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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

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11,645289230 (4.09)682
Member:-Cee-
Title:Kafka on the Shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2006), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Christmas Swap from Caro, Japan, Magical realism

Work details

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 682 mentions

English (239)  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 (289)
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
This was not an easy read for me, but many of my friends really, really liked it and so I persisted and I am glad! Yup. The author does create a clever, fantastical, story populated by some bizarre but ultimately likable characters. There is elements of dreamscapes, and mystical fantasies, and philosophical conundrums, which in turn are captivating and exasperating. And then for flavor there are some musings about classical music which definitely were fun to come upon.

A fifteen year old boy runs away from his father, who appears to be neglectful, perhaps even cruel. He finds his way to a place where friendly people are willing to "take him in, providing employment, and room/board"; parallel is the story of a mentally challenged man who seems to have some sort of communication with the mystical side of life. He also befriends a friend who assists in a spiritual quest of sorts, and participates for his own well being, too. And then our friend, the author, weaves these parallel stories together and ends up creating a delightful story of people who finally figure out some of the oldest lessons of humanity. One cliché which I love, and which is here, too, is "wherever you go, there you are". And another: "every boy wants to kill his father, and sleep with his mother". Its in there, too. I especially enjoyed learning that in extreme surfing the surfer must learn to let go, and let the nature of the beast take charge.

I do recommend this book. And I am very likely to pick up another by this author. ( )
  maggie1944 | Nov 9, 2014 |
Oh wow.

Murakami, I think I love you.

I can't even really review this book other than to say that I found it beautiful and readable and strange. It was magical realism and an interesting plot, but it was enjoyable to read! I really liked the time I spent reading this book, it was easy to enjoy and amazingly deep. I don't know whether I'll ever understand it.

Right after finishing it I got to searching for interpretations and thoughts on the book and ran into the idea that it's a riddle and a big metaphor, just like the characters in the book keep talking about all the way through. Everything's a metaphor.

The ending didn't so much as tie everything up as leave you realising how much of it had been open the whole time that you'd been missing. One day I'm going to read this again and try and meticulously pull it all apart and try and make my own sense out of it. And I still don't think I'll manage it.

Kafka on the Shore made an impression on me. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
Oh wow.

Murakami, I think I love you.

I can't even really review this book other than to say that I found it beautiful and readable and strange. It was magical realism and an interesting plot, but it was enjoyable to read! I really liked the time I spent reading this book, it was easy to enjoy and amazingly deep. I don't know whether I'll ever understand it.

Right after finishing it I got to searching for interpretations and thoughts on the book and ran into the idea that it's a riddle and a big metaphor, just like the characters in the book keep talking about all the way through. Everything's a metaphor.

The ending didn't so much as tie everything up as leave you realising how much of it had been open the whole time that you'd been missing. One day I'm going to read this again and try and meticulously pull it all apart and try and make my own sense out of it. And I still don't think I'll manage it.

Kafka on the Shore made an impression on me. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
Oh wow.

Murakami, I think I love you.

I can't even really review this book other than to say that I found it beautiful and readable and strange. It was magical realism and an interesting plot, but it was enjoyable to read! I really liked the time I spent reading this book, it was easy to enjoy and amazingly deep. I don't know whether I'll ever understand it.

Right after finishing it I got to searching for interpretations and thoughts on the book and ran into the idea that it's a riddle and a big metaphor, just like the characters in the book keep talking about all the way through. Everything's a metaphor.

The ending didn't so much as tie everything up as leave you realising how much of it had been open the whole time that you'd been missing. One day I'm going to read this again and try and meticulously pull it all apart and try and make my own sense out of it. And I still don't think I'll manage it.

Kafka on the Shore made an impression on me. ( )
  heaven_star | Oct 20, 2014 |
Not for me. ( )
  Septima | Oct 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 239 (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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First words
"So you're all set for money, then?" the boy named Crow asks in his characteristic sluggish voice.
Quotations
"... 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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