©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.
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 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.
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.
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.
"wind up bird chronicles"
Weird but wonderful! This narrative keeps you enthralled from beginning to end. I could not wait for the story to unfold. The narrator is brilliant. Would recommend
As with all of the authors offerings, there is a particular, other-worldy flavour to this book. The narrator does an excellent job of adding to Murakami's almost trademark atmosphere by his relaxed and diverse talent.
Murakami has an incredible imagination and a rare talent for threading his characters together into compelling and moving stories. All his books contain a passive male protagonist, strange subplots, discussions of life and death and at least one cat - this book does not disappoint!
HIghly recommended, enjoyable listen.
"The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"
I didn't know what to expect, but had chosen it after reading other reviews. I was absolutely engrossed in the story with it's bazaar characters. The narrator, Rupert Degas, is brilliant and he brought the fantastic characters to life - even the women. The way Degas flies through the text is unbelievable - other audio book publishers should be fighting over him. The three parts totalled about 20 hours of listening and I was incredibly disappointed to reach the end. I will definitely be looking for more of this great duo.
"Great but full of woo woo"
As much as I don't like the fact myself, my loathing for all things woo has started to taint fiction for me recently. Any mention of fortune-telling or anything of that ilk produces and internal groan I just can't help.
Even though I like otherwordly novels with mystical characters, another half of me is thinking 'what a crock...'. I know, I know, it's ridicilous to be thinking that way. It's pure fiction but I can't help thinking the slightest encouragement for that nonense is unhealthy. Ridicilous that it should taint fiction for me really, just a tad, but it does.
So I really liked The Wind-up Bird Chronicle but couldn't exacty bring myself to say I loved it. Not as much as most people seemed to
"Well worth the listen"
As the far as the audio element it was on a par with most of what I've listened to; not noticeably better but definitely not poor.
It's hard for me to think of a good comparison, in many ways very little happens in the book and there's no climactic point to the story. But to me that was the point, it was interesting and full of content, and a refreshing change to a lot of what's out there. I don't know if that's true of Japanese novels or if it's specific to Murakami, but I've read several of his books (and am making my way through the rest) and I recommend trying them.
I can't describe an exact emotion, but I was definitely emotionally invested in the characters, they were brilliantly written.
"Not sure what to think about it"
The storyline is interesting and would not change a thing.
The female character has is interesting. You know that she holds the mystery but have to wait for her to reveal it.
I hated it and that is the reason why I only gave the book 3 stars. I have no doubts that he might have actic skills but his voice and a way he was acting characters out was annoying!
Not sure as the book is a slow paste with no much dynamic and this does not sale.
"Do I have the stamina to get to the end!"
Yes, but for the insight into some Japanese cultural views rather than for the story. It seems to be a series of small scenes, which may or may not go somewhere. I'm still on the journey.
Its a book I need quiet to listen to, as opposed to my favourite story telling books that draw me in and block out the world.
"Not my taste"
Reduce it by half
A book with a proper story
Yes, got the Name of the Wind. He's an excellent reader and brings characters to life.
I give up after about half of the book. There is no story line to follow, I don't engage with the characters, and I keep dozing off.
"I still don't know what to think of it"
One thing for sure, this is the weirdest and most bizarre book I have ever come across..
Stories of the most ordinary and boring daily routines blend here with unexpected situations, strange dialogues and terrorising tales from the II WW, almost as if the author was playing with the reader, trying to put his emotions to sleep to suddenly wake him up with the most violent and detailed torture or a bizarre sex scene one can imagine.
The pace is slow, yet what doesn’t happen is almost as significant to what does, making it for a quite a frustrating read/listen at times.
What kept me going was the fact that I had no way of guessing where the author was taking his story and how it was going to end. Having said that, I found the ending disappointing yet not at all out of a character..
One thing for sure, this book was so weird, I really don’t know what to think of it..
hence the ***** and * star
"Interesting, perseverance required though"
The story is quite intricate and requires attention throughout.
I found the narration to be quite annoying at times. I would recommend persevering through this though as the story is worthwhile.
If you're looking for an 'easy' listen, this isn't it. It is enjoyable with effort though.
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