©2006 Haruki Murakami; (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
Jumping into a dark well to think to the point of starvation, characters that resemble caricatures, seem to appear and disappear with names such as Crete and Malta, a cat that comes back with a different tail... all this makes this book odd and amazing. This is my second book by this author and I remain intrigued by his storytelling and style. My issue is only with the violence, where the author dwells on wartime atrocities, taking care to describe torture techniques a bit too graphically for my taste. The audio is effective and keep you going until the end.
Say something about yourself!
Bold. Funny. Horrific. Ethereal. And Fantastic in all senses of the word. Echoes of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Beckett. There are many, many memorable characters and scenes; but Murakami creates through these only the major pieces of a larger puzzle. He appears to be drawing parallels between two kinds of relationships (a) the interactions (loving, mundane, barbaric, kind, cruel, lustful, comic, duplicitous) humans have with each other and (b) the interactions (same list, pretty much) we have in our minds with our past, present, and future selves. These relationships cross and fade into each other so smoothly that neither we nor the characters are completely sure where one ends and another begins. A really wonderful book that feels like it will provoke thought for quite awhile.
I had read this book in hard copy. I enjoyed it even more listening to this audio version. The reader is brilliant, as is the novel. Be prepared for a surreal yet vivid, intriguing experience.
3.5 stars. If you like Murakami, you will probably enjoy this. If you have not yet read a Murakami novel, I wouldn't recommend starting with this one -- it might prevent you from reading some of the most fun and engaging literature of modern times. Try Kafka on the Shore, perhaps.
Although generally engaging (I really did enjoy listening to the book), there are too many subplots that aren't adequately resolved, which left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied when I finished the book.
I've read elswhere that the original Japanese version was "stripped down" for the English translation as it was too long, and as a result, certain storylines being cut short. This is plausible.
The narrator is excellent.
I found this to be a very entertaining story. This is not the type of book I usually buy, and I'm glad that I tried it! It's a wonderful tale with several other stories within. It is well written and well read - very enjoyable.
What a fun read. The story is a skillful tale that blends and blurs reality and unreality; and which is which? Ultimately all seem to be only facets of the same reality. Maybe that is too ambitious a description. It is enough to say that the story is interesting, mysterious, comedic, thought provoking but above all entertaining throughout. The narrator is excellent, and every character has their own personality and voice. I enjoyed this book very much.
I actually read it in Japanese first, and was curious enough to listen to the English Audiobook. It is in a way scary because I did have my own imagination of the world of this book. However, I was NOT dissapointed. This is pretty good interpretation and performance. I loved it and listened three times so far.
I just downloaded this. I jump around a bit from genre to genre, but I alway gravitate to longer selections for the value and engagement. I'm not quite sure where I would put this as far as genre goes, but I was hooked after only a few chapters. The engineering is of good quality and the narrator keeps my attention and has good enunciation and pace. The story- well I will let you decide (I hate spoilers), but I can say this it's hard to put away once you get in to it. There is mild sexual content so be warned, but for anyone well read it is very tame.
As I slowly got into this book, I laughed out loud at times, was perplexed and filled with wonderment, and startled by some characters and actions which are so strange, others so real and horrific.... it is a very odd book. I doubt if I could "read" it but I loved listening to it.
Let me begin by saying that this is a very strange story indeed. It will stay with me for a good while. I do want to emphasize, however, that I feel that the narrator did an exceptional and very entertaining job with very difficult material.
I loved most parts of this story and ...well, some parts were horrifically fascinating. Like a gruesome traffic accident that you cannot look away from even though you know you'll have nightmares from the sight.
This is not a book that has a "specific" story but rather an intimate portrait of a microcosmic slice of humanity. I cried, I laughed (especially at the neighbor girl, May [sp?]) and I cringed. In fact, I believe I ran almost the entire gamut of emotions that I am capable of...including some disappointment in the way in which the author finished this story. I don't always expect everything wrapped up in neat tidy bundles but I felt a little flat, so to speak, in the last act.
Would I have missed this opportunity to have entered this world and met these characters? Emphatically no. Would I have liked a slightly different conclusion? yes.
"Fantastic reader and great book"
If I checked that this book was only read by one reader once I did it a hundred times. The variety of voices is unbelievable and I can't recommend Rupert Degas enough as a narrator.
The story is certainly odd at times so be warned! Saying that it is so well written and you get so drawn in that I am straight off to see what else is available by the same author.
This book is seriously weird. Expect the unexpected - and you will still be surprised. But what really stood out for me was the brilliant reading by Robert Degas. The way he brings the characters to life - from the doom-laden Lietenant Mamiya to the scatty yet death-obsessed teenager May Kasahara - is nothing short of extraordinary. I shall seek out his other readings.
I loved this book from the start.
It is weird but the reader brings all the characters to life and develops an irresistible drive to the story.
It is about love loss and history, so some pretty common themes. However it comes at these themes from a very different direction.
i would thoroughly recommend it.
"surprizes all the way"
I thought i had made a mistake when i first started listerning to it, but after a couple of chapters i could not put it down , its a must have
"Magic Realism Rises From Tokyo"
Two qualities combine to make this the best audio book I have heard yet. The first is brilliant writing; Murakami is a master craftsman, adding another cracked dimension to Tokyos already bizarre world. The second is a brilliant narration by Rupert Degas; he performs like a man possessed by voices, and is phenomonal to listen to. If you like the films of David Lynch, or enjoy Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or if you just feel like something different, don't hesitate. Download it!
the most original book i've listened to for years. this is a fantastic story, almost a horror story considering how strange quirky some of the characters are. Some bizarre dream sequences and events mean you are not really sure what is real or not. The previous reviewers likening Haruki to David Lynch is spot on.
Very well narrated too, going from gravel-voiced old men to female sex scenes without making you cringe. The narrator of Dan Brown's books should take note!
This book had me totally mesmerized from the the first line to the very last word!
An absolutely fantastic, intriguing story.
The narration is just out of this world. The way the narrator changes for each different character is astounding! It's like every character is read by a different person!
You will not regret downloading this book.
I'm now off to listen to it again!
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