We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel | [Haruki Murakami]

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.
Regular Price:$45.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.... Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo.

As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid 16-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

©1997 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Dreamlike and compelling.... Murakami is a genius." (Chicago Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (412 )
5 star
 (194)
4 star
 (145)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.2 (369 )
5 star
 (185)
4 star
 (106)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.1 (366 )
5 star
 (178)
4 star
 (103)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    REBECCA Nottingham, Md, United States 02-08-14
    REBECCA Nottingham, Md, United States 02-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful book, flawed narration."
    If you could sum up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in three words, what would they be?

    Murakami's wonderfully delicate, mysterious and absorbing novel is terribly marred by the narration here; Degas renders the main character unpleasantly arch and snarky initially and seems to be struggling without success to find the right voice for him throughout; children and teens have voices like obnoxious TV cartoon characters, and both female and children's voices are indicated by a very rapid, jerky, breathy, oddly pitched delivery that's just all wrong and actually jarring. The tone throughout is much too theatrical and feverish for the quiet deeps, wry humor and reflective unfolding of this tale.I loved reading this book - Murakami's stories never seem abstract and 'experimental' in the off-putting way at all and I can never put them down. Other narrators have done Murakami really, really well (1Q84, with multiple readers, is terrific, as is Kafka By the Shore with Sean Barrett and Oliver Le Sueur ). Degas just never gets the mood of the work right, to my mind.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I'm a Murakawa fan; would just add to the many reviews of his work something that's often not mentioned - not only are they deeply beautiful, his novels are really fun to read. I think he's often made out to be less accessible than he is; newcomers should just relax and flow along with the narrative and not be too worried about assembling things - just kick back and enjoy the ride. Even with a poor narrator it's a dandy.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rupert Degas’s performances?

    No indeed. I'm really not such a hard critic of audiobook performances and appreciate many readers deeply, but a good reader needs to understand and respect his characters and not deliver caricatures.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't closely follow the outline suggested here (seriously?), but would say that this is a tremendous tale, difficult to put down for those who like Murakami's work, and widely reviewed elsewhere; I only wanted to warn readers that they might be unfairly put off this author by the disappointing performance here.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 01-31-14
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 01-31-14

    "... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9211
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    451
    446
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1832
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Huge, Heavy, Creepy, Cool Murakami"

    A weird metaphysical (I KNOW it is a bit redundant to start off ANY review of Murakami by dressing it up in adjectives like weird & metaphysical) novel. I remember wanting to buy this book back in 2007, but I was poor and just about to get married and it seemed like my limited money would be better spent on bread and cheese. Now I own three (four if you count audible), but I still wish I bought it. I still regret NOT buying it. Not necessarily because I wish I had read it earlier. I think I'm reading Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at exactly the right point for me, but just because I would have liked to carry that book with me like some form of lucky talisman during the last 17 years (kinda like what I did with Infinite Jest). And it is more than that ... I actually remember in my brain THE book. Displayed with the bird eye out against a support beam in the bookstore. I regret not buying THAT book.

    I've now read about all of Murakami. Well not quite. I still have to read: 1Q84, Sputnik Sweetheart, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, Hear the Wind Sing & Pinball, 1973. That's it. After THAT I'm done. Anyway, my point is even after reading 11 or more previous Murakami novels I still exit W-BC a bit uncertain.

    I liked it a lot and think it is an important novel and worth the listen/read, but it just seemed a bit too untidy or ambiguous. I KNOW. The novel is built on ambiguity, uncertainty, evil, weird coincidences, funky time, projections, reflections, shadows. My only criticism is that sometimes the shadows seemed to cover the reflections (metaphorically speaking). Sometimes, I read a page and was left with not just a WTF moment, but exhausted from not knowing WHY it twas a WTF moment. Anyway, there still is no escaping that the novel is huge, creepy, cool, and feels like David Lynch should make the movie (complete with midgets and nymphets). For me it was a 21st century novel written in the last decade of the 20th century, reflecting on the evils and history of the past and present Japan.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex 02-25-15
    Alex 02-25-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Was my first Murakami, couldn't get enough"

    I've now ventured through more of his books but this remains my favorite. Performance seems like it should be annoying, but somehow is just perfect instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manuel Beverly Hills, CA, United States 01-18-14
    Manuel Beverly Hills, CA, United States 01-18-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great novel tarnished by a terrible performance"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Many of the performer's voices were distractingly awful. His voice for May sounds exactly like a man doing a comedic impression of an annoying teenage girl for a broad comedy, his voice for Ushikara is a bad villain stereotype from a low budget Hanna Barbera cartoon, and he insists on reading the 'news story' chapters using a poor imitation of a classic newsreel narrator. The only thing that kept me listening was the wonderful writing of Murakami itself, which deserves the respect of a competent vocal actor.


    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabith Bangalore, India 05-12-15
    Sabith Bangalore, India 05-12-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My first murakami"

    I have been seeing this book at my office and many recommended murakami to me. I see there was reason in their good council

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 05-10-15
    Josh 05-10-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent reading!"

    Not quite my favorite of Murakami's, but still great, and the performance was excellent. I recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Longs, SC 04-20-15
    James Longs, SC 04-20-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    223
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow!! Incredible Story and Presentation"
    What made the experience of listening to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle the most enjoyable?

    The narrator and the very, very unpredictable story line.


    What did you like best about this story?

    same as above


    What about Rupert Degas’s performance did you like?

    he was incredible with the various character voices, especially the female characters.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and why?

    all were very deep and involved characters, hard to pick one. WOuld have to say Mei would be most memorable, probably due to the narrators voice being able to accurately reflect a manic/flighty typical 16 yr old girl.


    Any additional comments?

    My first Murakami book but I'll be downloading his others!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Conor Newton, MA, United States 04-02-15
    Conor Newton, MA, United States 04-02-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Memorable performance, interesting but flawed work"
    If you could sum up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in three words, what would they be?

    3 words: surreal, sinister, gripping.

    An ordinary life goes slowly and then not so slowly off the rails, until the line between dreams and waking is no longer clear. The cast of characters is rich and interesting.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    If felt like the author kind of gave up on making a coherent story of all the threads he had been drawing out through the book. Instead of the lines converging, they mostly proceed independently towards the horizon. The Manchurian war episodes contrast jarringly with the domestic life portrait.


    What does Rupert Degas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    By far the best thing about the experience. The range of different accents and affects he brings to the characters, like the threatening messenger or the teenage girl, is wonderful. The quiet, sibilant politician's voice will stick in my ear for a long time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It certainly kept me awake late several nights.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ursula 03-09-15
    Ursula 03-09-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the narration!"
    Any additional comments?

    The storyline was complex and VERY imaginative. From reading some of the other reviews, it seems that people either love the narration or hate it. I really enjoyed that Mr. Degas was able to create such distinct voices for each of the characters. It made the audio easy to follow. I admit that some of the voices were a bit exaggerated, consistent with the perceived nature of the particular character, but for me, that was a plus. I enjoyed both the story and the performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avinash 03-08-15
    Avinash 03-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant and complex."

    The narration was excellent . The story was strange even by Murakami 's standard, but the characters were very interesting especially the female one's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.