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Group Read: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1EBT1002
Edited: Oct 29, 2017, 11:38pm Top

2EBT1002
Oct 29, 2017, 11:40pm Top

It's November! Join us for a Group Read of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. No pressure, few rules. Just a good shared-read experience with whatever discussion develops.

Welcome, all.

3Berly
Oct 30, 2017, 12:23am Top

I am in!! As soon as I find my book...

Thanks for getting us all set up. : )

4Crazymamie
Oct 30, 2017, 8:21am Top

I just read this one in June, but I will be following the thread.

5karenmarie
Oct 30, 2017, 8:26am Top

à la >3 Berly:, I am in!! As soon as I find receive my book...

According to Amazon, it's supposed to arrive by 8 p.m. tomorrow.

6luvamystery65
Edited: Oct 30, 2017, 11:49am Top

I have my copy ready to go! I have the second cover posted up top.

Does anyone know if Murakami uses the same translator for all of his books?

ETA: I found this article that answered my question and gave me some insight into translation from Japanese to English and vice versa.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/lost-in-transla...

7drneutron
Oct 30, 2017, 1:25pm Top

Gonna have to pick up a copy, but I'm in.

8jnwelch
Oct 30, 2017, 6:31pm Top

I'm in, too. Looking forward to this!

9Berly
Oct 30, 2017, 10:06pm Top

Found my copy! My cover is the last one on the right. Not starting 'till the first. Not because I am a purist (November read and all), but because I want to finish up one or two before I open yet another. My poor brain!! : )

10LizzieD
Oct 30, 2017, 11:10pm Top

I'm going to lurk. I loved this one but am not quite ready to reread it although it's tempting. (My cover is next-to-last on the right.) Enjoy!

11EBT1002
Nov 1, 2017, 12:50am Top

>6 luvamystery65: Great little article, Ro. Thanks for posting the link. I found this quite enlightening:

"The Japanese language acquires much of its beauty and strength from indirectness—or what English-speakers call vagueness, obscurity, or implied meaning. Subjects are often left unmentioned in Japanese sentences, and onomatopoeia, with vernacular sounds suggesting meaning, is a virtue often difficult if not impossible to replicate in English."

12RBeffa
Nov 1, 2017, 2:20am Top

I'm in - I just have to find what shelf it is hiding on.

13karenmarie
Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 9:13am Top

My copy arrived safe and sound 2 days ago, all shiny and new. It's the first on the left, above.

39 chapters, 607 pages. Doable this month for sure.

Chapter 1. I'm in trouble already - how can someone divide ironing a shirt into 12 steps? I only use 10, only getting to 12 if you divide each sleeve into two steps plus cuffs. Back I go.....

14jnwelch
Nov 2, 2017, 11:20am Top

I'll be starting late - I've got Reading with Patrick ahead of it.

15Berly
Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 7:29pm Top

Page one starts off with weirdness. A cat enters the scene just a few pages later. Yup, Murakami!!

16banjo123
Nov 2, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Murakami IS weird. And funny. I picked up the audio-book, which is very well read. Not sure I can get through it in a month, however.

17EBT1002
Nov 3, 2017, 3:16pm Top

I will start sometime this weekend. I have to finish Manhattan Beach first. :-)

18Berly
Nov 3, 2017, 3:19pm Top

Huuurry uuuupppp! ; )

One-liner from Chapter Two:

What was the point of my life at all if I was spending it in bed with an unknown companion?"

19karenmarie
Nov 5, 2017, 9:01am Top

Soliloquy from chapter 4: But this was the home I had chosen. I had had a home of course, when I was a child. But it was not one I had chosen for myself. I had been born into it, presented with it as an established fact. Now, however, I lived in a world that I had chosen through an act of will. It was my home. It might not be perfect, but the fundamental stance I adopted with regard to my home was to accept it, problems and all, because it was something I myself had chosen. If it had problems, these were almost certainly problems that had originated within me.

This book has ensorcelled me.

20jnwelch
Nov 5, 2017, 11:15am Top

>19 karenmarie: This book has ensorcelled me. Ha! Love it!

I hope to start getting back into its ensorcellous world later today or tomorrow, once I finish the one in front of it.

21Berly
Nov 5, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>19 karenmarie: Yes! I bookmarked that one, too.

