Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.
Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.
Previous books such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood have established Murakami as a true original, a fearless writer possessed of a wildly uninhibited imagination and a legion of fiercely devoted fans. In this latest addition to the author's incomparable oeuvre, 15-year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from home, both to escape his father's oedipal prophecy and to find his long-lost mother and sister. As Kafka flees, so too does Nakata, an elderly simpleton whose quiet life has been upset by a gruesome murder. (A wonderfully endearing character, Nakata has never recovered from the effects of a mysterious World War II incident that left him unable to read or comprehend much, but did give him the power to speak with cats.) What follows is a kind of double odyssey, as Kafka and Nakata are drawn inexorably along their separate but somehow linked paths, groping to understand the roles fate has in store for them. Murakami likes to blur the boundary between the real and the surreal we are treated to such oddities as fish raining from the sky; a forest-dwelling pair of Imperial Army soldiers who haven't aged since WWII; and a hilarious cameo by fried chicken king Colonel Sanders but he also writes touchingly about love, loneliness and friendship. Occasionally, the writing drifts too far into metaphysical musings mind-bending talk of parallel worlds, events occurring outside of time and things swirl a bit at the end as the author tries, perhaps too hard, to make sense of things. But by this point, his readers, like his characters, will go just about anywhere Murakami wants them to, whether they "get" it or not.
A page turner
I never would have thought a Murakami novel could be a page turner. But this one is. My previous attempt at a Murakami novel was 1Q84. I was unable to finish that; at the two third mark, I just did not care what happens to the plot or the characters. This one is different. The arc of the main characters are super interesting. And the characters undergo change in an interesting fashion. Really fun.
On the fence but I’m here for it.
I mean you know where is gonna go but you stilll go to be proven wrong but your not mad it went exactly where it was gonna go. Chill read some slow parts but worth it like a Sunday afternoon
Boring and silly
I managed to force myself to get halfway through this book until finally admitting defeat. Just incredibly boring