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Kafka on the Shore (2002)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,546441257 (4.06)1 / 1007
A tour-de-force of metaphysical reality, Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters. At fifteen, Kafka Tamura runs away from home, either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister. And the aging Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction, finds his highly simplified life suddenly upset. Their odyssey, as mysterious to us as it is to them, 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 fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle. Yet this, like 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.… (more)
Recently added byJoshuaFAB, nicholas, jgswan, maghan, countdoon, luzie22, private library, christofferb, ejmw
Legacy LibrariesLeslie Scalapino
  1. 131
    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. 20
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
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    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)
  6. 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!
  7. 00
    Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley (somethingauthentic)
  8. 02
    Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (LottaBerling)
  9. 38
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (tandah)
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» See also 1007 mentions

English (375)  French (15)  Dutch (12)  Spanish (10)  Danish (5)  Catalan (5)  Italian (4)  Finnish (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Estonian (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (439)
Showing 1-5 of 375 (next | show all)
Certamente un libro che vale la pena leggere.
Tuttavia avevo aspettative elevate, per il mio primo libro di Murakami, che sono state soddisfatte solo in parte.
La prima parte del libro è gigantesca. La genialità del racconto si mescola ad un'apparente semplicità - una semplicità quasi infantile.
Poi le cose si fanno un po' più complicate. Si rimane attaccati al libro, ma alla semplicità della prima parte si affianca un significato forse troppo strutturato per le aspettative create nel lettore dalla prima parte. La narrazione rimane semplice, ma comprendere diventa decisamente più arduo. Faticoso, addirittura.
Un gran libro, ma non lo definirei un capolavoro. Si chiede troppo al lettore, e glielo si chiede nella seconda parte, quasi in eccessivo contrasto con la prima. ( )
  vico.biscotti | Apr 25, 2022 |
Kafka on the Shore is one of my favorite books but I'm not even sure that good and the likes are the right words to describe it. It just made me feel like I was a fetus reading in a warm womb. Like, I couldn't use any preconceived knowledge about the world to interpret it. Baca aja pake otak kosong melompong. And it's not about knowing what it's about, it's about how it makes you feel. Like, I probably can tell you the whole plot but that's not the point.

Anyway, I've read it twice and I still can't properly remember the plot. The big picture was there but it was fleeting. Because keeping track of what's happening wasn't even a priority. Instead, every bit was radiant. They were each connected with this transparent string but you'll savor and treasure them individually.To put it simply, it's about 15 years old runaway and an old simpleton who lost his shadow. They each had something they were searching for and their lives would slowly entangle in an enigmatic twist. There will be some parallels in their stories but it's so fluid that everything was a certain something but it was also not. They never even met. Even the time dimension was mental such that people from different time frames could meet in a casual encounter. This part was so eerie I love iT.

Honestly, no book from any other author left me feeling content with such questionable and obscure narrative (except other Japanese authors. Seriously, what is wrong with them. What is Japanese literature. What is Japan). When things went astray from our reality, little to no explanation would be given, but dude, it's okay because you won't even ask for it. We're expected to take it as a given and we will. Strangely enough, the writing itself is actually very straight forward. Murakami managed to be hella sublime and vague with that. Quite extraordinary if you ask me.
Swimming on Murakami's world has been therapeutic for me. I might keep rereading it as I go. It's that good! Kafka on the Shore is recommended for everyone, especially Budi Darma fans! ( )
  qonita | Mar 21, 2022 |
村上春樹的海邊的卡夫卡。我覺得這本小說細節有趣、背景設定新奇、文筆流暢、但是整題而言.....看不太懂 XDDDDD 根據作者自己的序言,他想要藉此故事表達的是,我們都像書中的主角卡夫卡少年,跟命運搏鬥,受到逃不開的詛咒,但也會遇到幫助我們的貴人。所以....應該是希望讀者跟卡夫卡少年有共鳴。但是對我而言少年卡夫卡是個奇異的存在,很難有共鳴 XD 我主要的注意力都放在故事的不知道是奇幻還是科幻的背景設定上,想要搞懂一切是怎麼回事,卡夫卡與田中的關聯,爸爸怎麼死的,入口石怎麼回事.....等等。但是後來我也放棄了,因為作者給的線索實在太少,總之看不懂的部分應該都是作者一直在對話與敘述中重複強調的「metaphor」,至於那些metaphor到底是在指哪些事物,我就不知道了XDDDD 大致上可以明白結局是卡夫卡成長了,往前走了,作者對卡夫卡(以及與卡夫卡有相似度、有共鳴的讀者們)抱持著祝福的態度。 ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
I've never been so disappointed in a book that seemed so promising. This is my first Murakami, and might be my last. It starts out with a runaway 15 y.o. boy who calls himself Kafka who goes looking for his mother and sister -- they abandoned him and his father when he was a small child. Several other strange characters with their own weird stories are introduced along the way and they all seem to intersect, while never actually having any resolution. While Murakami certainly can write decent prose, and even create some intriguing images that hint at some kind of mystical revelation, it all comes to nought. No connections, no revelations, no meaning. By the end of the book, I felt so let down -- like I wasted hours of my life on something as frivolous and unfulfilling as cotton candy. ( )
  Marse | Mar 11, 2022 |
Kafka on the Shore is a mystery. Exactly who is Kafka Tamura? In the beginning of the story all we know is that Kafka isn't this boy's real name and he is a teenage runaway. Why he left his father is a mystery. All we know is that life with dad was terrible. Somewhere out there is an adopted sister (six years older) and a mother; both who have been missing for years. Is there a connection? Why did his mother disappear with the adopted daughter and not take her natural born son? Who is Crow? An imaginary friend who lives in an alternate metaphysical reality?
Nakata is an aging simpleton. His backstory is even more of a mystery. As a child he was involved in the Rice Bowl Hill Incident of 1944. A group of school children were allegedly hypnotized after seeing a silver duralumin object glint in the sky. Most of the children woke up soon after the incident but Nakata stayed in a coma. As an adult, Nakata finds cats with master skills and is able to predict weird phenomena like fish and leeches falling from the sky. Word of warning: Nakata gets involved with a strange character. His scene with the cats is highly disturbing to an animal lover. but then again, I am the kind of person who needs to change the channel because I can't bear those uber-long ASPCA commercials with the sad music.
At some point these two characters come together metaphorically, but their journey to this point is like a winding labyrinth full of unusual characters like Johnnie Walker and Colonel Sanders and a stone Nakata must talk to. Kafka on the Shore will take you through a modern Oedipus Rex tragedy. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Mar 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 375 (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 (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gräfe, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary 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.
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A tour-de-force of metaphysical reality, Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters. At fifteen, Kafka Tamura runs away from home, either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister. And the aging Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction, finds his highly simplified life suddenly upset. Their odyssey, as mysterious to us as it is to them, 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 fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle. Yet this, like 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.

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