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Kafka on the Shore Audiobook

Kafka on the Shore

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Publisher's Summary

With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle - yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world's truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

©2005 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"As powerful as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.... Reading Murakami ... is a striking experience in consciousness expansion." (The Chicago Tribune)

"An insistently metaphysical mind-bender." (The New Yorker)

"If he has not achieved that status already, Haruki Murakami is on course to becoming the most widely read Japanese writer outside Japan, past or present." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1026 )
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4.6 (936 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dr. Curmudgeon Cow Hampshire 04-11-14
    Dr. Curmudgeon Cow Hampshire 04-11-14 Member Since 2008

    Doctor of misanthropy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What's better than Murakami? More Murakami"

    If I've been propelled through life by a continuously variable transmission, reading Murakami is like moving to a stick shift. And this is certainly an prime example of that.

    Murakami makes you shift your perspective. Nothing as trivial as alternate universes (although he did use those in 1Q84), but more of a radical shift in how you perceive and model reality. If there is such a thing.

    Many of Murakami's books take you to places that just require you to relinquish all control of your rationality. This one's a bit easier on you, having more of a standard narrative. It's only in the deeper contemplation of the story that you tend to lose your footing.

    This book is all about deep emotion, how emotion defies all logic and reason, and how it is at the very core of our existence. In this respect, it's a surprisingly uplifting and empowering book, which is, to me, pretty good for what may look like simple storytelling.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 05-25-16
    Douglas 05-25-16 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Hauntingly Surreal..."

    and enthralling. A must experience from the Japanese Kakfa.Among his best work. Mature writing from an accomplished author

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Dickinson Bay Area, CA United States 09-14-14
    Jennifer Dickinson Bay Area, CA United States 09-14-14 Member Since 2015

    yogini, knitter, quilter, sewist, stitcher, reader, cook, foodie, wine snob, francophile, wife, dog mom, SF Giants fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Story, Perfectly Read"
    What made the experience of listening to Kafka on the Shore the most enjoyable?

    The readers were amazing and so perfectly captured the characters. They turned a great story into a transcendent experience.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    So hard to say, but probably Nakata. Although he is supposed to be a simpleton, he has a particular genius for living the life he is given and being happy with what he has.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene is when Miss Saiki tells Kafka he has to go back to the world to remember her.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Absolutely. This is a very philosophical and emotional story. I cried in all the right places and laughed out loud at its wry wit. Loved it. Will definitely listen again.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Dinaburg 07-07-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Great narration, beautifully crafted story"

    Very weird plot but charming in its way. I enjoyed this. I couldn't give 5 stars because it didn't blow me away. However, there is a philosophy lesson in every chapter and much of it reads like poetry. The ending was just okay but, in this book, it's really all about the journey.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert United States 03-15-14
    Robert United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2006
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    "extraordinary performance for wonderful story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    From the start, it pulled me in and was a great escape from ordinary life. Perplexing, great story, amazing performance.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Kafka on the Shore?

    Colonel Sanders.


    What about Sean Barrett and Oliver Le Sueur ’s performance did you like?

    There is no way I would have gone as deep into the story without the performance these guys put on.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 12-14-16
    Diane 12-14-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kafka on the Shore"

    Excellent .Very well developed main characters. I didn't want the book to end. Performance of the two narrators was wonderful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Digit Head 11-04-16
    Digit Head 11-04-16 Member Since 2015

    I commute 1 1/2 hours per day by car for my job. Great time to listen to a great book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Magical experience."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Kafka on the Shore to be better than the print version?

    "Reading" this book on audio was a magical experience. The prose is beautiful and (mostly) calming. In a written book, I think i would have floundered in it a bit. But on a 45 minute commute each morning and evening, it was wonderful. (less)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trigger Happy Loc Colorado 02-23-17
    Trigger Happy Loc Colorado 02-23-17 Member Since 2017

    He's just mad cause hes got sand in his v^gina, does it itch? does it?

    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Story
    "Just Bad"

    Feels like this book was trying to be smarter than it actually was, in the end it left me with more plot questions than it actually answered. Perhaps I'm not in touch with the metaphors it was trying to depict, or perhaps it's just a bad over hyped book. I'm inclined to believe in the latter option.

    It's like listening to a slow audio version of the TV show Lost, except far less interesting.

    I hated pretty much every character in the book, I cringed as he kept referring to himself as the "toughest 15 year old in the world".... On what grounds exactly? The old repetitive man, the whiney boy, the tranny librarian, the old/young ghost/real lady. All pretentious boring characters.

    Would not recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shaun O'Boyle 10-20-16

    soboyle

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I nod, I shake my head."
    Any additional comments?

    I like Murakami's stories, but I do wonder about the translations from Japanese while listening to these novels. The phrases "I nod", and "I shake my head" occur several million times in this novel, and it is distracting. Is that really how Murakami wrote those actions? Somehow I think they would read better in Japanese.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Galvin 10-11-16
    Mark Galvin 10-11-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    5
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    "How deep is too deep?"

    While I was listening to this audiobook, it felt very Lynchian. I started to search for the metaphors and meanings as the tale went farther down the rabbit hole. It was a bit too mysterious while some plot holes grew wide with more questions. I was intrigued enough to add a few other Murakami titles to my wishlist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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