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Haruki Murakami

Author of Kafka on the Shore

376+ Works 151,916 Members 3,928 Reviews 1,295 Favorited
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About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born on January 12, 1949 in Kyoto, Japan and studied at Tokyo's Waseda University. He opened a coffeehouse/jazz bar in the capital called Peter Cat with his wife. He became a full-time author following the publication of his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, in 1979. He writes show more both fiction and non-fiction works. His fiction works include Norwegian Wood, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, The Strange Library, and Men Without Women. Several of his stories have been adapted for the stage and as films. His nonfiction works include What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He has received numerous literary awards including the Franz Kafka Prize for Kafka on the Shore, the Yomiuri Prize for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and the Jerusalem Prize. He has translated into Japanese literature written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Carver, Truman Capote, John Irving, and Paul Theroux. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Elena Seibert


Works by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore (2002) 18,153 copies
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1995) 17,979 copies
Norwegian Wood (1987) 16,355 copies
1Q84 (2009) 9,036 copies
A Wild Sheep Chase (1989) 7,800 copies
After Dark (2004) 6,982 copies
Sputnik Sweetheart (1999) 6,828 copies
Dance Dance Dance (1988) 6,002 copies
The Elephant Vanishes: Stories (1993) 4,833 copies
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (2006) 4,472 copies
After the Quake (2000) 4,117 copies
Underground (1997) 2,603 copies
The Strange Library (1982) 2,153 copies
Men Without Women (2014) 2,126 copies
1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (2009) 2,036 copies
Killing Commendatore (2017) 1,880 copies
1Q84 Book 3 (2010) 1,796 copies
Wind / Pinball: Two Novels (1979) 1,434 copies
1Q84 Book 1 (2009) 1,166 copies
1Q84 Book 2 (2009) 753 copies
Hear the Wind Sing (1979) 677 copies
Pinball, 1973 (1980) 499 copies
Birthday Stories (2002) — Editor; Contributor — 457 copies
Novelist as a Vocation (2022) 386 copies
Sleep (1990) 338 copies
Von Beruf Schriftsteller (2013) 233 copies
Vintage Murakami (2004) 227 copies
Norwegian Wood, Part 1 (1987) 183 copies
Birthday Girl (2002) 179 copies
Desire (2017) 145 copies
Norwegian Wood, Part 2 (1987) 124 copies
Kafka on the Shore, Book 1 (2002) 77 copies
Abbandonare un gatto (2019) 60 copies
Super-Frog Saves Tokyo (2006) 57 copies
Kafka on the Shore, Book 2 (2002) 56 copies
Murakami Diary 2009 (2008) 39 copies
A Wild Sheep Chase, Book 1 (1985) 31 copies
A Wild Sheep Chase, Book 2 (1985) 31 copies
Portraits in Jazz (1997) 28 copies
やがて哀しき外国語 (1994) 22 copies
TV People [short story] (1990) 22 copies
Kangoeroecorrespondentie (2012) 22 copies
Dance Dance Dance, Book 1 (1988) 20 copies
A Slow Boat to China (1986) 18 copies
Town of Cats 18 copies
Dance Dance Dance, Book 2 (1988) 17 copies
Dead Heat on the Carousel (1985) 17 copies
Honey Pie (2023) 17 copies
De broodjesroofverhalen (2012) 16 copies
Yesterday (2014) 16 copies
The Sheepman's Christmas (1985) 15 copies
İmkansızın Şarkısı (2016) 14 copies
Tōkyō Kitanshū (2005) 13 copies
The Ghosts of Lexington (1996) 13 copies
Asalto a las panaderías (2015) 10 copies
Haruki Murakami 9 copies
With the Beatles (2020) 8 copies
Kino (2015) 8 copies
Drive My Car (2022) 8 copies
Dabchick (2000) 5 copies
2003 4 copies
ふわふわ (2001) 4 copies
Fuwa Fuwa 4 copies
The WInd Cave 4 copies
Prima persona singolare (2022) 4 copies
Música, Só Música (2022) 4 copies
Yrke forfatter (2022) 4 copies
A Menina Dos Anos (2020) 4 copies
村上さんのところ (2015) 4 copies
Birinci Tekil Sahis (2021) 3 copies
ריקוד האדמה (2008) 3 copies
Samsa in Love (2013) 3 copies
身為職業小說家 (2016) 3 copies
Family Affair 3 copies
A Window 3 copies
Komtuuri tapmine (2021) 3 copies
1Q84 Sampler (2011) 3 copies
The Little Green Monster — Author — 3 copies
Sadece Müzik (2021) 3 copies
Cream 3 copies
村上春樹 雑文集 (2011) 3 copies
The Zoo Attack 3 copies
Ainsuse esimene isik (2023) 2 copies
Persoana Intai Singular (2022) 2 copies
Norvezhskiy les (2017) 2 copies
村上ラヂオ (2001) 2 copies
Storie 50 (2003) 2 copies
Uten enten (2008) 2 copies
図書館奇譚 (2014) 1 copy
少年カフカ (2003) 1 copy
圖書館奇譚 (2014) 1 copy
Nuowei de sen lin (1991) 1 copy
Yu yan wu pian (1995) 1 copy
聽風的歌 1 copy
海邊的卡夫卡 (2003) 1 copy
Princeton 1 copy
村上收音機 (2002) 1 copy
邊境.近境 (1999) 1 copy
聽風的歌 (1995) 1 copy
羊男的聖誕節 (2001) 1 copy
Chinmoku 1 copy
שינה (2011) 1 copy
Estoig Murakami 1Q84 (2012) 1 copy
Octobre-Décembre: 3 (2021) 1 copy
În noapte 1 copy
Agenda 2010 1 copy
遠い太鼓 1 copy
Le sous-sol 1 copy
Dakunu mayime (2011) 1 copy
Ice man 1 copy
神的孩子都在舞 (2000) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Great Gatsby (1925) — Translator, some editions — 72,696 copies
Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories (2006) — Introduction, some editions — 1,111 copies
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories (2011) — Contributor — 833 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 759 copies
Sanshirō (1908) — Introduction, some editions — 531 copies
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (2018) — Introduction; Contributor — 366 copies
Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction (1991) — Contributor — 235 copies
The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories (1997) — Contributor — 232 copies
This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work (2004) — Contributor — 164 copies
Granta 61: The Sea (1998) — Contributor — 148 copies
Granta 74: Confessions of a Middle-Aged Ecstasy Eater (2001) — Contributor — 141 copies
The Big New Yorker Book of Cats (2013) — Contributor — 135 copies
Granta 42: Krauts! (1992) — Contributor — 130 copies
Bedtime Stories (Everyman's Pocket Classics) (2011) — Contributor — 125 copies
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (2020) — Contributor — 112 copies
Granta 124: Travel (2013) — Contributor — 94 copies
Granta 148: Summer Fiction (2019) — Contributor — 62 copies
Stories To Get You Through The Night (2010) — Contributor — 33 copies
Norwegian Wood [2010 film] (2011) — Original book — 19 copies
Burning [2018 film] (2018) — Original Work — 19 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 01 (2011) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Playboy Book of Short Stories (1995) — Contributor — 11 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 05 (2015) — Contributor — 10 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 07 (2017) — Contributor — 8 copies
Short Stories: The Thoroughly Modern Collection (2008) — Contributor — 5 copies
Monkey Business: New Writing from Japan, Volume 02 (2018) — Contributor — 5 copies


