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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore (2002)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,990376255 (4.07)1 / 961
  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
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (koenvanq)
  5. 10
    Number9Dream by David Mitchell (Anonymous user)
  6. 00
    Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley (somethingauthentic)
  7. 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)
  8. 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!
  9. 02
    Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (LottaBerling)
  10. 38
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (tandah)

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English (316)  French (15)  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 (374)
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
Murakumi brings deep emotional responses from the bottom of my soul.The discovery of ones identity is a highly personal and painful process.

I loved Kafka's journey. Every step of the way, I loved this book. So, so much. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
The majority of my experience reading this spectacular and surreal novel was exceptional. I haven’t been as thoroughly absorbed by a fictional world in a long time. Specifically, reading the first half was mesmerizing. The writing is simple, compelling, and multi-layered. The text so often naturally but unobtrusively functions on a literal and symbolic level.

Like his Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, I was less than thrilled by the way Murakami “landed” the dual narrative. It’s not that I wanted more explained; in fact, i may have wanted less. When people, narratives, and conflicts are mysteriously intertwined and the intertwining is done so well—and it’s done unbelievably well in this novel—it’s usually a let-down when the connections are explained. Additionally, the very end, while satisfying on certain levels, didn’t feel “resolution-y” enough to me.

Regardless of my criticisms, I loved this novel. I liked it more than Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which I really liked. It solidified my plan to continue reading Murakami in the near future. ( )
  petermoccia | Mar 20, 2019 |
I'm not quite finished reading it yet but unless shit pops off in a pretty major way, I feel pretty comfortable reviewing it. I'm also not sure where the break is to hide spoilery content so I'll just try to keep it spoiler free for the first bit.

Haruki Murakami is a great writer. His prose is evocative and masterful and he reminds me of Nabokov at times with his brief yet highly illustrative and emotive descriptions. Other times, he reminds me a bit of Vonnegut with his sense of humor and eye for the absurdity as well as fragility of humanity. However, I'm only about 20 pages from the end and the story has somewhat fizzled out.

I'll bring some spoilers in right about here. The chapters featuring Nakata were, at first, charming and odd and a strange breath of fresh air compared to the somewhat self serious, brooding Kafka Tamura chapters. I can only read so much about patricide and incest before needing a break, so Nakata's conversations with cats were a welcomed break from all that unsavory business. However, after a while, he became really repetitive and frustrating. Don't get me wrong, the narrative journey both characters embark on is interesting and entertaining, it just feels like Murakami was repeating himself over and over throughout the entirety of the book's 40 some odd chapters.

Now, 20 pages from the end, I'm finding myself struggling to return. Ms Saeki has died, Mr Nakata has died. Kafka has traveled to a strange settlement deep in the woods. With so few pages left, it's hard to imagine all these threads will be tied up in any satisfying way.

So many interesting things have happened over the course of this book. Colonel Sanders is a magical pimp. Johnnie Walker kills cats to make a magical flute. A truck driver who only wears aloha shirts helps an elderly man who talks to cats find something called the entrance stone. A fifteen year old boy runs away from home and finds himself wrapped up in a bizarre web of synchronicity, astral sex, murder and oedipal prophecy and you'd think all of that would be enough fuel to propel me through the finish line and see all these strange mysterious things to their conclusions but something has sucked all the energy out of it.

Maybe it's all the chapters where Nakata does little more than sleep for days at a time. Or all the chapters where Kafka has deep philosophical conversations with Oshima. I guess that my problem is that even though a lot happens in this book, it never really feels like anything is actually happening. There are virtually no stakes in any of the events that take place.

It's an interesting book with interesting characters who all do interesting things but somewhere along the road, it's managed to lose my interest. ( )
  Nick85 | Mar 12, 2019 |
Giving this 4 stars because I think the first half deserves 5 stars, and the second 3 stars.

The book initially sets up some really intriguing mysteries that are unfortunately never resolved, and instead devolves into jumbled, nonsensical metaphors.

The writing has a certain flow to it though, so even when it becomes overly abstract it's still an enjoyable read. ( )
  elianders | Feb 12, 2019 |
Kitaptan nefret mi etsem yoksa gerçekten sevsem mi bir türlü karar veremedim.
Baş karakterden gerçekten nefret ettim, cinsellikle ilgili kısımlar midemi bulandırdı.
15 yaşında bir çocuğun bu kadar abartılı şeyler yapması kabul edilebilir gibi değildi, benim açımdan.
Bunun dışında kitapta bir türlü ortaya çıkmayan garip olaylar bütününün kitabın sonunda bir şekilde bir araya gelip şaşırtmasını beklerdim.
Tüm bunları bir kenara atacak olursak,
Kitaptaki diğer karakterler, metaforlar, kitaplardan alıntılar, betimlemeler, hepsi harikaydı. Ruhumu doyurdu resmen ve aklımdan çıkmak bilmedi.
Şuan hala nefret mi sevgi mi ikilemi arasındayım. Karar veremiyorum. ( )
  beyzx | Dec 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 316 (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.
"... 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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