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Kafka on the Shore Audiobook

Kafka on the Shore

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.
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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 (647 )
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Story
4.6 (591 )
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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
    119
    ratings
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    27
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    Story
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Baltimore, MD, United States 07-07-15
    Amy Baltimore, MD, United States 07-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    3 of 3 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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    ratings
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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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert United States 03-15-14
    Robert United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    6
    5
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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.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 10-07-15
    Emma 10-07-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "A trip"

    A mind-bending, metaphorical quandary, full of life and death and a strange sort of gratifying mysticism that leaves you breathless and on the edge of tears. It gives no answers, but you cannot help but feel as though you leave this adventure wiser and better and more enlightened.

    A wonderful listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Madison WI, WI, United States 04-17-15
    Douglas Madison WI, WI, United States 04-17-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    21
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    "One of my favorites..."

    A good novel entertains you and perhaps doles out an insight or two but a great novel transforms the world around you as you read and you aren't quite the same person who started reading the novel.

    Kafka on the Shore is a great novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    user_888 02-27-15
    user_888 02-27-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Love Murakami"

    Story doesn't disappoint. As long as you're invested in the journey than the outcome.

    6 words remaining to finish review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tasha 02-23-15
    Tasha 02-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    Story
    "Started "wow", downhill and repetitive from there."

    To start, the book narrators are top notch. Very engaging and talented, too bad the book was not as fantastic as their abilities. if they weren't so good, I doubt I wouldve made it to the end.

    This book began exciting and strange-changing timelines, converging stories- which at first was cool. But that wrapped up fairly quickly and then began to pander between characters who we never quite understand the relationship of. Incestuous themes aside, the plot was confusing and heavily masked with apathetic side characters and unexplained events. I dragged my heals to finish this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur M. berlin 01-24-15
    Arthur M. berlin 01-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Great start, weaker later"

    The start was very intriguing, especially, the old man story and the fringe of reality and the other world. However, the story took a weak turn, and dragged and dragged and dragged about some confusing relationship story. Last 3rd of the story was just a burden to listen to, it could've been more exciting, but it became seriously boring... Now I wonder whether I should invest more time into books by this acclaimed author.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roland L. Redmond 04-02-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very disappointing ending"
    Any additional comments?

    The writing is beautiful and the characters well developed and interesting. But for me, the author left too many loose ends, and failed to bring the story together into a coherent and meaningful ending. The two readers (Barrett and Le Sueur) did an extraordinary job, and even as I became frustrated and disappointed by the story line, I continued to enjoy their reading performances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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