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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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Kafka on the Shore (original 2002; edition 2006)

by Haruki Murakami

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,074376255 (4.08)1 / 966
Member:sourcherry
Title:Kafka on the Shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2006), Edition: Later printing, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

  1. 131
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (LottaBerling)
  2. 50
    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. 51
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (PaulBerauer)
  4. 10
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
  5. 10
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (Anonymous user)
  6. 00
    Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley (somethingauthentic)
  7. 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)
  8. 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!
  9. 02
    Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (LottaBerling)
  10. 38
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (tandah)
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English (318)  French (15)  Dutch (11)  Spanish (8)  Danish (5)  Catalan (4)  Italian (3)  Finnish (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Estonian (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (376)
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As usual, Murakami provides his delighted readers with a unique experience in Kafka on the Shore. It is sumptuous novel, layered with symbolism and literary references. Murakami manages to masterfully preserve a strong sense of narrative and readability despite his experimental techniques and complex explorations of fundamental themes. Kafka on the Shore interweaves the stories of “Kafka” Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway and Nakata, an older man with magical gifts bestowed upon him after a near-death experience dating from his youth. The young “Kafka” searches for his mother who abandoned him, and Nakata seeks his destiny as a conduit between different states of reality. Both characters are on Odyssean quests that are piloted by fate and haunted by echoes of the past. Combined, the two protagonists’ stories are like a bildungsroman in forward and reverse. To attempt to simplify Murakami’s work would be an impossible and unworthy task for any reviewer. Kafka on the Shore is a book that needs to be digested slowly and lovingly. Any reader who soaks in its pages will be richly rewarded for doing so.

Good for fans of: philosophical stories incorporating magical realism; translated Japanese fiction; nuanced and contemplative literary fiction.

You may like this book if you liked: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles or other Murakami works; I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki; One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov; and Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges. ( )
  jnmegan | Jul 14, 2019 |
A tantalizing, reimagining of life amidst the prowess of Murakami. I thought this was extremely well written and performed well. At points, not all the links folded together (or so I thought) but, overall, it was a worthy contender for the basis of contemporary fiction. Kafka is an entrancing youth in the book that deals with so much and Nakata is a fully fledged character in his own right. There is much to like, learn, and live through here.

4.25 stars- well deserved! ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jun 25, 2019 |
Some pretty good writing, but the plot leaves something to be desired. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Two stories of runaway's intertwine but never quite meet in this dreamy novel. One is 15, running away from a sad childhood and the other in his 60s, running with an agenda, mysterious even to him. It suffers from some creepy bits and translation awkwardness, but I'm glad I finally gave Murakami a try. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Murakumi brings deep emotional responses from the bottom of my soul.The discovery of ones identity is a highly personal and painful process.

I loved Kafka's journey. Every step of the way, I loved this book. So, so much. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (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 (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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