©2006 Haruki Murakami; (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
I will miss traveling with Toru Okada through his strange world. This books stays with you for awhile. The narrator, Rupert Degas, was great; I even checked to see if there weren't two readers: one male and the other female. I look forward to listening to more from Murakami.
I first read this book in its paper form, and loved it. I loved it even more the second time through on audiobook.
One caveat: while the reader does an excellent job with the male voices, he doesn't do quite so well with the female voices. I think he makes the women sound much more unintelligent than I think was intended by Murakami. Despite that, it is still quite a good listen.
Struggled to finish, insanely lengthy but fabulous narration. Hard to believe all those different voices and accents have been by the same person, from a teenager to a war veteran. The third part of the book is by far the best, and the disjoint pieces start to make sense.
I haven't written a review in a long time. I am a voracious reader but not a 'reviewer' but I cannot believe how many reviews are critical of the narration of this book. This is a multi-layered novel about history, mans inhumanity to man and animals ( in this case this is not a gender neutral topic as in general it is men who are inhuman ) unfailing love, never ending faith in others and so on. Rupert Degas did a masterful job of capturing the tone of each character and the storys' many twists and turns. He painted ( with a nod to his surname ) each character with aplomb. This is a novel in which you can slowly get lost in a good way. I really enjoyed the story and the performance.
the girl she is trenched by life
the girl and the boy in the well
Where to start with this one? OK, just to get this out of the way, you know how people use the phrase "to be comfortable in one's own skin"? Well, let's just say that after this book, I can't hear that phrase without blanching and wanting to scream almost to the point of madness "Stop saying that!!"
The story overall is pretty mind bending stuff. Don't expect to make sense of it all or you'll go mad. Enjoy it for what it is and try not to think too hard. Trying to find deeper meaning in a Murakami book (but especially this one) may leave you a bit loony.
As always, Murakami's imagination is second to none. The narrator did such a great job that for most of the book, I had assumed there were 2 narrators - one doing the guys and one doing the women. That's how good his female voices were.
Overall I loved this book. However, (and I am totally serious here) a cryptic word of warning - with this book, once you listen to it, you can't ever UNlisten to it. There is a section of the book which, while totally and utterly brilliant, may seriously make some people wish that they had never listened to this book in the first place.
As a fan of David Lynch and other inscrutable directors and writers, I found this one to really be a slog. Made it all the way through but in the end I am not very sure I get what the hubbub is all about. My suggestion is to take 18 of your hours and spend them somewhere else.
I just could not get into this book. I loved the narrator, but the story was hard to follow.
It hasn't. I just wound up dreading having to listen to it
I can't tell
The narrator was great. I really enjoyed listening to how he performed the different characters.
I have read 1Q84 and I enjoyed that, but this was such a bore to me
"Neither beginning nor end was clear"
I did not enjoy this as much as I enjoyed 1Q84. (Ushikawa the detective is in both books, portrayed as a even less likable character in this one). Kafka on the shore was also much better than this IMHO.
why didn't I like it? too many loose ends, and not as gripping as I was hoping. The fact that the ending does not make sense did not upset me, I have come to accept that from Mr M.
The use of metaphor is as always out of the world, but again unlike the 'we are in this boat down the swift stream' metaphor in 1Q84, there wasn't a single metaphor that carried through the book, at least not that I could tell.
I learnt quite a bit about the Japan-China conflict in Munchukuo, the graphic descriptions of violence and torture was quite surreal.
Finally, the narration is superb, the rendering of several voices is convincing.
"A vocal tour de force by the narrator!"
Typically random and rambling in parts. Dark and surreal but always interesting and intriguing. I loved Lieutenant Mamia's stories about the war. But the highlight was Rupert Degas' narration. He held what must have been difficult voices for long, long periods and gave each character a different and complete persona and voice.
"Disjointed but Enjoyable"
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is like… I've got this friend, he always talks about himself in great detail and never asks me about me - some people don’t like him and think him self obsessed, but I enjoy listening to him and find his constant self examination enthralling.
The Wind up Bird lacks structure, it does not have much of a plot and as the title suggests can only loosely be understood as a single story. It consists instead of a series of mini stories presented in the form of long letters, long phone calls, long conversations and so on and so forth. However, I found the mini stories rich and compelling, as if I had sat down on a bus full of strangers and one at a time each person had told me something about them that nobody else knew.
Narration - I am a huge Rupert Degas fan, however in this novel he seems to really struggle with the voices of the various female characters, and all bar one (Kumiko) seem over exaggerated.
sorry too slow and weird for me couldn't finish it back to cops and robbers for me
"I hate this book!"
*contains spoilers* This book is terrible. I hate it so much I would like to punch the author and not stop until he is comatose and can never inflict this garbage on the world. I only finished it due to a book club commitment. The characters are not believable, relatable or sympathetic. The story is rambling and riddled with extraneous detail which add nothing to the story. Personally I would kick the lead to the curb long before his wife does. Where are his friends, interests, life? How could any intelligent human live like him? If you like the occult in a 'normal' setting, read the far superior James Oswald.
"The best "long" Murakami book"
High, it's a long listen but compared to 1Q84 a much better story.
I don't really want to spoil the story but there's a bit in Manchuria that will stick with you.
Reasonable to good understanding of Japanese names and their pronunciations, which often becomes frustrating in other audio adaptions of Murakami books. He does a surprising good job at the female voices.
No, it will get a bit tedious and events will start to blend... also it's too long for that. The best way to enjoy it is in chunks of a couple of hours.
If you enjoyed "Norwegian Wood", "Kafka on the Shore", and "A Wild Sheep Chase" this is the next level up to get through Murakami's excellent repertoire.
An amazing story, which was brought alive by Rupert Degas' brilliant narration. I can't recommend it enough.
"Odd story, brilliant narrator"
No, whilst I enjoyed the book, I wouldn't listen again.
I've never read anything like Murakami, so I could only compare this to 1Q84.
I feel Rupert Degas brings a lot to the story. He reads very clearly and with wonderful characterisations.
"A great story"
A mother triumph for the author . Please read this book with the understanding you are about to be taken by the hand to a beautiful and violent place .
"Hard to understand"
Its so long!! And hard to understand maybe its better to read vs listening. Sad ending.
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