I like "ensorcelled." : )

22benitastrnad
Nov 5, 2017, 2:47pm Top

I first read this book many years ago when Mark hosted a group read of this title. It took me several months to read it, but it was worth it. It is a book that I think about from time-to-time. It is a book that will do the same for many of you.

There are many themes in this book, but according to the author and to critics the book is about history and memory. That is one of Muakami's main tropes. I loved this book and think it is one of the great works of the 20th century. I am glad that others are reading it and I hope to share with you while you read it as well.

Don't worry if you don't finish it in one month. It is a big book with lots to take in while you read.

23benitastrnad
Edited: Nov 5, 2017, 2:49pm Top

As an aside. The dust jackets for Murakami's early work is unique. They are all similar and they are famous for being so distinctive and reflective of his work. As you read along you will notice the objects on the cover begin to appear in the novel.

24EBT1002
Nov 6, 2017, 8:22am Top

Ha. I had to look up ensorcelled ~~ great word!

I plan to begin reading today and hope to quickly become ensorcelled myself!

25Berly
Edited: Nov 6, 2017, 10:33am Top

I am just a little past here...



>23 benitastrnad: Now I have to find the original dust jacket and take a look...

26banjo123
Nov 6, 2017, 6:44pm Top

>25 Berly: Kim, it looks like you and I are at about the same spot! The disadvantage to the audio version is that I hear these great quotes, but can't remember them well enough to add them here. But this book certainly has some very funny parts.

27EBT1002
Nov 6, 2017, 8:26pm Top

I'm really just getting started (only on page 46 of 607, ready to start chapter four) but this is a weird novel just like Kafka on the Shore was a weird novel. He just met with Ms. Kano. Foreshadowing occurs....

28Berly
Nov 6, 2017, 8:35pm Top

29jnwelch
Nov 6, 2017, 10:40pm Top



Toru sat in her back yard with this young lady, watching for the cats to cross.

30EBT1002
Nov 7, 2017, 11:18am Top

>28 Berly: Love that.

>29 jnwelch: And that.

I just sat down with Toru and Creta Kano for her to tell her "long story." They're having coffee. "The clock on the shelf continued its dry rapping on the walls of time."

This man is a genius with language.

31EBT1002
Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 11:21am Top

I don't need another tattoo and this wouldn't be it, in any case, but this is kind of cool.

32EBT1002
Nov 7, 2017, 11:22am Top

And I wish I had this edition:

33jnwelch
Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 12:02pm Top

>31 EBT1002:, >32 EBT1002: "Like!"

My cover looks like this:



Not nearly as cool as >32 EBT1002:.

34EBT1002
Nov 7, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>33 jnwelch: I have that same cover, Joe. It's fine but I LOVE that one in >32 EBT1002:.

35EBT1002
Nov 7, 2017, 2:37pm Top

This is a really fun read.

I just finished chapter 9 of Book One.
"I'm only sixteen," she said, "and I don't know much about the world, but I do know one thing for sure. If I'm pessimistic, then the adults in this world who are not pessimistic are a bunch of idiots."

May Kasahara is a charming character.

36benitastrnad
Nov 7, 2017, 7:08pm Top

#33
That is the original cover for the paperback of the novel. Each of the Murakami novels had some symbol from the book on the cover. They were all in the same color scheme but each cover had a different color emphasized. When they were first published and Murakami became a hit author these covers were easily recognizable. It was a way to brand Murakami and it worked.

The new branding covers are like the one on the far left in the first post. They are cool, but for some reason I like the old covers the best. They were so uptown back in the early 1990's.

37EBT1002
Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 9:30pm Top

Yes, I have seen those new branding ones like the one on the far left in >1 EBT1002: (I think a couple of my Murakami's are from that new marketing run). I agree with you, Benita. The older ones are so ... elegant? That is how I would describe >32 EBT1002:.

38Berly
Nov 7, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Here is a piece by artist Jeremy Mayer made with pieces of old typewriters. It seemed very appropriate...

39karenmarie
Nov 9, 2017, 11:53am Top

I have finished book 1. It is fascinating and very readable.

There is a comparable scene in TWUBC in Kafka on the Shore about the killing of cats - Yamamoto being skinned alive. I must admit that I skipped that part. Very graphic and very disturbing, and I skipped both scenes as soon as I realized what I was getting into.

