Regular price: $81.17

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

Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.
©2006 Haruki Murakami; (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    732
  • 4 Stars
    437
  • 3 Stars
    231
  • 2 Stars
    106
  • 1 Stars
    80

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    514
  • 4 Stars
    234
  • 3 Stars
    96
  • 2 Stars
    38
  • 1 Stars
    40

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    442
  • 4 Stars
    261
  • 3 Stars
    135
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    34
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Rupert Degas is dreadful. save your credit

I LOVE Murakami. (have read everything he's written) I love audio books. 1Q84 (audio book) was fantastic. This narrator took me out of the story three times. When he gets to any female character, Degas sounds like a straight man unintentionally imitating a drag queen. All the while you, the audience, are so distracted by his narration you're now texting while you drive. It's a shame Degas ruined such a wonderful book.

Save your Credit.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Babyish voice of Mai Kasahar

It's a great mystic story and full of wisdom! The narrator was actually quiet remarkable with his imitation of voices but he started to get a little over exited with the character of the 16 year old Mai Kasahara. His voice was so babyish and over the top that I had to skip these parts when "she" was talking....I guess I didn't miss too much because she suppose to be a little stupid but underlining it with a loud penetrating voice was quiet painful !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Life is too short...

Life is too short and there are too many good books to read. I am all for magical realism, I really am, but I forgot that you have to make an investment when you go for books like that. Maybe over the summer I will pick up the actual book and thumb through it again. There are a lot of worthy parts of this book, but as a whole it just didn't come together for me. I will definitely look through it again, but for now, I have 10 wish list pages of books to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Guillermo
  • Rochester Hills, MI, United States
  • 02-21-10

Enchanting, Delightful and Suspeseful

So far I've of the Haruki Murakami novels I've listened to Kafka On the Shore; Dance, Dance, Dance; and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I love them all, and I love the audible presentation of them by this narrator.

Haruki's novels all put character development in front of action, and the action builds up so artfully and surreally that it's always moving and suspenseful at all the right times.

Haruki is a master author, and Rupert is a master narrator. I honor this book and its narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ivan
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • 10-28-09

Very good

I love Murakami. And I love Ruper Degas.
His books are SOOOO WELL WRITTEN.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jacob
  • Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 10-29-08

narration is outstanding

Putting gripes about the actual story aside (being that there are hundreds of critiques here already), Rupert Degas' narration is incredible. He covers all characters, male and female, young and old. His command of voice, and its use to establish character, is very strong. While I very much enjoyed this story, the recording is also a great performance. Well done!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

It is just unbelievable - you HAVE to read it. The best of Murakami - only to compare (maybe) with the "Kafka on the Shore"

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't do it!

You know it's bad when you're trying to listen but instead find your mind drifting and all of a sudden you're composing a negative review.

The story itself is pointless, the plot is disjointed and questionable, and narrarator makes it absolutely insufferable. The way he delivers the lines seems to warp the meaning of them. Numerous times I tried to imagine reading the words on a page instead of listening to this goofball. The main voice he uses is halting, petulant, and almost snobby. His female voices are downright awful. I read some previous reviews (too late, unfortunately) and I had to laugh -- he really does make them sound like bad imitations of inbred drag queens. And that DOES matter because there are lots of female characters in this book. It's impossible to take it seriously. The author must like him though because he's used him for several books. Go figure. Clearly Murakami and I are not soul mates.

I don't know why I bothered to finish it. It was like a twitsted form of self-torture. I guess I just had to know if there was a point. There wasn't. Deep down, I think I knew this from the beginning. Why? Why?

I hate to be negative; I have a great appreciation for all that goes into writing a book and producing an audio recording, but I would only recommend this audiobook to my worst enemy. Better luck next time!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Takes a lot of endurance

This is a long complicated story, interwoven with a lot of side events, mysticism, and a very small segment of the worst brutality chronicled on paper. I was introduced to this classic after having read, and liked, 1Q84, but this one is even stranger. It takes so much patience, not one of my strong suits, but I was so curious and invested in the title character there was no way I was going to abandon the book which meant I had to invest time in each of the multiple side stories. The most interesting thing about this book is that, even with its sometimes mystical overtones, it's really a "guy" book - - there are military and sexual side stories that are very masculine in tone. I mean that as a point of interest not as a deterrent for women. Unlike most books I read, I cannot send out a blanket endorsement, but if you have a taste for the strange and a strong stomach, this one will work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 08-29-12

Seamlessly Translation

After reading 1Q84 last year, I was fearful to read another story from Haruki Murakami because I did not have a good experience with my first introduction of his work. I should had read "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" first to appreciate his writing. After reading this book, I want to go back and reread 1Q84 and rewrite my review.

