Being a non-American man of 50, I definitely had trouble being intellectually and spiritually satisfied by this book. Apart from the main character Tassie, who comes across as a believable adolescent college student, the other characters lack depth. This is strange as the dialogues are very well done, witty and true to life.
It's as if Tassie is watching TV, not living her life, she seems to be completely detached from all other people in her life.
I don't want to believe this is true to life, that would make the sad tale even sadder.
The superb performance of narrator Katherine Kellgren, and the wonderfully understated humor of the writer couldn't help the lack of a strong plot and a convincing ending.
I didn't like this book. The analysis of an event takes 2 to 4 times the time of the event itself, the characters are all second guessing the words and actions of other people. When they have finished analyzing and second guessing, they talk some more about it.
This snake pit unsurprisingly produces characters that feel insecure or have other personality problems, which are discussed in length, of course.
It's kind of unfair: the characters have almost eternal life, so they can afford to waste their time this way.
The narration was excellent, but then this book had to be read.
Having read a few other Haruki Murakami novels, I found my self at home right away. It's amazing how similar characters seem to populate his novels: the ugly but clever lowlife, the mysterious sexless girl, the nice girlfriend, the underachieving hero.
Being from a generation and a place that mainly grew up without television, I actually like the longevity of the story and the criticism that the main characters repeat themselves do not take into account that the repetition is intentional: it illustrates the mulling of thoughts in the heads of the main characters.
I think listening to this book in stead of reading it actually enhances the experience, to me it seems the book has been written to be narrated or read to someone else. Contrary to a lot of people, I liked the performance of all narrators, probably for the same reason I usually don't like the exaggerated 'lively', 'engaging' intonation heard in a lot of American TV shows.
Kafka on the shore describes the coming of age of a boy, the death of people living in the past and the wake up of people wasting their lives.
I think this morality tale is mistaken by many reviewers as philosophical, but that is in my view beside the point. It's about what is good and what is not.
I loved this book, and the narration is sublime.
The book was well written and well narrated, no argument there. But, the story was a knock off of dozens of others and shamelessly taps in to the recent fascination with reality shows. The obligatory small group of dissimilar characters bore resemblance to similar groups in dozens of similar stories. The ending was only mildly surprising and did not make me curious or interested in the follow ups.
Better listen to a good book, this one made me feel I wasted my time.
As in real life, all characters are trying to stay afloat, while being pulled down by their past, their weaknesses and ambitions. Although the story is about a bloody battle, with wizards fighting at both sides, to me this is the most memorable theme of the book, It sets it apart from the black and white characters usually found in epic fantasy novels. Well done, looking forward to the next book
I really liked this book. Two little minuses that made me rate it at 4 in stead of five stars:
1 The narrator read the whole book with an almost trembling voice, which in my view was only fitting at the end of the book.
2 What research? Dodo's lived on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, not on the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific. Proudly killed by my ancestors. In the age of Google and Wikipedia these kind of
mistakes are silly.
For the rest: great story, no presidents or terrorists in sight ( I don't like the President's best
friend saves the world from evil terrorist novels), once accustomed to the drama great narrator.
An extremely good narrator, a carefully carved story. This is the best book I've read in months.
No heroes, no foes, just people.
Ok, I didn't like the reader too much, I always have to laugh when a woman tries to lower her voice to sound like a man.
I recognized the marxist way of thinking, which made me smile and also a bit nostalgic. This used to be fashionable all over Europe in the 70's!
Part of that fashion was taking longevity for thoroughness and wisdom. Funny it's a best seller in the States now, as you can't get less American than this book. It is a treat though, next to all the books about the President's Best Friends Killing Terrorists.
Not as good as the Wallander series.
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