40Berly
Nov 9, 2017, 1:18pm Top

"Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape,an overwhelming hallucination can cause one to feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly unraveling. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes more and more difficult to keep a balanced grip on one's own being...the mind expands to fill the entire landscape, becoming so diffuse in the process that one loses the ability to keep it fastened to the physical self." Chapter 12

Have you guys ever experienced this? Where? When?

41benitastrnad
Nov 9, 2017, 3:10pm Top

It is easy to do when on the Plains in the snow. One snowy grass covered space looks just like another.

42Berly
Edited: Nov 25, 2017, 10:23pm Top

Yeah, I could see that. I think mine would have to be out on a boat far enough out that no land was visible. Very flat, no waves. Quiet.

It has to be 360˚ to overwhelm the senses, but this gives the idea.

43EllaTim
Nov 11, 2017, 8:29am Top

I will be joining this challenge, reading a Dutch translation. De opwindvogelkronieken
It appears the Dutch translation differs from the English one, it's longer by several pages. But I don't think it will be a problem.

Loving it so far, it does remind me of Kafka, this is my first Murakami, and I'm glad for the shared reading.

>42 Berly: I'd love that, wonderful, this would be a happy sigh for me.

44drneutron
Nov 11, 2017, 9:01am Top

Still waiting for my copy from the library...

45Berly
Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 3:28pm Top

>30 EBT1002: It seems there are many "long" stories (often with Part 2s!) within TWUBC, perhaps each guiding Okada somewhere new in his life? I know his story is somehow tied to these other ones and I am just trying to follow along.

>31 EBT1002: When I searched for images for WUBC, I was amazed at how many WU Bird tattoos were posted. Obviously, this bird symbolizes a lot of things for people. More on that as I continue to read the book...

And, then there are the wells....



This one is from Lt. Mamiya's story. It, too, is bone dry. Do they represent the emptiness of life? Wondering if this motif will pop up again...if it will ever be filled...

>43 EllaTim: Nice to see you!

>44 drneutron: Grumble, grumble...

46Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 1:31pm Top

(End of Book I)



And what's up with this? An empty box of Cutty Sark for Toru Okada from psychic Mr. Honda. Has Okada's ship sailed? Is his life empty now? What is missing? God, I love Murakami's bizarreness/genius. I am always guessing...

47jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 1:39pm Top

>45 Berly:, >46 Berly: Yes, wells will turn up again, Kim! Lots of debate about what they mean. He's know for wells, and cats, and I'm probably missing others. Check out the headline in this fun interview with him in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/aug/24/haruki-murakami-my-lifet...

I've thought that the empty box meant Honda's gift to Toru was Mamiya and Mamiya's story - in other words, the box was just an excuse to get them together, and to give Toru more understanding of Honda, at the same time.

Why Cutty Sark keeps cropping up, I'm not sure. Why Johnny Walker in Kafka on the Shore? I'm not sure Murakami could answer those.

48karenmarie
Nov 11, 2017, 1:43pm Top

>46 Berly: and >47 jnwelch: Great insights and comments, Berly and Joe! I will be starting Book 2 sometime today or tomorrow. I needed a bit of a break so read The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. So vastly different that I can get back into TWUBC in a good way.

49Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>47 jnwelch: Ah! I like your thoughts on the box. I was also wondering if it was foreshadowing the fact that his wife has gone missing, that his marriage is empty. But your explanation has a beautiful simplicity to it that I like better. : )

50jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 1:48pm Top

>49 Berly: Glad to hear it, Kim. I love this quote from Murakami in that interview, when asked about his writing process:

I don’t have any idea at all, when I start writing, of what is to come. For instance, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the first thing I had was the call of the bird, because I heard a bird in my back yard (it was the first time I heard that kind of sound and I never have since then. I felt like it was predicting something. So I wanted to write about it). The next thing was cooking spaghetti – these are things that happen to me! I was cooking spaghetti, and somebody call. So I had just these two things at the start. Two years I kept on writing. It’s fun! I don’t know what’s going to happen next, every day. I get up, go to the desk, switch on the computer, etc. and say to myself: “so what’s going to happen today?”It’s fun!

How great is that?

51Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 1:51pm Top

>47 jnwelch: Love the link. Everyone go read it! My favorite was this from Murakami:

I don’t have any idea at all, when I start writing, of what is to come. For instance, for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, the first thing I had was the call of the bird, because I heard a bird in my back yard (it was the first time I heard that kind of sound and I never have since then. I felt like it was predicting something. So I wanted to write about it). The next thing was cooking spaghetti – these are things that happen to me! I was cooking spaghetti, and somebody call. So I had just these two things at the start. Two years I kept on writing. It’s fun! I don’t know what’s going to happen next, every day. I get up, go to the desk, switch on the computer, etc. and say to myself: “so what’s going to happen today?” It’s fun!

52Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 1:51pm Top

LOL. I just posted the same thing.

53jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 1:57pm Top



Imagining Creta Kano, from http://murakamigogodancer.blogspot.com/2014/03/so-this-was-creta-kano.html More photos of her there. In this one, she's wearing Kumiko's dress.

54jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>52 Berly: Ha! Of course! I also loved that Toru was his hero.

55Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 2:11pm Top

Another great link! You are on a roll. : )

Her wearing Kumiko's dress is another whole discussion.

How about the deep, inner meaning of Malta and Creta both being island names? Island themes: Isolation, not confined by laws and rules of the mainland, time moves differently there, rebirth...

56jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>55 Berly: I don't know about everyone else, but living isolated lives is the one I thought of with Malta's and Creta's island names. Water is big for them, too, and that's another discussion! I like your ideas of not being confined by laws and rules of the mainland, and time moving differently (they sure act like it!). I'm not sure about rebirth?

57Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 2:21pm Top

>56 jnwelch: I was thinking rebirth in terms of the influence they have on Toru. Or Kumiko. What's up with Creta wearing Kumiko's dress up above? But then I am a first time reader only a 1/3 of the way in, so...

58jnwelch
Nov 11, 2017, 2:28pm Top

>57 Berly: I was trying to connect rebirth with the island theme - like islands being created from volcanoes. Or the rejuvenation we often feel when on a beautiful island. They sure are affecting Toru, aren't they. I just finished re-reading his meeting with Malta and Noboru, and thoroughly enjoying his telling the latter the story of the monkeys on Shitty Island, and letting Noboru know he sees him for who he is, and will fight back..

Creta/Kumiko - we probably should come back to that one after you've read farther? It's not simple, IMO.

59Berly
Nov 11, 2017, 3:26pm Top

>58 jnwelch: Yeah...not far enough yet. I'll be back!!

60EBT1002
Nov 11, 2017, 7:00pm Top

Murakami likes Scotch, methinks! (Cutty Sark and Johnnie Walker)

I'm about halfway through and yep, wells keep coming up. I like their symbolism to the degree that I'm getting it.

I have to say that I'm struggling with this one a bit relative to my reading of Kafka on the Shore a couple of months ago. It feels a bit déjà vu for me. The narrative voice feels the same, the tone and pacing and use of metaphor and dreams are similar, the elements of magical realism. I have heard folks say "this is vintage Murakami" and that makes sense to me, but if all his novels are the same, why are they so spectacular?

I say that and I am enjoying the novel. I am also wondering if translation from Japanese has something to do with the "sameness" of the two novels.

61EBT1002
Nov 11, 2017, 7:01pm Top

Mamiya's story was definitely a highlight although painful to read.

62EBT1002
Nov 11, 2017, 7:04pm Top

>46 Berly: and >47 jnwelch:
I love the insights and speculation about the meaning of Murakami's metaphors, imagery, and ~~ I don't know ~~ bizarre storyline. Maybe I need to dedicate more time to asking questions about what something means in order to more thoroughly enjoy his work.

63EBT1002
Nov 12, 2017, 1:02am Top

And I love the notion that the bottom of a well is a great place to think.

64EBT1002
Nov 13, 2017, 1:47pm Top

What is the meaning of the mark on his cheek??????

65Berly
Nov 13, 2017, 3:18pm Top

And she's back!! I had no time for reading this weekend, so now I suspect you are ahead of me!

66jnwelch
Nov 13, 2017, 3:19pm Top

>64 EBT1002: Further on, a connection is made. You may want to wait to revisit this one.

67EBT1002
Nov 14, 2017, 12:25am Top

Hmm, yes, Joe, I think the meaning might be made clear. I have so many more questions than answers with this novel....

I just met Nutmeg and Cinnamon.

Also, the cat came back and he named him Mackerel.

The transitory nature of self and reality appears to be a theme but that might change as I keep reading. What is the self?

