has been described as weird and bizarre. Maybe so it is. But the clarity of Murakami’s writing is indisputable. Dreams in general are not always clear. Sometimes we see things in dreams through a cloud or sheer material. This is not how the writing of Murakami comes across to the reader. Every sentence of Murakami is succinct: short and with a clarity that almost defies comparison. I think that I enjoy the way Murakami chains his words together as much if not more than what the words speak about. Naw, maybe not, but close. It took me longer to get into this novel compared my first Murakami books but worth the investment.
On the subject of words, I am again as often is the case, challenged by whether a book is improved or diminished by its reader. In all three cases, the above books are read by different and in the case of the first two, multiple actors. In all cases, the narrators/actors were outstanding. I believe I can say that I successfully “got” Murakami through the layers of narration in all of these and he was terrific.
The author takes us into a world of bizarre characters, strange happenings and tells a wonderul tale with all the twists and turns of a complex mystery. Allow your expectations to stay outside of this world. Just step in and enjoy a magnificant tale of human weakness and strength.
I've now taken to listening to books before I commit. Came to the Wind Up Bird and after just a few words I was hooked. Strange I know but I will not like a book later if I don't right off.
This book rewound often because I don't know my MP3 enough, but that was okay. Every time I listened to a portion again it was like the first. Kind of like when you rewatch a movie, every time you see something different. Wind Up Bird is just like that to me. I hated to see the novel end. Haruki and Rupert are geniuses. Loved the story, the characters and the brilliant narration. I highly recommend this novel. Be prepared to be entertained and forget the story line. Just kickback and enjoy.
This novel has it all, an amazing reader a great protagonist and the most unique story line. I loved this and will recommend it to all my friends.
This book was very interesting but oh so strange. What I didn't know when I bought it is that is full of sex and extremely graphic violence and gore. I don't think I would have purchased it if I had known. I don't think I will listen again but it was hard to put down. The narrator was very good.
Not the usual read. It kept my interest throughout. The protagonist experiences a somewhat metaphysical journey through a neighborhood teenager and group of eccentrics connected to his (estranged) wife's. Echoes of past lives and life lessons are interspersed with a cast of characters that will make you smile.
This is a really long audio book and I still didn't want it to end. Haruki Murakami is the master of strange.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
Let me say going into this review, I love Haruki Murakami. He's become one of my favorite authors, so I'm pre-inclined to enjoy his novels.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle shares several common attributes with Murakami's other works. It takes place in a surreal world, where nothing is ever fully explained or resolved, and the bizarre and impossible are the norm. It weaves a thin thread that will tie different people, places, and generations together, with the help of a strange marking on a face, an unusual sounding bird that prefers to be heard and not seen, a missing cat (Murakami is so fond of his cats), and a main character that is searching for something they dearly want, but don't know how to find in this magical, odd world.
Murakami demands that you let go of all expectations of a clear storyline or a full resolution; but if you are willing to do that, he'll take you to a land you can't get to without him.
I really enjoyed this book a great deal. As a side note; if you're a fan of this book, it seems that a theatrical production has been created based off the book, and may have U.S. dates scheduled in 2013. The site is windupbc and I thought it looked pretty interesting.
Just brilliant. Let the story evolve and carry you along - it is one of the best I've heard in 2 years of subscription. Somewhat metaphysical and totally enthralling.