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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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Kafka on the Shore (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Haruki Murakami

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,404326199 (4.08)772
Member:syrin
Title:Kafka on the Shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2005), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read (inactive)
Rating:
Tags:Japanese Literature, Fiction, Vintage, Private Collection, TBR

Work details

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

  1. 100
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (LottaBerling)
  2. 40
    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (GaryN1981)
    GaryN1981: Rushdie is one of the masters of magic realism and anyone who appreciates the way Murakami weaves almost impenetrable surrealism into Kafka... will love Midnights Children
  3. 41
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Kordo)
  4. 00
    The Infinities by John Banville (librorumamans)
    librorumamans: Like Kafka on the Shore, Infinities plays with multiple points of view, alternate realities, and riffs on other works (in this case Kleist's Amphitryon). Both Murakami and Banville tackle big ideas directly and indirectly through the structures of their books. Banville, in my opinion, pulls this off more coherently.… (more)
  5. 00
    Anathema Rhodes: Dreams by Iimani David (Mary_Z)
    Mary_Z: I enjoyed both these books for their mysticism and freshness. "Anathema Rhodes" has more challenges and is clearly more socially and politically conscious, but the feel and flow of the story reminds me of Murakami's "Kafka...". I sincerely recommend both!
  6. 02
    Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (LottaBerling)
  7. 38
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (tandah)
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» See also 772 mentions

English (272)  French (13)  Dutch (9)  Spanish (7)  Danish (5)  Catalan (4)  Italian (3)  Finnish (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Estonian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (325)
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
It is my first Murakami Book.

Well...The story is woven between the reality and illusions.
Kafta is a 15 year old boy, who runs away from home. He runs away not only from his father but also from his father's prophecy which says he will kill his father and will sleep with his mother and sister. But kafta doesn't remember much about them as they both ran away when he was four. After running away, he finds shelter at Komura Private Library and with the help of librarian Oshima, tries to find a meaning in his life or of whatever was happening around him.

Along with kafta's story, there is Nakata who in his childhood went to coma after seeing flashes of light in sky. And when he woke up he had no memory, but has a strange ability to talk to the cats.

This book obviously left me wondering, pondering and bewildered as it took a wild and unimaginative twist , when I felt that "Oh , this must be this, well I am understanding this, not bad". Haruki Murakami's stories definitely is not for explanations, but has a strange way to keep the reader bound to the book.
( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Very well-written, original, capturing. Makes me want to read more books by the author. ( )
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
John Chancer
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
A weird book of magical realism, full of disturbing symbolism and metaphor.

15-year-old Tamura runs away from home, taking on the name Kafka, after the Russian author, as an alias. Not quite sure how to make it on his own, a young woman he meets on the train helps him, and then he finds refuge in a small, private library, where the clerk becomes a friend, and the librarian, an older woman, is strangely alluring. But soon, his trouble is more than he thought it would be, when he hears on the news that his wealthy father has been found violently murdered, and he is a suspect.
Gradually, it becomes clear that this is a retelling of the story of Oedipus, who was cursed to kill his father and sleep with his mother - and some difficult realizations seem inevitable.
Interwoven with this story is that of Nakata, an elderly, brain-damaged man who has the ability to talk to cats. Someone seems to be stealing neighborhood cats, and his search for a missing animal leads him to a sinister figure who goes about in the guise of advertising characters, and who tries to force Nakata into an act of horrific violence...

Metaphysical and philosophical, this is a very interesting book, but personally, not my favorite by Murakami.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
A wonderfully interesting book, but can't quite say WHY it was so good. Much like another people who have posted reviews about this book, it's a thrill reading it but for some reason I'm left with this puzzlement and confusion about the ending. There's so many things left unsaid or unclarified; maybe that's what it so good. Mixing this veil of mystery with the raw but eloquent languge somehow makes it a great read. ( )
  elle-kay | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 272 (next | show all)
The weird, stately urgency of Murakami's novels comes from their preoccupation with . . . internal problems; you can imagine each as a drama acted out within a single psyche. In each, a self lies in pieces and must be put back together; a life that is stalled must be kick-started and relaunched into the bruising but necessary process of change. Reconciling us to that necessity is something stories have done for humanity since time immemorial. Dreams do it, too. But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.
 
Maar net zoals in de rest van Murakami’s omvangrijke oeuvre blijft het niet bij het wegloop-realisme van de hoofdpersoon. Onverklaarbare wendingen, bovennatuurlijke verschijnselen, irreële toevalligheden en onwaarschijnlijke personages roepen bij de nuchtere lezer al snel de vraag op waarom hij in godsnaam maar blijft dóórlezen.
 
Kafka Tamura se va de casa el día en que cumple quince años. La razón, si es que la hay, son las malas relaciones con su padre, un escultor famoso convencido de que su hijo habrá de repetir el aciago sino del Edipo de la tragedia clásica, y la sensación de vacío producida por la ausencia de su madre y su hermana, a quienes apenas recuerda porque también se marcharon de casa cuando era muy pequeño. El azar, o el destino, le llevarán al sur del país, a Takamatsu, donde encontrará refugio en una peculiar biblioteca y conocerá a una misteriosa mujer mayor, tan mayor que podría ser su madre, llamada Saeki. Si sobre la vida de Kafka se cierne la tragedia –en el sentido clásico–, sobre la de Satoru Nakata ya se ha abatido –en el sentido real–: de niño, durante la segunda guerra mundial, sufrió un extraño accidente que lo marcaría de por vida. En una excursión escolar por el bosque, él y sus compañeros cayeron en coma; pero sólo Nakata salió con secuelas, sumido en una especie de olvido de sí, con dificultades para expresarse y comunicarse... salvo con los gatos. A los sesenta años, pobre y solitario, abandona Tokio tras un oscuro incidente y emprende un viaje que le llevará a la biblioteca de Takamatsu. Vidas y destinos se van entretejiendo en un curso inexorable que no atiende a razones ni voluntades. Pero a veces hasta los oráculos se equivocan.
 
”Et stort verk, men likevel lekende lett lesning.”
 

» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerhoven, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"So you're all set for money, then?" the boy named Crow asks in his characteristic sluggish voice.
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"... in everybody's life there's a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can't go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That's how we survive."
"Listening to Fournier's flowing, dignified cello, Honshino was drawn back to his childhood. He used to go to the river everyday to catch fish. Nothing to worry about back then. he reminisced. Just live each day as it came. As long as I was alive, I was something. That was just how it was. But somewhere along the line it all changed. Living turned me into nothing. Weird...People are born in order to live, right? But the longer I've lived, the more I've lost what's inside me–and ended up empty. And I bet the longer I live, the emptier, the more worthless, I'll become. Something's wrong with this picture. Life isn't supposed to turn out like this! Isn't it possible to shift direction, to change where I'm headed?"
The air was damp and stagnant, with a hint of something suspicious, as if countless ears were floating in the air, waiting to pick up a trace of some conspiracy.
I'd never imagined that trees could be so weird and unearthly. I mean, the only plants I've ever really seen or touched till now are the city kind--neatly trimmed and cared-for bushes and trees. But the ones here--the ones living here--are totally different. They have a physical power, their breath grazing any humans who might chance by, their gaze zeroing in on the intruder like they've spotted their prey. Like they have some dark, prehistroric, magical powers. Like deep-sea creatures rule the ocean depths, in the forest trees reign supreme. If it wanted to, the forest could reject me--or swallow me up whole. A healthy amount of fear and respect might be a good idea.
There's only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes.
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With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come. This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it 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. Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world's truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.… (more)

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