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Kafka on the Shore (Vintage Magic) by Haruki…
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Kafka on the Shore (Vintage Magic) (original 2002; edition 2005)

by Haruki Murakami (Autor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,040434257 (4.06)1 / 998
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)
Member:AditiSantosh
Title:Kafka on the Shore (Vintage Magic)
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Autor)
Info:Vintage (2005), Edition: 01, 615 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (2002)

  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)
  5. 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)
  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 998 mentions

English (370)  French (15)  Dutch (12)  Spanish (10)  Danish (5)  Italian (4)  Catalan (4)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Norwegian (2)  Hungarian (1)  Polish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Estonian (1)  All languages (433)
Showing 1-5 of 370 (next | show all)
this book was amazing ( )
  oksanrio | Jan 17, 2022 |
This book is unrate-able.

While being a gripping page-turner and highly fluent, Kafka on the Shore kinda rambled on a little too much with little answers. It's hard to discern whether this is a novel lending itself to multiple valid interpretations in the way post-modern fiction works usually do; a mystery tale with a unique solution to a number of riddles that few will only find; or just a story that failed to make enough sense as it unfolded, leaving out those critical (maybe nonexistent?) pieces that would've served to shape it into a coherent tale in the minds of resolution-seekers.

Nevertheless, a metaphysical mythical mystery ride, this book never failed in provoking thought. A load of unanswered questions still wander around unanswered in the shore of my consciousnesses. Perhaps, some works are meant to put a dent in the havens of our thought; a dent that is just enough to disturb those of us who seek comfort and solace in their mental processes and/or perceptions of reality. If that is the case, then Murakami and his book are nothing short of genius. The magical realistic elements employed, time-bending, the dream-like state of the world, and themes of memory and nostalgia are wonderful ideas to grapple with. I, for one, believe that magical realism exercises and activates the brain in a unique way; probably moving regions of the brain that are usually left dormant and rarely untapped.

Depending on how my future unfolds, my interaction/relationship with this book will evolve in many possible ways. I might end up revisiting this review and rewarding KotS with its last and missing star. But for now, I am mentally unstable; the dent has been made and the damage has been done. ( )
  nonames | Jan 14, 2022 |
I enjoyed reading this book. I have not read magical realism for a long time. At times I felt that the plot was not quite tight enough. An experienced reader will be fine with it. ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
I've been wanting to write this review for about a week now, but simply thinking about how inadequately I would describe the experience of reading "Kafka on the Shore" was enough to stop me in my tracks and continue my existence as a miserable chronic procrastinator.

I've talked to several people after completion, either those who have read it (and loved it), or those who are unsure about getting to it thanks to the novel's online notoriety as a meandering, pointless, convoluted, overly-descriptive, mundane novel. Hell, the top review here jokingly recommends it for masochists, but if we are to talk about enjoyment of the novel, I have to defend the novel in its ability to transport one (myself, at least) into this otherworld of beautiful abstractions, teenage angst, and poignant encounters. The ability that the novel has of turning the mundane into something mysterious and captivating is almost a transformative experience, I'd felt as if some quiet, formless thing had entered into my surroundings and changed them completely. Immediately, I realised that the change, however subtle, was inside of me. One of the seemingly meaningless quotes in the novel, in which a character talks about the inside being a project of the outside and vice versa, ended up becoming one of the most meaningful extracts from the novel.

Ok, so I'm very horrible with endings, but seeing how much reviews here can influence a person's decision to read a book or not, I'd like to touch on that really quickly. I mean, yes, you have the free will and right to decide what book you read or not, but it feels slightly off that some people would hold an angry prejudice over a book like this without even giving it a go. First of all, you're missing out on something you may experience nowhere else, secondly, you're listening to an individual's opinions as another individual. Yes if you moral sensibilities are hurt by this books incestuous plot, then maybe put it off until you feel you can handle it, but if someone else says it's boring and immediately changes your perception of the book, then maybe it's time to reconsider your own ability to make decisions (especially if the book interested you in the first place, if not, then why are you even reading about it?)

Also, I just have to state my opinion that this is a flawed masterpiece of a coming-of-age story. ( )
  yuef3i | Sep 19, 2021 |
I LOVE OSHIMA ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 370 (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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