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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Audiobook

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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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 Rating

4.0 (1537 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (878 )
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Story
4.2 (878 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Shelley Hamden, CT, USA 08-14-07
    Shelley Hamden, CT, USA 08-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
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    15
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    Overall
    "Bizarre"

    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.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Minneapolis, MN 12-21-09
    Amazon Customer Minneapolis, MN 12-21-09 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    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.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Ann Berkeley, CA, USA 09-10-06
    Jo Ann Berkeley, CA, USA 09-10-06 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
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    217
    6
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    2
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    Overall
    "Extremely worthwhile"

    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.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Caviness St. Louis, MO United States 02-23-07
    R. Caviness St. Louis, MO United States 02-23-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    53
    3
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    Overall
    "Fun Journey, but Lack of Resolution"

    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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevie 10-01-06
    Stevie 10-01-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "very enjoyable listen"

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Moyer Sinking Spring, Pa USA 10-19-06
    T. Moyer Sinking Spring, Pa USA 10-19-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
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    37
    10
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    1
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    Overall
    "Exotic"

    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.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chiharu 12-12-06
    Chiharu 12-12-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    16
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    "Another Haruki's world"

    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.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Jamie 08-25-06
    Jamie Jamie 08-25-06 Member Since 2005

    Jamie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    112
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    326
    11
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    8
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    Overall
    "Enthralling from chapter 1"

    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.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Elkhorn, WI, USA 12-29-07
    Roger Elkhorn, WI, USA 12-29-07 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
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    860
    6
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    "Completely weird and undescribeable"

    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.

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Chardon, OH 44024 11-02-06
    Susan Chardon, OH 44024 11-02-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    176
    3
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    Overall
    "Exceptional narration.....Awesomely quirky story"

    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.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
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  • Christopher
    Pinxton
    5/10/11
    Overall
    "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
  • DG
    2/6/09
    Overall
    "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
  • Wendy
    TAUNTON, SOMERSET, United Kingdom
    5/15/07
    Overall
    "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
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    7/15/10
    Overall
    "Great book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    Leatherhead, Surrey, United Kingdom
    5/18/08
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Dublin, Ireland
    2/28/11
    Overall
    "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
  • Jude P.
    11/16/06
    Overall
    "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
  • David
    Sandford, Crediton, United Kingdom
    12/16/10
    Overall
    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    7/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sordid, horrifying, confusing....but good."

    Sordid, horrifying, confusing....but good. A reminder of mankind's inhumanity to mankind, but Mr Wind Up Bird really can't be bothered!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    7/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life-changing"

    This book can and will change your life if you let it. Go ahead and get lost in it. Somehow, I'd never even heard of Murakami prior to downloading this; now, I'll never forget him.

    Also, not everything in this novel will make sense. But that's OK. It's fine not to understand everything; I find the book had a greater impact upon me because of that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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