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Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the shore (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Haruki Murakami

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11,854297224 (4.08)700
Title:Kafka on the shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:London : Vintage , 2005
Collections:Your library
Tags:read in 2009

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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

  1. 90
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (LottaBerling)
  2. 20
    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. 31
    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 700 mentions

English (246)  French (11)  Dutch (9)  Spanish (7)  Danish (5)  Catalan (4)  Italian (3)  Finnish (2)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Estonian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (296)
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
i found 1Q84 utterly unreadable. i really enjoyed Wind Up Bird Chronicles but this one was really well put together.

reminds me of a cross between Twin Peaks (the David Lynch tv series) and something from Neil Gaiman. a surreal myth that wends through a very modern and even urban land of fairy- the historical, dark kind rather than the Disney version. full of quirk and wisdom but also nightmarish scenes and ideas. the two are often found near to one another, no surprises there.

some elements seem to be taken directly from Windup Bird. maybe Kafka takes place in the same universe and we're just seeing things from a slightly different perspective. it definitely draws from Greek mythology but also Japanese. the plot is page-turning, the characters vivid, and the story arc is vaguely uplifting somehow. ( )
1 vote keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
My favorite of Murakami's so far. It kept my interest throughout. ( )
  Allyson.Wonderland | Jan 29, 2015 |
This is the weirdest book I've ever read. There's a lot about it that I don't quite understand. I'll have to read it again. ( )
  brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
Murakami's 'Kafka on the Shore' is a great story on many levels. There is an epic quest, a reflection on death, a Japanese perspective on the horrors of WW2, and a coming of age tale. It races towards the inevitable conclusion using two parallel heroes, the old man Nakata, and the 15y.o. boy Kafka. But like all parallel lines, they only just look like they are going to meet. When you get to the end you might be left wondering 'what happened?' If you have read other books by Murakami you will recognise some familiar characters, but that doesn't really matter to me personally. It's like the pieces on a chess board are always the same, but each game is nevertheless unique. The negative points are the same as with Murakami's other books, namely, he doesn't treat his female characters very well and the sex scenes all seem to be part of some middle-aged male fantasy. If you can get past those things, the sheer inventiveness and wonderous imagination behind this book is nothing short of amazing! And any story with talking cats is just about a winner straight away for me.
( A word of warning for cat lovers, this book does contain one TRULY horrifying scene.) ( )
  Estramir | Dec 19, 2014 |
Kafka on the shore is filled with riddles and metaphors, and although I'm not entirely sure what Murakami's true intentions were, part of me enjoys that I don't know. This gives the readers their own perspective on certain events. I've read several different opinions from different readers and its like a brand new story every time. I think that's great!

The book is a very simple read and there was not one character in this book that I have a grudge with.(well... other than Walker of course) I personally enjoyed the friendship between Nakata and Hoshino the most in this story.

Great read! ( )
  tfcred | Dec 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (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.

» 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.
"... 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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