Also, I just read a chapter in which the narration shifted mid-stream from first person past tense to first person present. Just for part of a chapter.

This may be the weirdest book I've ever read.

>65 Berly: I'm on page 386 now, I think, out of 607 pages in my copy.

One thing I love about the novel is the stories within stories. So many characters get to tell us their story and I love most of them, those are the compelling narratives in which I'm most likely to get completely absorbed.

Okay, time for bed.

68jnwelch
Nov 14, 2017, 10:19am Top

69Berly
Nov 14, 2017, 10:47am Top

Another well!! Another WU bird! I like this image.

70jnwelch
Edited: Nov 14, 2017, 5:59pm Top

Isn't that a good one, Kim?

I'm up to his meeting with Noboru's "sub-secretary", the greasy, slimy Ushiwara. And the origins of Cinnamon not speaking.

71jnwelch
Nov 14, 2017, 5:33pm Top

I love the look of this one:

72Berly
Nov 14, 2017, 5:37pm Top



73Berly
Nov 14, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>71 jnwelch: Love it!!

74Berly
Nov 14, 2017, 9:31pm Top

On Memory

"Certain kinds of information are like smoke: they work their way into people's minds and eyes whether sought out or not, and with no regard to personal preference." Part II, Ch 3

"...memory naturally degenerates as the years go by. Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade." Part II Ch 4

75banjo123
Nov 15, 2017, 1:03am Top

>74 Berly: Kim, I was also struck by that first quotation!

76jnwelch
Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 4:27pm Top

I finished, but am not in much shape to comment right now, other than to say it was an eye-opener of a re-read, with how many elements had faded in memory over time. One of those was the continuing importance of May Kasahara; I had only really remembered her from the beginning of the book.

77jnwelch
Nov 20, 2017, 4:32pm Top

>74 Berly: I like those quotes, too.

Here's a classic May K. quote:

“It’s like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and there you’ve got ricing pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can’t tell what’s going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni gratin in the darkness when nobody’s looking and only then turns back into rice pudding. We think it’s only natural to get rice pudding after we put rice pudding mix in the microwave and the bell rings, but to me, that is just a presumption. I would be kind of relieved if, every once in a while, after you put rice pudding mix in the microwave and it rang and you opened the top, you got macaroni gratin. I suppose I’d be shocked, of course, but I don’t know, I think I’d be kind of relieved too. Or at least I think I wouldn’t be so upset, because that would feel, in some ways, a whole lot more real."

78jnwelch
Nov 20, 2017, 4:49pm Top

One more from May, and then I'll shut up (for a while):

“I laughed. “You’re too young to be so … pessimistic,” I said, using the English word.
“Pessi-what?”
“Pessimistic. It means looking only at the dark side of things.”
“Pessimistic … pessimistic …” She repeated the English to herself over and over, and then she looked up at me with a fierce glare. “I’m only sixteen,” she said, “and I don’t know much about the world, but I do know one thing for sure. If I’m pessimistic, then the adults in this world who are not pessimistic are a bunch of idiots.”

79banjo123
Nov 21, 2017, 1:45am Top

I love May Kasahara!

"If people lived forever - if they never got any older - if they could just go on living in this world, never dying, always healthy - do you think they'd bother to think hard about things, the way we're doing now? I mean, we think about just about everything, more or less... I kinda think, if there were no such thing as death, that complicated thoughts and ideas like that would never come into the world."

80jnwelch
Nov 21, 2017, 11:22am Top

>79 banjo123: *heart emoji*

Me, too!

81jnwelch
Edited: Nov 21, 2017, 1:45pm Top



Wish I knew how to find this place

82Berly
Nov 22, 2017, 1:25am Top

I've totally lacked reading time lately...hoping to fit some in over the next few days!!

Joe--Loving all your quotes and the diner. : )

83EBT1002
Nov 22, 2017, 4:17pm Top

I finished the novel during my lunch break today. Yes, I took a real lunch break! I ate my salad and read the last two chapters of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

I ended up giving it 3.5 stars. I didn't love it but certainly appreciated it. I wrote some other comments on my thread. I also posted this:

Here is a NYT review by Michiko Kakutani from 1997 that resonates for me.

