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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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Kafka on the Shore (original 2002; edition 2006)

by Haruki Murakami (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,912448266 (4.06)1 / 1025
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:nicksk
Title:Kafka on the Shore
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Author)
Info:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (2006), 480 pages
Collections:Your library
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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 1025 mentions

English (383)  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 (447)
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
Though it's not my first Murakami read I've had my issues picking up this book. The story os loosely based on the Oedipus myth and follows the story of Kafka Tamura as he runs away from his home in Tokyo.

I've definitely finished the book with more questions than answers, but the style and extensive metaphors paint a beautiful picture of a complex journey. The pace was perhaps a bit too slow for my taste, but at the same time it felt necessary for the plot to unfold. Even with it's gory points (Johnie walker's cat scene, the description of the white slippery blob thing Hoshino faces) and somewhat questionable sexual content, it's written in a way that doesn't normalise those things but looks at them from an objective point of view. With so many subplots it's difficult to get all the symbolism in a single round so it might benefit from a second read, which I will surely do. ( )
  aochan | Jan 15, 2023 |
NA ( )
  eshaundo | Jan 7, 2023 |
I don’t reaaaally like Murakami unless the text is especially emotionally resonant to (in? for?) me, and this one wasn’t very. But it was still an enjoyable work that kept me occupied for a few days while walking or cooking or whatever. ( )
  jammymammu | Jan 6, 2023 |
This is a DNF for me. The writing is fine and there are some interesting ideas and quotable lines but this is not the type of book I enjoy. It was a book club selection so I'm interested to see how the rest of my book club members felt about the story.
  sgwordy | Dec 31, 2022 |
Reading this particular edition of the book is a unique experience- the artwork and the physical production are simply extraordinary. If I had not recently read a couple of other Murakami novels I'm sure my rating would be one star higher, but the formulaic structure and recycling of so many elements of the story from other novels put me off. The wrap up was sweet, but still, the beautiful teenager in a miniskirt sexual experience, the cats, the bumping into a parallel universe are all so recycled I was quite annoyed. This edition also has an introduction by Murakami that also bugged me enormously, and I think this was not a good choice by the Folio Society. As mentioned, the artwork and printing is simply superb, but if I was them, even if I'd paid a hefty fee, I would have selected a vastly better introduction- Murakami's description of his writing style comes across as an Arnold Baffin, a character in Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince (a professional novelist who Iris paints as having no 'art'). The reusing from other novels and lack of originality just rang too true when reading Murakami's self description of writing the work, and the non-structured and pretty vacuous approach that he uses (according to him) in all his work apparently. If read apart from his other work it would likely be fine and he is of course exceptional at story telling. I had a similar experience reading too many David Mitchell novels close together, which also like the bumping into alternative worlds/magic realism. Too much. Lesson learned, leave 'em on the shelf and sample over time Peter... (in fact I just saw two David Mitchells waiting- I'll give them more time). The present book is a wonderful work of art, and so lovely I might say just read this one! Without the others it would seem unique, quirky and cool. But Norwegian Wood is so much better, what to do? I hope Folio will do an equal edition of Norwegian Wood (with a vastly better introduction)- then the decision would be easy. ( )
  PeterVize | Dec 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 383 (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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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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