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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1995)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (complete)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,714340247 (4.19)4 / 980
While searching for his missing wife, Japanese lawyer Toru Okada has strange experiences and meets strange characters. A woman wants phone sex, a man describes wartime torture, he finds himself at the bottom of a well. Part detective story, part philosophical meditation.
  1. 152
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (derelicious)
  2. 112
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (PaulBerauer)
  3. 50
    Ghostwritten by David Mitchell (derelicious)
  4. 72
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (eromsted)
  5. 50
    Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins (Alialibobali)
  6. 30
    A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: Both this and Wind-Up Bird are about a man dealing with odd circumstances and going through a change. If you like the way Murakami writes, you probably will enjoy Mark Haddon's writing.
  7. 41
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (andomck)
    andomck: Both books, besides having science fiction/magical realism elements, discuss bloody episodes of WWII from the point of view of everyday people.
  8. 30
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (ainsleytewce)
  9. 31
    The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster (alzo)
  10. 10
    The Magus by John Fowles (WoodsieGirl)
  11. 10
    The Sea Came in at Midnight by Steve Erickson (alzo)
  12. 10
    Oh!: A mystery of 'mono no aware' by Todd Shimoda (Magus_Manders)
  13. 00
    After the Quake by Haruki Murakami (andomck)
  14. 00
    Phantastes by George MacDonald (charlie68)
  15. 00
    How the Hula Girl Sings by Joe Meno (andomck)
  16. 00
    Vilnius Poker by Ricardas Gavelis (Sarasamsara)
  17. 00
    Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist (aethercowboy)
  18. 00
    The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret (-Eva-)
  19. 01
    The Interpreter by Suki Kim (booklove2)
    booklove2: Both books involve a displaced from the world character searching for clues to solve mysteries.
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English (302)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (5)  French (5)  Swedish (4)  Danish (4)  German (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (338)
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
Giving this a rating seems pointless because my feelings about this book are all over the place. I loved the disturbing WW2 passages and overall the dreamy tone of the book worked for me. I could read entire books about Malta and Creta or Nutmeg and Cinnamon or even May in the wig factory. But unfortunately for me this book centered around the least interesting character in it. I was intrigued at first by this guy who seemed to be having a standard early-30s emotional crisis but his passivity as the book wore on was exhausting for me. I've never read about a character taking so many naps before and even when Okada was working towards something, he still let other people herd him around without question. If he was actually depressed, I think that this was a good depiction but I don't know that the author intended for him to come across that way. And I never felt any sort of apprehension about the villain of the story, even though in the last few chapters Murakami set up an interesting arc for him (I also want to read a book about poor Kumiko). So basically I love this book except for the fact that I'm so frustrated by the main character. But I am eager to read something else by this author. ( )
  jobinsonlis | May 11, 2021 |
Video review forthcoming. ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 30, 2021 |
I started off thinking this was going to be one of the most irritating books I'd read and fell in love with it about a third of the way through. It's slow. There seems to be so many random threads but these do weave into each other, inexplicably, and often sadly, much like life. There is a beauty to not having definite answers but if you like cut and dried explanations, then this book is not for you. ( )
  KarenBayly | Apr 10, 2021 |
There were some very interesting parts of the book and as I read more and more books by Murakami, it feels like there are a lot of reoccurring themes. So that makes it very interesting to see those themes played out similarly or differently in each book.

However, some things were hard to follow or understand what purpose they served being included in the book. Though, having read some articles on the translator, it's hard for me to say how many of these points were part of the original text or things introduced by the translator as he edited the novel.

I would say I was more interested in several of the characters, at times, more than the actions taking place in the book. But, towards the end I felt very invested in how things would turn out.

Content Warnings: descriptions of torture and sex, mentions of rape, talk of suicide and attempted suicide, killing animals, domestic violence, descriptions of killing people ( )
  Sara_Cat | Mar 6, 2021 |
This is one of those books where I flipped between 4 and 5 stars for a long time -- sometimes I give the book the benefit of the doubt and go for five, but I'm gonna stick to my guns with four. But man, what a four! Murakami can turn on a dime between horrific and dreamlike in a way that I don't think I've seen in a long time. Completely engrossing, with some sharply drawn characters. I'm not sure I got everything Murakami was trying to lay out (and the Wikipedia commentary that there's stuff excised from the English translation(?!) makes me batty), but this was definitely one of the more interesting books I've read lately. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
By the book's midway point, the novelist-juggler has tossed so many balls into the air that he inevitably misses a few on the way down. Visionary artists aren't always neat: who reads Kafka for his tight construction? In ''The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle'' Murakami has written a bold and generous book, and one that would have lost a great deal by being tidied up.
 
Mr. Murakami seems to have tried to write a book with the esthetic heft and vision of, say, Don DeLillo's ''Underworld'' or Salman Rushdie's ''The Moor's Last Sigh,'' he is only intermittently successful. ''Wind-Up Bird'' has some powerful scenes of antic comedy and some shattering scenes of historical power, but such moments do not add up to a satisfying, fully fashioned novel. In trying to depict a fragmented, chaotic and ultimately unknowable world, Mr. Murakami has written a fragmentary and chaotic book.
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Murakami, Harukiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gall,JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haughton, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pastore, AntoniettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
«Ah, così lei ama la letteratura! – mi avrebbero detto, – anch'io. Da giovane ho letto parecchio». Per loro la letteratura era qualcosa che si leggeva da giovani. Come in primavera si colgono le fragole, e in autunno si vendemmia.
«Io ho solo sedici anni, e il mondo non lo conosco ancora bene, ma una cosa sola posso affermare con sicurezza: se io sono pessimista, un adulto che non lo sia, in questo mondo, è proprio un cretino».
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Wikipedia in English (2)

While searching for his missing wife, Japanese lawyer Toru Okada has strange experiences and meets strange characters. A woman wants phone sex, a man describes wartime torture, he finds himself at the bottom of a well. Part detective story, part philosophical meditation.

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Book description
Toru Okada lever et yderst stilfærdigt liv med sin kone Kumiko i Japan. Han har sagt sit arbejde op og går egentlig bare hjemme og passer kat. Toru Okadas kone arbejder som redaktør på et forlag og den ene dag følger hurtigt den anden.

Lige indtil alting ændrer sig. I "Trækopfuglens krønike" kan du læse, hvordan alting falder sammen om ørene på Toru Okada, da katten og herefter konen forsvinder sporløst. Og hertil hvordan det hele bliver endnu mere forvirrende, da Toru Okada modtager mystiske opkald af mindst så mystiske mennesker.
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