84Berly
Nov 24, 2017, 3:23am Top

The Dream at the end of Book Two

It reminded me of the ghastly WWII death of the spy. The beaten man peeling off his skin with a knife and the skin crawling over and enveloping Toru Okada...one of the worst dreams ever. Loss of identity. Trapped in violence. Where does Murakami come up with this stuff? And why does this dream motivate Toru to try and get his wife back? What it is the link?

85Berly
Edited: Nov 24, 2017, 1:53pm Top

Another favorite quote which gives nothing away...

"He looked at me with eyes narrowed as if to apologize for being unable to speak because of the nervous black panther sleeping by his side. Which is not to say that there was a black panther sleeping by his side: he just looked as if there were."

86EBT1002
Nov 24, 2017, 2:01pm Top

>84 Berly: I don't know the answer to those questions but I will say that the ghastly WWII death of the spy is one of the most gruesome scenes I have ever read. It made me feel physically sick to read it.

87banjo123
Nov 24, 2017, 2:17pm Top

>83 EBT1002: I am sorry, Ellen, that you and Michiko Kakutani did not like the book better. So far it is my favorite Murakami. I am about 2/3 done.

88EBT1002
Nov 24, 2017, 2:22pm Top

>87 banjo123: Vive la différence, Rhonda! I've not read enough Murakami to have a "favorite" yet but so far it's Kafka. Still, I'm glad I read WUBC! And I'm glad you're enjoying it!

89Berly
Nov 24, 2017, 2:25pm Top

Book Three is picking up for me. Enter...

90Berly
Nov 24, 2017, 2:28pm Top

>86 EBT1002: Yes, it did. One of the most disturbing scenes I have ever read in a book.

I didn't read the review yet, because I am not finished! I will come back to it.

>87 banjo123: Yay! Glad you are enjoying it. On audio, right? One narrator?

91banjo123
Nov 24, 2017, 2:29pm Top

Yes, the narrator is brilliant. Actually Mrs. Banjo had listened to it earlier this year, and she loved the way he does voices. May is awesome.

92Berly
Nov 25, 2017, 5:31pm Top

>91 banjo123: I am enjoying May's letter.

And BTW, I think Cinnamon should be the she and Nutmeg should be the he. I think Murakimai got his names mixed up. Just saying.

93banjo123
Nov 25, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>92 Berly: LOL, earlier in the book, Mrs. Banjo asked if I had met Cinnamon yet, and I said, no I haven't met her. So I have been waiting for Cinnamon, but expected a woman. Perhaps it is a more masculine name in Japanese? Anyway, I am happy now that the cat is not named Nobaru Wataya anymore. It really bothered me that they named the cat after him

94Berly
Nov 25, 2017, 10:10pm Top

>93 banjo123: See? I knew he got them mixed up. ; ) You are probably right and their femininity/masculinity is switched in Japanese. OR not. You never know with Murakami.

And I am very happy about the cat. Why do you suppose Murakami started the cat off with Nobaru Wataya's name and them changed it? Is the cat changed now? Was he evil before and not now? (I don't think so.) Is it just because only after losing the cat does Toru care enough to give him his own name? Why?

95Berly
Nov 25, 2017, 10:20pm Top

Another Favorite Quote



"'A is like this, so that's why B happened.' I mean, that doesn't explain anything. It's like when you put instant rice pudding mix in a bowl in the microwave and push the button, and you take the cover off when it rings, and you've got rice pudding. I mean, what happens in between the time when you push the switch and when the microwave rings? You can't tell what's going on under the cover. Maybe the instant rice pudding first turns into macaroni cheese in the darkness when nobody's looking and only then turns back into rice pudding." (May Kasahara's Point of View:4)

96luvamystery65
Nov 26, 2017, 9:44am Top

I'm still early days in this book, so I'll close my eyes and come back when I'm done. :-)

97banjo123
Nov 26, 2017, 5:37pm Top

I have finished and I love this book. However, I was reading up on it afterwards, and found out that 61 pages were cut in the English translation. I feel robbed! I wish I could read Japanese.

>94 Berly: I was thinking, and I think that the cat's story is parallel to Kumiko's; and in a lot of ways the cat represents Kumiko. So the young couple originally called the cat Nobaru Wataya, mainly as a joke, I think, but that name tied him to the Wataya family dysfunction. Kumiko feels that she is also tied to that dysfunction, badness. When the cat returns, Toru gives him a new name, his own name, and that cuts the ties to the Wataya's. I see this book fundamentally as one of two people trying to create a new world, apart from the ways that they had been oppressed by their families; and finding out how hard it is to create something from nothing, and how hard to break old patterns.

