"Beautifully written and read"
I downloaded this novel on the recommendation of a colleague, and have not been disappointed. The prose is beautifully written, with effective creation of narrative perspective. The protagonist takes the listener/reader on a detailed journey through not only the days of his present life, but also through flashbacks to his past life. There are elements of magical realism and mystery which add suspense and interest. However, the reader/listener needs to be someone who enjoys a slow-moving text with attention to descriptive detail. The reading is excellent - all characters' dialogue is read in individualised voices, which make it very realistic to listen to.
"The Perfect Audiobook"
This is the most fascinating audiobook I've ever listened to. Rupert Degas does a magnificent job of presenting Haruki Murakami's ordinary yet extraordinary characters doing ordinary things with a surreal twist. There is a point in nearly every audiobook I listen to at which the narrator lets me down - either I find myself bored or annoyed with the narrators voice/accent or I find some fault in the way he/she portrays a character. Not once in the thirty six hours of listening did I find myself finding fault with the narrator or the story. If you like a good mystery with a lot of real life thrown in for good measure, you must try this one out.
Rupert Degas as the narrator is very suitable for reading Murakami's stories. He has a gentle and dreamy way of telling the story which takes you into its spirit very easily. I found the world and the people Murakami describe almost addictive. It was very enjoyable to listen to the wind-up bird. As always there are sub plots which more ore less remain unsolved and open to interpretation. I would recommend it to all of those people who enjoyed Norwegian Woods.
"Rupert Degas delivers another stunning performance"
This quirky tale is transformed into a totally mesmerising audio book by the deft characterisations provided by Rupert Degas. Originally written in Japanese, the book was translated into (American) English. Degas delivers an engaging host of characters entirely consistent with the anachronistic theme making this my all-time favourite audio-book.
i have recently read a number of Murakami books and have enjoyed both the stories and the incredible insight they give you into Japanese culture. The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is the story of a man whose wife has left him, and the way that he deals with it. the range of experiences related and the breadth of language makes it a book that is impossible to stop reading
"The Wind up Bird Chronicle"
I had heard a lot about Haruki Murakami and decided to buy and listen to this book - It is difficult for me to describe what it was like. Somewhat surreal and mysterious, something out of this world. I found the best way to listen to it was to stop questioning things and just let myself get carried along with the story. I know Murakami has a great fan base, but this was just not for me, Listenuing to it was an experience I enjoyed but do not want to repeat !!!
My latest excursion into the world of Haruki Murakami started with the initial thought that this earlier effort was a better holiday fiction prospect for the second week away that diving into the full IQ84 for a fortnight. I quickly got into the rhythm and realised that here was probably the best of this author’s work that I’d read - and least since my last Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Although, what nonsense - everything he writes is brilliant....everything...brilliant....without compromise without exception.
The war reminiscences form a really strong strand in this novel, but the central narrative never lets go the pace. It is a novel that walks, takes, pulls, encourages, laughs along with you from page to page. At times the humour comes to the fore at other times it is the repulsion of savagery and violence in a land far away in a time not known of and circumstances that have been closed to the Western world. The patina of fiction is applied to real events that may or may not have happened in Manchuria. Zoo vets and Russian intelligence officers vie with Mongols and Afghans, the first of Facebook and the last of transcendental sensory deprivation all laid out step by step.
The greatest living author currently 10/1 for the Nobel Prize which has got to be worth a punt.
"Original and compelling"
It is rare these days to find a novel that is both original and utterly engaging, either the story is lost in the attempt to find new concepts or, more often, it strays into previously written territory. This novel is strange and wonderful - some of the ideas expressed are so bizarre that you wonder what is going on in Mr Murakami's head! Well whatever it is - I for one am grateful - this is a word of genius.
"Disturbing, exhilarating, profoundly original"
Having listened to Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore", I decided to get The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle next.
It is quite different, but equally unlikely in its weaving seemingly unrelated and occasionally bizarre tales into a fabric strangely believeable and coherent. The concept of different worlds is alien, but Murakami manages to stir the heart and mind of the "reader" in a way that has left me grateful for this audiobook.
Rupert Degas' narration is superb, clear and distinct and so respectful of the text and the strange worlds populated by Murakami. He underlines the humour wonderfully in the voice of young Mei Kasahara. Never once was the narration in the way of the author and the listener - well done!
In conclusion: Few books have felt so enriching to me in years as this one and Kafka on the Shore. Which makes it difficult to know where to turn next without being disappointed...
"Intriguing with wonderful narration"
Having mulled over the events of this novel I'm still convinced I've missed something that should have been more obvious. Murakami's books are always somewhat obscure, in that they blur the edges between reality and dream and deal with the elelment of human experience that can't settle into the artificial strictures of society, and which is both fascinated and horrified by the nastier brutalities of life. To that extent, this novel is the best example of his writing muse, but it also makes it difficult to pennetrate in any intellectual way. Perhaps that's the point, that the reader is supposed to be baffled and unable to rationalise anything about it!
All that aside. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narration by Rupert Degas is a tour-de-force masterclass in how to read a book - simply fantastic. All the characters have their own convincing voices and personalities and he never falters with the pace of the novel.
Don't let anything I've said put you off buying this title if you're prepared to go on an existential roller-coaster ride. I'm going to listen again very soon.