©2006 Haruki Murakami; (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
There is very little plot here. There are a lot of pathetic, low-life characters who spend the book brooding. It will depress you.
This book is haunting and touching. Poetic and harsh. Relatable and surreal. Completely unpredictable. Different from any other book I've read.
Missing cat, over boiled spaghetti, wife who disappears, skinning a man alive… humm… you have The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki-Murakami. This is the third book I have read by Murakami. While there are some issues related to the translation of his work into English, let’s face it, he has a very unique style. For many, the seemingly disconnected independent stories, which are all tied together by the lead character, make for a very confusing story. The reader is uncertain about which is parts are dreams, which parts are where the lead character is lost in his thoughts (is it real or is it Memorex? I mean, let your mind create your own stories). This is not a linear story, though I do think it the book has some major themes which are repeated often and leave the reader with some level of “learning” or at least message on the meaning of his life. In the book, the main character, Toru Okada, an unemployed married passive man is led on a series of unexplained experiences, some real, some dreamed, some hoped for, leaving the reader creating his/her own context for the meaning of the book. This makes your read different than mine and leaves lots of room for exploration and venturing into quite a story. One of the most impactful parts of the work for me occurs when Lieutenant Mamiya and his partners in the map planning business are confronted by members of the Russian military. The Lieutenant shares his story with Toru when he is delivering a gift left by the dead palm reader who leaves Toru a present. The present, in many respects, is for Toru to hear the horror of Mamiya who is tortured, much like Toru (but in a physical way, not in an emotional / spiritual way), when he witnesses the brutal “skinning” of his colleague and then is held captive by the Russian military. He eventually is let go years later but when he attempts to kill his captive he is unsuccessful and then he receives a curse to be lonely the rest of his life. Through each of the characters
I loved the book, I did not know what to expect so it was a wonderful surprise, never boring always intriguing and very interesting; loved the characters. I already bought Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood, can't wait to start listening.
This is definitely an odd book, and I am sure it is full of culture I just don’t get. It was pleasant to listen to and had some memorable lines. If you can stay with it and not be put off when it gets a little to far out, you may like it.
Shall I compare the work of Haruki Murakami to Tolstoy? Perhaps I shall make a parallel to Dostoevsy?
This book is in its own way an art. The craft of language, the hero’s personal world and the depth of the human soul is the truth in its purity. I did not mind the Manturia and the war! How many writes, including Ernest Hemingway wrote about it openly.
This book will throw you off your guard and make you think deep thoughts and guide you into the darkest places of your soul.
Do not be confuse, dear reader! Stay open and enter the world of darkness and light, enter the soul of a man and his journey. This book is a fairly tale of the modern reality. I loved it!
Don't get me wrong; I love a long book, but this one has a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of digression. It is well written, so I made it through the book, but it was a challenge. There is one character in the book who is particularly annoying, and I believe the author did this intentionally. This book should be shorter by half.
Murakami could do with a better editor. I've enjoyed two of his books (Kafka and Norwegian Wood) before this one. I enjoyed this one as well, but the others were more satisfying in a way that is hard to define. This is an extraordinary book and one can appreciate why it won the Yomiuri Prize. However, some of its interludes drag to the point that they become somewhat tedious. The removal of about 20 per cent of the text would have substantially improved the flow of this book, while sacrificing little. As always, Murakami's characters are more off the wall than Humpty Dumpty, and their psychological hang-ups make a typical Woody Allen character seem well-adjusted. Naturally, there is the required hefty dose of Japanese mysticism, in David Lynchian quantities. Not your average novel, but worth it if you have the time. The narrator, Rupert Degas, does a fine job.
This was a bit long, and bogged down at times, but the nature of the story kept me listening. Unusual characters with lots of eccentricity move the plot along. This feature was what kept me intrigued with the book, when I might have just hit the delete button.
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