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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
13,686369256 (4.07)1 / 946
Member:puckers
Title:Kafka on the Shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2006), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

  1. 121
    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
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (Anonymous user)
  5. 10
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
  6. 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)
  7. 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!
  8. 02
    Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (LottaBerling)
  9. 38
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (tandah)
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English (312)  French (14)  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 (369)
Showing 1-5 of 312 (next | show all)
Kafka on the Shore

A captivating and intriguing story intertwining the lives of a troubled teenage runaway with a man who converses with cats.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


SUMMARY
Kafka Tamura is a troubled 15-year-old boy, who runs away to escape his sinister father and to search for his long-missing mother and sister. Shortly after Kafka runs away his father is murdered. Kafka wakes up hundreds of miles away to find himself covered in blood. He finds refuge in a small, private library in a town by the sea where he spends his time reading and contemplating his life and his future. He assists and is assisted by two librarians, the welcoming Oshima and the the remote Miss Saeki in becoming “the toughest 15-year-old in the world.”

Satoru Nakata, is an aging simple man, who has never fully recovered from a childhood incident. This mysterious incident caused him to lose all his memories, as well as his ability to read and write, but he gained the ability to communicate with cats. This skill earns him a little extra money when he is occasionally hired to find his neighbors missing pets. It is in his search for Goma the cat, that Nakata encounters Johnnie Walker, a cat soul-stealer and things don’t go so well between these two men. Nakata is later befriended by a truck driver, Hoshino who takes him on as a passenger. Hoshino become very fond of the old man who reminds him of his grandfather. Nakata and Oshino’s ride turns into quite an adventure.

“It's not just that I'm dumb. Nakata's empty inside. I finally understand that. Nakata's like a library without a single book. It wasn't always like that. I used to have books inside me. For a long time I couldn't remember, but now I can. I used to be normal, just like everybody else. But something happened and I ended up like a container with nothing inside.”

REVIEW

What an intriguing book that is both imaginative and inventive! The book raises more questions than it answers, which is precisely what makes it so intriguing. Author Haruki Murakami says the key to understanding this book is to read it several times. I have only read it once so can’t claim to understand it but I certainly enjoyed it. There is so much to appreciate in this book with references to pop culture, magical realism. alternate reality, mystery and humor. The writing is lyrical, captivating and engaging. My absolute favorite part of the book was Nakata’s character. His manner of speaking was charming and his conversation with cats was just amusing. Overall, Kafka on the Shore is a complex, riddle filled, delightful read.

“Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still.”

Publisher Random House Audio
Published August 6, 2013
Narrator Seán Barrett, Oliver Le Sueur
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com ( )
  LisaSHarvey | Sep 15, 2018 |
I want to like Murakami. My writing and reading friends keep on telling me how good he is. First they recommend this title, then that. I try them out, making a genuine effort to see what all of the fuss is about. I respect my friends' opinions. 'Norwegian Wood' is the best of them that I've read so far - a charmingly elegiac book. This, on the other hand...

I read the whole book and it felt very long indeed. There were parts of it that I enjoyed. The fantasy sequence in the 'other world' drew me in and the rainstorm of fish was a nice touch. Overall, though, I found it pretentious and rather silly. A book that is so heavy on dialogue needs to make its characters speak more convincingly. Maybe it's the translation (he said, being charitable). There were sections that began with a character saying something along the lines of, 'Tchaikovsky was a genius, right?', followed by a five-page high school essay on the subject. These sections were patronising and poorly executed. And the main character felt like a weaker rehash of the guy from 'Norwegian Wood'. He was the straight man to a host of pantomime characters, all of whom, to me, were entirely unbelievable. Any book that references Kafka has to be better than this. I must be missing something, I think.

I'm told that I should read 'The Wind-up Bird Chronicle'. On this evidence, I'm not sure that I can bring myself to do so. ( )
  PZR | Jul 28, 2018 |
illustrated by jacob mcmurray
63/200 ( )
  Drfreddy94 | Jul 17, 2018 |
I have read several of Murakami's novels and loved them all. This guy must win a nobel prize for literature. I am avidly awaiting translation of his latest work, published in Japanese in 2013. His writing style is so immediate and engrossing. No long winded introductions. You get straight into what one or more characters are doing in the here and now. Really grabs your attention. Kafka on the Shore was one of his best for me, makes you think, it's funny and very interesting. I am not really into so-called magical realism but, in this book, a nutty guy who talks to cats was quite amusing. And that is not the only odd thing that happens! Highly recommended! ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
DNF and reached page 133. Murakami writes exceptionally well and this novel was quite readable. However, I reached a scene where a minor character chops off cat's heads and eats their hearts. Sorry that is disgusting and doesn't fit my aesthetic sensibilities. Time to put this book down. ( )
  kammbiamh | Mar 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 312 (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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