The Wind-Up Bird is more structure to its plot where you get instantly hook after the first chapter. There is no doubt that the story is drawn outside of the circle, but it's just so good where you can't stop reading. It is beautifully written with a twist. You forget that it was translated from Japanese because all of the words fits so seamlessly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Nick
  • 12-08-11

Intriguing with wonderful narration

Having mulled over the events of this novel I'm still convinced I've missed something that should have been more obvious. Murakami's books are always somewhat obscure, in that they blur the edges between reality and dream and deal with the elelment of human experience that can't settle into the artificial strictures of society, and which is both fascinated and horrified by the nastier brutalities of life. To that extent, this novel is the best example of his writing muse, but it also makes it difficult to pennetrate in any intellectual way. Perhaps that's the point, that the reader is supposed to be baffled and unable to rationalise anything about it!
All that aside. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narration by Rupert Degas is a tour-de-force masterclass in how to read a book - simply fantastic. All the characters have their own convincing voices and personalities and he never falters with the pace of the novel.
Don't let anything I've said put you off buying this title if you're prepared to go on an existential roller-coaster ride. I'm going to listen again very soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christopher
  • 05-10-11

Cool classic fiction

Murakami endows seemingly mundane events with a suble surreal edge and undermines the narrator's (and the reader's) complacency to lure him into a labyrinthine phantasmagoric nightmare. Rupert Degas' reading really brings the characters alive. This is the first Murakami I have read and now I have a new favourite author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • DG
  • 02-06-09

Let Down

I do like David Lynch but I did not like this. Intriguing to begin with but it never really delivered. The first audiobook I have been close to giving up on

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wendy
  • 05-15-07

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sean
  • 01-28-07

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • 02-28-11

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jude P.
  • 11-16-06

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!

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • 12-16-10

Very Disappointing

This was recommended to me . After reading positive reviews I settled in for some long sessions.
The male reader has many voices and uses American stereotypes to portray Japanese characters plus a heavy Russian accent for Boris. He has great vocal versatility but many of the characters have cartoonish voices that tried my patience. May Kasahara sounded like Daffy Duck!
I don't think this is a very good book. Murakami lacks a grip on character and form. He uses implausible metaphysical and magical devices to cheat instead of devising a coherent and satisfying tale. He employs a kind of magical realism which lacks the power and subtlety of Marquez.
I dislike fiction that relies too heavily on cheap tricks like parallel realities and extended dream sequences because they allow the author to escape the discipline of plausible motivation and good narrative structure. Murakami's characters are unconvincing cyphers deployed in an exercise in mystification.
Muddle and complexity do not make a book profound. I thought that my endurance would be rewarded in the end so I paid attention and suppressed my irritation at the disjointed structure and unrealistic situations. The language is sometimes ponderous and cliched but that may be the translation. Murakami clearly lacks a good editor as his tale digresses into endless details that go beyond the necessary evocation of place and character. The historical background to the Manchurian campaign was an interesting exception. He describes sadistic and gratuitous violence in loving detail which I endured hoping there was a purpose to my discomfort. Finally I began to think my trust in this author was misplaced but I was nearing the end and didn't wish to prejudge it before all the strands came together. I think this book may appeal to young adult readers who enjoy Twin Peaks and that sort of metaphysical crap. I found it a waste of many hours of listening and I will not be reading Murakami again

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jan
  • 10-08-17

Layered and labyrinthine

Vivid, dense and rich. Murakami builds up subtle layers of character, observation and the tattered edges of narrative threads. Over time these layers adhere to one another, a dark lacquer of insinuation and impact. Cause.....and standing estranged at a distance.....effect. I loved this book and had previously only read Norwegian wood. Listening to Murakami is a different experience and one I thoroughly recommend.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • tom appleyard
  • 09-07-17

wacky storyline awful reading

Honestly the reading of this book ruined it for me I found the readers depictions of women all most offensive. The story is ok.... great in parts but dull and wacky for the sake of being wacky in others.