Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami Book Review/Recommendation

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.

This was an amazing read. I think it was meant to sit on my shelf for a year for a reason. I think it was waiting for me to finish watching Lost and take an interest in philosophy before reading it. It was full of philosophical thinking and metaphors. Haruki has said that it is a book you will need to read a few times to unravel all the puzzles. Although I don't feel I need to read it again, I really want too! After I read a book I like to go on to Amazon and read all the reviews good and bad to see what other people thought. One reviewer who gave it a 1 star said that he/she believed that no one understood this book and that they just said they did to sound smart and/or superior. Now there is some strange stuff in this book not all of it making straight forward sense, but as for the story...the story makes sense. Not like After Dark (same author) where I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Maybe it needs another re-read. I just had a quick look back and I never reviewed that book...probably because I wasn't sure what to make of it! ha anyway back to Kafka on the Shore.
As it says above the book follows two different people who never actually meet in the story but who's lives sort of depend on each other. I love stories like that. It just makes you wonder who's life is important or integral to yours...that is if they exist. I think if you like crazy stories this is one for you. I wish I could read Japanese to read it in it's original language I was wonder what is lost in translation. Not sure what else to say but after I reread it I will write another review saying what it was I found!

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