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Kafka on the Shore 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.

As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, 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. Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9781400044818
List price: $11.99
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Talking cats. A prostitute who discusses Positivist philosophy. A magical stone. Incest and patricide. A semi-divine spirit that takes on the essence of KFC's Colonel Sanders. A discourse on Beethoven and his "Archduke Trio." A deeply enchanted forest. A sexy, mysterious librarian. "Kafka on the Shore" is Murakami at his most Murakami-esque!(I don't know if you need to be a cat person in order to love this book, but it certainly helps.)more
recommended for: readers who are skilled at suspending disbelief and/or who enjoy unusual novelsThis is a very odd book and I enjoyed it despite its oddness, not because of it. I’m rather surprised by how much I liked it.From the beginning I thought that it was peculiar but I was engaged from the beigining. Right from the start I enjoyed the writing style and cared about the characters.This book is beautifully constructed and very well crafted.In alternating chapters, the story follows two characters (Kafka and Nakata) seemingly on a collision course. The two intersecting stories that make up the whole were both fascinating.I loved Kafka Tamura and Satoru Nakata. Oshima, Hoshimo, Sakura, Miss Saeki were also interesting and I cared about them too. I could have done without Colonel Sanders and especially Johnnie Walker and the sometime gruesome parts of the plot.I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book because I’d heard it referred to as magical realism and I suspected that wouldn’t appeal to me.It’s true what I loved best were the “normal” parts of slices of life with Kafka and Nakata, the psychological fiction aspects, and the allusions to Oedipus and Greek mythology and, I think, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis than the even more strange and surreal aspects of the story. I chose to interpret these as metaphors and that’s what made the book work for me.As I read, the suspense increased, and it became more difficult to both pick the book up and read it and to put the book down and stop reading it.This is my first Haruki Murakami book and I want to read his other novels on my to read list.more
Not my favourite Murakami book, but still, quite interesting.more
I was disappointed at the ending. Too many loose ties. I read somewhere that questions get answered on multiple readings, but I wanted to know the answers now. I loved the beginning and middle, though. It was a fast, easy read.more
Read all 139 reviews

Reviews

Talking cats. A prostitute who discusses Positivist philosophy. A magical stone. Incest and patricide. A semi-divine spirit that takes on the essence of KFC's Colonel Sanders. A discourse on Beethoven and his "Archduke Trio." A deeply enchanted forest. A sexy, mysterious librarian. "Kafka on the Shore" is Murakami at his most Murakami-esque!(I don't know if you need to be a cat person in order to love this book, but it certainly helps.)more
recommended for: readers who are skilled at suspending disbelief and/or who enjoy unusual novelsThis is a very odd book and I enjoyed it despite its oddness, not because of it. I’m rather surprised by how much I liked it.From the beginning I thought that it was peculiar but I was engaged from the beigining. Right from the start I enjoyed the writing style and cared about the characters.This book is beautifully constructed and very well crafted.In alternating chapters, the story follows two characters (Kafka and Nakata) seemingly on a collision course. The two intersecting stories that make up the whole were both fascinating.I loved Kafka Tamura and Satoru Nakata. Oshima, Hoshimo, Sakura, Miss Saeki were also interesting and I cared about them too. I could have done without Colonel Sanders and especially Johnnie Walker and the sometime gruesome parts of the plot.I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book because I’d heard it referred to as magical realism and I suspected that wouldn’t appeal to me.It’s true what I loved best were the “normal” parts of slices of life with Kafka and Nakata, the psychological fiction aspects, and the allusions to Oedipus and Greek mythology and, I think, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis than the even more strange and surreal aspects of the story. I chose to interpret these as metaphors and that’s what made the book work for me.As I read, the suspense increased, and it became more difficult to both pick the book up and read it and to put the book down and stop reading it.This is my first Haruki Murakami book and I want to read his other novels on my to read list.more
Not my favourite Murakami book, but still, quite interesting.more
I was disappointed at the ending. Too many loose ties. I read somewhere that questions get answered on multiple readings, but I wanted to know the answers now. I loved the beginning and middle, though. It was a fast, easy read.more
Good ideas and compelling storytelling. Very very odd. Original. I had complaints about the pacing, at times, but more about the way that characters and plot points were elaborately developed and then... dropped like nothing. A frustrating waste. If 'guts' are a metaphor for a labyrinth (one of the better images in the book) this book leaves you with more loose ends than spilled spaghetti. Still, I went willingly on the ride all the way to the end.more
This book is magic. If you're going to read only one of Murakami's novels, read this one.more
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