Regular price: $38.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle - yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world's truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

©2005 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"As powerful as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.... Reading Murakami ... is a striking experience in consciousness expansion." (The Chicago Tribune)
"An insistently metaphysical mind-bender." (The New Yorker)
"If he has not achieved that status already, Haruki Murakami is on course to becoming the most widely read Japanese writer outside Japan, past or present." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    861
  • 4 Stars
    415
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    971
  • 4 Stars
    262
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    742
  • 4 Stars
    373
  • 3 Stars
    127
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    28
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hauntingly Surreal...

and enthralling. A must experience from the Japanese Kakfa.Among his best work. Mature writing from an accomplished author

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful Story, Perfectly Read

What made the experience of listening to Kafka on the Shore the most enjoyable?

The readers were amazing and so perfectly captured the characters. They turned a great story into a transcendent experience.

Who was your favorite character and why?

So hard to say, but probably Nakata. Although he is supposed to be a simpleton, he has a particular genius for living the life he is given and being happy with what he has.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene is when Miss Saiki tells Kafka he has to go back to the world to remember her.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Absolutely. This is a very philosophical and emotional story. I cried in all the right places and laughed out loud at its wry wit. Loved it. Will definitely listen again.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What's better than Murakami? More Murakami

If I've been propelled through life by a continuously variable transmission, reading Murakami is like moving to a stick shift. And this is certainly an prime example of that.

Murakami makes you shift your perspective. Nothing as trivial as alternate universes (although he did use those in 1Q84), but more of a radical shift in how you perceive and model reality. If there is such a thing.

Many of Murakami's books take you to places that just require you to relinquish all control of your rationality. This one's a bit easier on you, having more of a standard narrative. It's only in the deeper contemplation of the story that you tend to lose your footing.

This book is all about deep emotion, how emotion defies all logic and reason, and how it is at the very core of our existence. In this respect, it's a surprisingly uplifting and empowering book, which is, to me, pretty good for what may look like simple storytelling.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love it!

Both of the voice actors bring all the characters brilliantly alive with their performances. The nuances of the language and simple elegance of the dialogue is not wasted, but cherished. I wholeheartedly recommend this reading of the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great narration, beautifully crafted story

Very weird plot but charming in its way. I enjoyed this. I couldn't give 5 stars because it didn't blow me away. However, there is a philosophy lesson in every chapter and much of it reads like poetry. The ending was just okay but, in this book, it's really all about the journey.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Kafka on the Shore

Excellent .Very well developed main characters. I didn't want the book to end. Performance of the two narrators was wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Magical experience.

Would you consider the audio edition of Kafka on the Shore to be better than the print version?

"Reading" this book on audio was a magical experience. The prose is beautiful and (mostly) calming. In a written book, I think i would have floundered in it a bit. But on a 45 minute commute each morning and evening, it was wonderful. (less)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful

This is Murakami at his best. Kafka on the Shore is a deeply beautiful, engaging novel that will make you pause and think big.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A trip

A mind-bending, metaphorical quandary, full of life and death and a strange sort of gratifying mysticism that leaves you breathless and on the edge of tears. It gives no answers, but you cannot help but feel as though you leave this adventure wiser and better and more enlightened.

A wonderful listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Robert
  • United States
  • 03-15-14

extraordinary performance for wonderful story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

From the start, it pulled me in and was a great escape from ordinary life. Perplexing, great story, amazing performance.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kafka on the Shore?

Colonel Sanders.

What about Sean Barrett and Oliver Le Sueur ’s performance did you like?

There is no way I would have gone as deep into the story without the performance these guys put on.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful