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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by…

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (original 1995; edition 1998)

by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,182295243 (4.2)4 / 905
Title:The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Other authors:Jay Rubin (Translator)
Info:Vintage (1998), Edition: 1st Vintage International Ed, Paperback, 607 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (1995)

  1. 142
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (derelicious)
  2. 82
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (PaulBerauer)
  3. 50
    Ghostwritten by David Mitchell (derelicious)
  4. 50
    Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins (Alialibobali)
  5. 51
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (eromsted)
  6. 30
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (ainsleytewce)
  7. 30
    A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: Both this and Wind-Up Bird are about a man dealing with odd circumstances and going through a change. If you like the way Murakami writes, you probably will enjoy Mark Haddon's writing.
  8. 41
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (andomck)
    andomck: Both books, besides having science fiction/magical realism elements, discuss bloody episodes of WWII from the point of view of everyday people.
  9. 10
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    The Sea Came in at Midnight by Steve Erickson (alzo)
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    Oh!: A mystery of 'mono no aware' by Todd Shimoda (Magus_Manders)
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    The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Anonymous user)
  14. 00
    Phantastes by George MacDonald (charlie68)
  15. 00
    After the Quake by Haruki Murakami (andomck)
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    The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret (-Eva-)
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  20. 01
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    booklove2: Both books involve a displaced from the world character searching for clues to solve mysteries.

(see all 20 recommendations)


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English (261)  Dutch (8)  French (5)  Danish (4)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
Firstly, to read this book you must suspend everything you know about reality. Secondly, if you like lots of characters like blips on a screen (not fully developed), then this book is for you! Much of the locale are wells, both dry and with water. All of the women in this book are helpless and need saved. Many of the same character's actions are repetitive. The title? The wind up bird is an invisible bird sitting in a tree that "springs" the world. There is everything but the kitchen sink in this book: skinning of people alive, mind sex with physical ramifications, and baseball bats with human skin and hair on them. Not my cup of tea! No more Murakami for me; magic realism is not my thing. 623 pages ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Sep 17, 2018 |
There are those who like Murakami's somewhat magical realism writing and there are those who don't. I'm the former.
Suspension of reality is required to dive into this tale that begins benignly enough with Mr. Okada trying to find their missing cat. But then he ends up with a missing wife.
In searching for the cat, he meets a young woman in the alley behind the home he rents from his uncle, and she names him Mr. Wind-Up Bird.

If, like me, you enjoy Haruki Murakami's work, this is an enjoyable romp. ( )
  CYGeeker | Sep 6, 2018 |
4,67 ( )
  Randi_1080 | Sep 2, 2018 |
Ah-mazing! Really glad I re-read this one. For years I carried around with me an ethereal adoration for this novel. It is my go-to recommendation for all readers and has maintained its top-five spot but over time I have forgotten why. I remember now. My first experience with this book was fully immersive. It was at a time in my life when I could devote whole days to reading. Now, I balance the book on my knees while nursing the baby, prop it on the kitchen counter while cooking dinner, splay it on the couch arm to mediate a kiddo argument but I was still able to submerge in the murky waters of Murakami. If someone were to ask what this book is about or why they should read it, I am not sure what my answer would be. I am sure the response would have something to do with lemon drops and baseball bats, war, sex, water or absence of water, red vinyl hats and cats with crooked tails. I am all set for IQ84 now. Just a quick bracer book before I get started. ( )
  ambersnowpants | Aug 23, 2018 |
This is my first foray into Murakami’s works. Having finished this one, I now understand why Murakami’s stories may appeal to fans of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (some works I have read) and Salman Rushdie (which I have not read). It would probably help if you have a nodding understanding of Kafka as this story has a Kafkaesque chord to it. Told in a dreamlike manner, this story is a walk on the surreal side. I would suggest anyone new to Murakami – like I was – and attempting this one to approach it with an open mind and to make no assumptions as to what will happen next as you are reading. There are an awful lot of “odd” characters (like the sister psychics, Malta and Creta Kano) and events to take in. One reviewer has summarized this story as “imaginative”. Yes, it is definitely that! Some aspects of the story appealed to me more than others. I liked the quasi-detective story aspect with first a search for a missing cat and then the disappearance of Okada’s wife, Kumiko. The conversations Okada has with his teenage neighbour, high school dropout May Kasahara, seems to be the most normal aspects of this story, which isn’t saying much as even some of that dialogue verges on the “strange”. If you are not keen to read about graphic violence, you will probably want to skip certain sections of the letters Okada receives from the Japanese war veteran. Reading this one, I felt very much like an outside observer looking in, which is augmented by Okada’s passive character and the growing isolation that takes over the story.

Overall, an interesting, unusual, imaginative and contemplative novel that managed to twig my interest enough to look forward to reading more of Murakami’s novels. ( )
1 vote lkernagh | Jul 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
By the book's midway point, the novelist-juggler has tossed so many balls into the air that he inevitably misses a few on the way down. Visionary artists aren't always neat: who reads Kafka for his tight construction? In ''The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle'' Murakami has written a bold and generous book, and one that would have lost a great deal by being tidied up.
Mr. Murakami seems to have tried to write a book with the esthetic heft and vision of, say, Don DeLillo's ''Underworld'' or Salman Rushdie's ''The Moor's Last Sigh,'' he is only intermittently successful. ''Wind-Up Bird'' has some powerful scenes of antic comedy and some shattering scenes of historical power, but such moments do not add up to a satisfying, fully fashioned novel. In trying to depict a fragmented, chaotic and ultimately unknowable world, Mr. Murakami has written a fragmentary and chaotic book.

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Haughton, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«Ah, così lei ama la letteratura! – mi avrebbero detto, – anch'io. Da giovane ho letto parecchio». Per loro la letteratura era qualcosa che si leggeva da giovani. Come in primavera si colgono le fragole, e in autunno si vendemmia.
«Io ho solo sedici anni, e il mondo non lo conosco ancora bene, ma una cosa sola posso affermare con sicurezza: se io sono pessimista, un adulto che non lo sia, in questo mondo, è proprio un cretino».
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Toru Okada lever et yderst stilfærdigt liv med sin kone Kumiko i Japan. Han har sagt sit arbejde op og går egentlig bare hjemme og passer kat. Toru Okadas kone arbejder som redaktør på et forlag og den ene dag følger hurtigt den anden.

Lige indtil alting ændrer sig. I "Trækopfuglens krønike" kan du læse, hvordan alting falder sammen om ørene på Toru Okada, da katten og herefter konen forsvinder sporløst. Og hertil hvordan det hele bliver endnu mere forvirrende, da Toru Okada modtager mystiske opkald af mindst så mystiske mennesker.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679775439, Paperback)

Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician.

Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose. Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture, movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society at the end of the 20th century.

If it were possible to isolate one theme in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, that theme would be responsibility. The atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China keep rising to the surface like a repressed memory, and Toru Okada himself is compelled by events to take responsibility for his actions and struggle with his essentially passive nature. If Toru is supposed to be a Japanese Everyman, steeped as he is in Western popular culture and ignorant of the secret history of his own nation, this novel paints a bleak picture. Like the winding up of the titular bird, Murakami slowly twists the gossamer threads of his story into something of considerable weight. --Simon Leake

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:47 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Having quit his job, Toru Okada is enjoying a pleasant stint as a "house husband", listening to music and arranging the dry cleaning and doing the cooking - until his cat goes missing, his wife becomes distant and begins acting strangely, and he starts meeting enigmatic people with fantastic life stories. They involve him in a world of psychics, shared dreams, out-of-body experiences, and shaman-like powers, and tell him stories from Japan's war in Manchuria, about espionage on the border with Mongolia, the battle of Nomonhan, the killing of the animals in Hsin-ching's zoo, and the fate of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the Soviet camps in Siberia.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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