98Berly
Nov 26, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>96 luvamystery65: Probably a good idea, although I have tried to choose non-giveaway quotes and pictures that mean something to those who have read to a certain point, but also give nothing away if you haven't.

>97 banjo123: I am not reading banjo's comment yet because I have 100 pages to go....! What? They cut out a lot!

99EBT1002
Nov 26, 2017, 7:02pm Top

>97 banjo123: I like that speculative summary, Rhonda. I also agree that it made me happy when the cat's name got changed, and Mackerel was such a good name for him! I agree that it was about the cat becoming Horu's and the split from the bad family with which he was originally associated.

I also still think I don't know what the boo was really "about."

100banjo123
Nov 27, 2017, 12:42am Top

Ellen a friend of mine took a seminar class through Literary Arts on the book. She loved the class and the book. Now I wish I could take a class like that. There is a lot in there.

And what do you all think about the emphasis on fashion?

101benitastrnad
Nov 30, 2017, 1:29pm Top

I found this to be a very powerful book with certain scenes that just would't go out of my mind. I don't think it is Murakami's best book, but it is a powerful book and apparently, for Murakami, it has a very pointed message for the Japanese.

102karenmarie
Dec 14, 2017, 10:46pm Top

Hi all!

The last time I looked at this thread was November 11. After that there were too many things that seemed spoilerish to me, so I stayed away.

I finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle tonight.

>83 EBT1002: Ellen, I agree with your comment I didn't love it but certainly appreciated it.. I gave it 3 stars. I think I'm done with Murakami for quite a while, if not forever.

I may write a review tomorrow - if I do, I'll reference it here but post it on my thread.

103Berly
Dec 15, 2017, 1:01am Top

>102 karenmarie: Well, kudos for powering through! Sorry you didn't love it more, but it was worth the try. You suggest the next shared read. ; )

104karenmarie
Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 7:14am Top

Hi Berly!

There's going to be a group read of Nicholas Nickleby in January. As soon as Jim creates the 75 Book Challenge for 2018 and etc., I'll create the group read thread. Here's the list of people who expressed interest and their opinion of the month to read it (from my 12th thread, November 30th). I just posted private messages to everybody telling them about it now - January's only 16 days away!

Berly Kim
EBT1002 Ellen
EllaTim Ella
ffortsa Judy
harrygbutler
jmwelch Joe - January
lkernagh Lori - January
Luvamystery65 Roberta
m.belljackson Marianne - January or February
msf59 Mark - January for a big bang
pgmcc Peter
rosalita Julia
SomeGuyInVirginia Larry - not December
streamsong Janet
weird_o Bill

105Berly
Dec 15, 2017, 10:21am Top

>104 karenmarie: Aaaahhhh! My January is BOOKED. I better finish my 2017 reads and get going on 2018. LOL Thanks for including me.

106karenmarie
Dec 15, 2017, 12:32pm Top

You're very welcome. My copy is 9 pages of preface by the author and then 780 pages of chunkster.

107Berly
Dec 15, 2017, 1:39pm Top

What?!?! That qualifies as a tome for sure. This may be a Jan/Feb read for me. LOL

108karenmarie
Edited: Dec 15, 2017, 4:04pm Top

Just like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was a Nov/Dec read for me!

It's all good.

Edited to add: Here's my review as posted on my thread: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

109drneutron
Dec 15, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Got my copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle yesterday - I'm 4 chapters in. It's interesting so far...

110Berly
Dec 15, 2017, 10:40pm Top

Finally!! LOL. I hope you enjoy...

111EBT1002
Dec 18, 2017, 10:54pm Top

112luvamystery65
Edited: Dec 24, 2017, 2:24pm Top

I finished Wind Up Bird and I'm very confused. Mr. Murakami writes on a level I just don't understand. I liked this better than Kafka, but I still think Murakami is a creeper. I'm going to give him another try with 1Q84 since I already own that one, but it won't be soon.

Not going to reread this one.

113drneutron
Dec 25, 2017, 1:44pm Top

Haven’t finished it yet, but yeah, he confuses me too. If I was a Freudian, this one would be Id all over the place. 😀

I’m still thinking about it, probably will be for awhile.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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