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A Review: ‘Kafka on The Shore’ by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, 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.

Kafka on the Shore
Original Title: 海辺のカフカ [Umibe no Kafuka]
Karuki Murakami
January 3rd 2006 by Vintage International
Genres: Paranormal | Urban Fantasy | Magical Realism | Contemporary Literature | Fiction

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul.

Kafka on the ShoreKafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received this book as a gift from a former ex-boyfriend years, years ago. Since then I have given this book away but that was before I read it.

This is one of those books I remember enjoying but since then have left my memory entirely except for memories long ago. It holds onto you even years later and does not quite let go although the story was remarkable and I could never forget him going into the library or talking with cats. I felt like he was writing of me but the ending – Have you ever been broken up like in a book? Yeah – that happened just like in the book and tell me I was not crazy. Yeah I was pretty crazy.

This book has three out of four stars only because the writing was a little hard – probably lost in translation but I completely get that. I would love to give this book another try but past emotions will not let me. Maybe if I have the opportunity to get my hands on it again I would but not without a fight.

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