©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.
I really enjoyed this surreal and charming novel. After just finishing reading it, my initial thought is that the charm of the story will be the thing I will end up remembering it for. As an actual story, not a lot actually happens - like an episode of Seinfeld set in the Twilight Zone. Haruki Murakami takes a lost cat, an unemployed man, a series of strange phone calls, a marital split and offbeat characters, adds some seemingly irrelevant subplots involving a Japanese WW2 survivor and psychics and weaves a tale that goes everywhere yet nowhere. I was also amazed at how well a novel translated from Japanese can hold up as literature when read in English.
This is the second Murakami novel I have read and like the first (1Q84), the book dissolves into a vague ending where you are left wondering how all the various strands related to each other. That is sure to frustrate a lot of readers' but Murakami's magic seems to me to be the charm of the world you are entering when you begin reading his novels and the journey he takes you on.
My wife has been begging me to download this book for the longest time. So glad I finally did it.
The translation from Japanese to English was nearly flawless in my opinion.
I love the story. The way Haruki Murakami writes makes me feel like I'm tripping on LSD while listening. He gets in you head in such a way that I almost feel like I'm hallucinating and not listening to a book, but actually watching a really weird Japanese Anime movie in my mind. Very Cool!!
My one and only MAJOR complaint was that narration by Rupert Degas. Specifically, when he reads as a girl character. He sounds completely disturbing and I was actually getting douche chills while listening. The 1st time I heard him read as "May", I almost stopped listening... Not kidding, it that disturbing!!!
Halfway through, I finally can no longer stand it. I will not be finishing this one. Every female character's voice sounds like an exaggerated Richard Simmons. It is completely distracting. I've listened to audiobooks with a male narrator who portrayed women with a simple, hushed tone, or even no change at all while reading for the female characters, and pulled it off brilliantly.
There is also an "old man" character near the beginning that Degas portrays as a complete caricature of an elderly man, and his breathy, wheezing, unrealistic voice is quite annoying as well. Fortunately, my wife owns the paperback, so I'll just finish this one the old fashioned way.
I am an audio book addict. Love staging the drama in my head, especially psychological intrigue and mysteries.
Haruki Murakami never fails to be intriguing and an original. I have listened for four of his books and weather they were "great" or not there are always elements about them, they make them work the experience. Murakami is a master at delivering side stories about seemingly minor characters in the plot. At times these asides seem irrelevant to the plot, but Haruki Murakami is not interest in delivering a linear story line. His modern approach is a tapestry of surrealism, social and historical commentary, humor, irony, and suspense. His message and observations are universal. Wind-up Bird was one of my least favorite because there was so much detail in the subplots that should have resulted in a more satisfying or intriguing ending. The ending felt flat.
Still there is enough in this winding tale to capture your attention and appreciation of Murakami story telling skills. I have learned that the best way to approach his work is as in empty vessel; to have no preconceived expectation about the beginning, middle or the end.
probably not. i was a bit put off by the different voices he used for the different characters. one of the main charaters was a 13 year old girl and although his voice for this character could be described as accurate, i didn't enjoy listening to it. i'm new to listening to audiobooks so maybe this just comes with the territory but all the different voices were a bit distracting for me.
Wild creative imagination
This was more like Murakami's 1Q84.
It was okay. I've certainly heard better but also worse.
This is a crazy story .... it is a life story book on drugs .... I am not sure how to describe this except to say if you like weird stories that take you on strange drug like detours then you are good. I liked its strangeness ... the story was vivid and compelling ... I did find myself going from engrossed to apathy as the story went from interesting to far to bizarre for my taste but the weirdness did not last long
No. I only listen/read once. Life is too short for repeats.
The interesting way the story was presented. I wanted to try something by Haruki Murakami so I figured I would give this book a try. It was not like the usual books I have read. At times I felt like dropping this book and returning to my routine, but this book kept my interest. It was odd and uncomfortable at times; but the suspense and story line kept me alert.
All of the scenes in the well.
I tried one of the author's other books and returned it. I probabaly wont read another, but this book was a nice distraction from the norm.
"The nature of (un)reality"
Hmm, didn't quite work for me. Lots of good stuff here; beautiful descriptive narrative, compelling historical war scenes (the best of the book I think), sympathetic and whacky characters, humour, and not least a virtuoso reading performance. But: an utterly unreal/unbelievable plot, dozens of tedious dream sequences (I rarely trust an author who relates lots of dreams), loose ends like I've never met before in a book, and a reliance on magic to drive the plot in what is ostensibly modern day Tokyo made this a tough one for me to finish. If you like Kafka you'll probably enjoy this, it creates similar mental disturbances! For something just as fantasical/magical but utterly convincing try Salman Rushdies's Midnight's Children also available on audible and also with an incredible reader.
"Is this his Masterpiece?"
I?ve been so hooked on Murakami that this is the third book in a row I?ve downloaded. It?s full of classic Murakami ingredients and is an enchanting and surreal labyrinth of a tale. On a very broad basic level it?s about a search for a lost cat whilst in reality it?s about so much more. It?s Toro Okada?s search for answers, for people, for his true self and he encounters so many intriguing characters along the way largely made up of defilers and the defiled. I particularly loved May Kasahara a young girl living a few doors down, mainly because of her youthful honesty and humour. We encounter such a diverse selection of characters and situations that you couldn?t possibly believe they could all fit into one tale, from Japanese wartime espionage, days and nights spent at the bottom of a well, conducting surveys for the local Wig making firm and even Psychic sex... and yet it still works. Some say this is his masterpiece however by the time I got to this one I was slightly Murakami?d out! I still prefer his Kafka on the Shore by a long shot however I?ve come to realise that perhaps the first Murakami book you read or listen to whether it be Kafka or Wind-up you will consider not only to be his masterpiece but ?a? masterpiece.
"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!
"What's it all about????"
This wasn't for me. I've tried to get into it but it's just not happening. I haven't bothered to download the second and third parts. Matbe I'm missing something!
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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