1920s (888) 20th century (1,282) American (820) American literature (1,371) anthology (615) classic (2,171) classics (2,041) contemporary (517) ebook (690) fantasy (1,471) favorites (580) fiction (18,872) goodreads (595) Haruki Murakami (663) Japan (7,268) Japanese (3,649) Japanese fiction (895) Japanese literature (3,512) jazz age (577) literary fiction (534) literature (2,639) love (745) magical realism (2,787) Murakami (1,009) non-fiction (884) novel (3,127) own (658) owned (510) read (2,578) Roman (795) romance (702) science fiction (606) short stories (2,407) surreal (608) surrealism (650) to-read (9,582) Tokyo (552) translated (528) translation (1,027) unread (756)

Common Knowledge



New Murakami Translation in Folio Society Devotees (March 20)
Murakami anyone? in Book talk (September 2023)
Printing issues in Norwegian Wood in Folio Society Devotees (December 2022)
Murakami in Folio Society Devotees (September 2022)
Science Fiction in Name that Book (January 2018)
Group Read: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in 75 Books Challenge for 2017 (December 2017)
[Kafka on the Shore] by Haruki Murakami in 75 Books Challenge for 2017 (November 2017)
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki Group Read in 75 Books Challenge for 2014 (November 2014)
December 2013: Haruki Murakami in Monthly Author Reads (March 2014)
1001 Group Read - April, 2013: 1Q84 in 1001 Books to read before you die (May 2013)
1Q84 Group Read in Author Theme Reads (January 2013)
1Q84 Group Read in 75 Books Challenge for 2012 (November 2012)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Group Read: Non-Spoiler Thread in 75 Books Challenge for 2011 (August 2011)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: Week 1 (Spoiler) in 75 Books Challenge for 2011 (August 2011)
Haruki Murakami in Japanese Culture (June 2011)
Norwegian Wood Group Read: General Thread in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (August 2010)
Norwegian Wood Group Read: Week Two ( Chapters 6-7 ) in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (May 2010)
Norwegian Wood Group Read: Week 3 ( Chapters 8-11 ) in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (May 2010)
Norwegian Wood Group Read: Week One ( Chapters 1-5 ) in 75 Books Challenge for 2010 (May 2010)
Group Read: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami in 1001 Books to read before you die (April 2010)


I remember reading somewhere that Haruki Murakami’s books are among the most-stolen from bookstores. I’m not sure why that is, but there’s no denying that the Japanese author has very devoted fans. Reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was my first experience with him, and left me both sort of getting it and sort of not. It’s a hard story to describe: there’s a guy, Toru Okada, who lives outside of Tokyo with his wife, Kumiko, and their cat (which they’ve named Noboru Wataya, after her disliked brother) has gone missing. Toru has recently left his longtime job in a lawyer’s office, but is unemployed while he tries to figure out what’s next. Kumiko wants him to find the cat, and his searches for it lead him to strike up an acquaintance with a strange teenage girl, May, who lives down the block. That’s when the phone calls start.

First, there’s a woman who says she knows who he is and starts talking dirty to him. But then there’s a psychic, a woman named Malta Kano, who explains that Kumiko has reached out to her to help with locating the cat. Kumiko and her family believe in things like psychics, having previously arranged for Kumiko and Toru to spend time with an old man called Mr. Honda, allegedly for spiritual consultations…but all that actually happens is that he repeatedly tells them about his experiences as a soldier in Manchuria during World War II. Toru meets with Malta Kano, and her sister, Cresta, but before long Kumiko herself disappears. She sends Toru a letter explaining that she’s left him for a coworker with whom she’s been having an affair, but he doesn’t believe this and decides to try to find her, which brings him into contact with even more strange people, including a mother and son who he calls Nutmeg and Cinnamon. And appearing throughout is the sound of a bird, that sounds like something mechanical being wound.

This is a weird book, and I’m not sure I entirely understand it. It’s one of those that you finish and almost want to flip right back to the beginning and start again, to see if it makes any more sense the second time through. I think there will be a second time through, though certainly not now. And there will definitely be more Murakami. If I had to chose a single word to describe it, it would be “dream-like”. The way Murakami uses language and builds the world of the book create a feeling of constant loose connection, almost a structured free association, in which the concept that would tie everything together is just tantalizingly out of reach. It works well, and I found myself turning the pages and getting drawn further and further into it, though I suspected (correctly) that not everything was going to be tied up in a neat bow by the end.

Honestly, though, once I finished it, though I felt like I liked it, I have had a hard time articulating exactly why. It was obtuse, the female characters were largely underdeveloped (though I did love May), and it felt like some storylines were just dropped like hot potatoes. But despite its flaws, it’s strangely compelling. There’s something magical and mysterious about the world as Murakami creates it, and it did get me thinking about some of the deeper themes that were explored, like our obligations to each other as people and the nature of power in relationships. It’s intellectually engaging despite the kind of haziness about it. If you’re ready for something non-traditional, I would recommend this book.
… (more)
ghneumann | 370 other reviews | Jun 14, 2024 |
I knew vaguely of the sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway, but had never read about it in much depth. Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s way of writing about it (by conducting interviews with various people who were on the trains about their experience) was intriguing and compelling in its own way, and the interviews he did with former members of the Aum cult who carried out the attack were an interesting way to look at how it operated.
ghneumann | 60 other reviews | Jun 14, 2024 |
I only gave this four stars because it is far from Murakami’s best. I think he has got to the point where editors are afraid to say to him (Mr Murakami, this bit is boring, or too long) the core of the story is interesting, most of the characters are interesting, but it was way to long for the amount of action in it. I longed for something to happen.
Rory_Bergin | 54 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |
A wonderful read for anyone interested in music and how it is made. A fascinating insight into the life of a world class conductor through conversations with a world class novelist who has a deep knowledge of music as a listener.
Rory_Bergin | 15 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |


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Associated Authors

Philip Gabriel Translator
Ted Goossen Translator
Jay Rubin Translator
Alfred Birnbaum Translator
Claire Keegan Contributor
Daniel Lyons Contributor
Lewis Robinson Contributor
Andrea Lee Contributor
Ethan Canin Contributor
Denis Johnson Contributor
William Trevor Contributor
Russell Banks Contributor
Raymond Carver Contributor
Paul Theroux Contributor
Angela Praesent Contributor
Lynda Sexson Contributor
Ika Kaminka Translator
Lourdes Porta Translator
Rupert Degas Narrator
Ursula Gräfe Übersetzer, Translator
Ursula Gräfe Translator
Giorgio Amitrano Translator
Ditte Bandini Translator, Übersetzer
Giovanni Bandini Translator, Übersetzer
John Chancer Narrator
Albert Nolla Translator
Suzanne Dean Designer, Cover designer
Chip Kidd Cover designer, Designer, Cover artist
Adam Sims Narrator
Elbrich Fennema Translator
Kat Menschik Illustrator
Elbrich Fennema Translator
Annelie Ortmanns Translator
Noma Bar Cover artist
Maxim de Winter Translator
John Gall Cover designer
Jürgen Stalph Translator
Mette Holm Translator
Jürgen Stalph Translator
Leena Tamminen Translator
Alex Gross Cover artist
Junichi Matsuura Translator
Ilkka Malinen Translator
Sabine Mangold Translator
Hester Schaap Illustrator
Ray Porter Narrator
Mark Heenehan Narrator
Jeff Peterson Narrator
Walter Lewis Narrator
Tim Flavin Narrator
Jordi Mas Translator
Ted Goosen Translator
Aleksi Milonoff Translator
Luk Van Haute Translator
Lica Hashimoto Translator
Nora Bierich Translator
Dana Ivey Narrator
Adrian Tomine Illustrator


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