Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

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27 comments

  • Hmmm. Fascinating. Haruki Murakami is an author I’ve always wanted to tackle. I haven’t even thought about it though because I understand his work is so out there. I like the idea of a story twining a young boy and an old man who at some point had become a simpleton. That is really a fascinating contrast to play with! And magical realism is such a fascinating genre. I’ve only read a handful so far but it really enlivens contemporary set reads. One day I will get to a Murakami … I just hope it doesn’t kill me!! 😉

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    • His work is definitely out there. I didn’t really know till I started reading this too! But I won’t lie that his grasp on magical realism is incredible. I do hope you’ll be able to endure the absurdity! 😀

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  • a chapter by chapter read along eh? Glad that worked out for you.

    I was all set to give this 5stars when I read it, until I hit the graphic incest scenes. I made it through the rest of the book but that really tanked the book for me. It also destroyed any interest I had in more Murakami. From your tags this looks like it was your first Murakami on the blog. Have you read any of his other stuff before and do you plan to read any more?

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    • The chapter by chapter read-along was only possible because she’s my real-life girlfriend and we could discuss about every chapter whenever we had read them hahah I wouldn’t use such a structure for any other read-along.

      Oh man!!!! I swear, it was already tough reading about the kid’s fascination for his own junk throughout the book and things got even more tougher when the taboo parts appeared… This is indeed my first Murakami and I do want to give some of his other popular work a shot before quitting too. For example, 1Q84 sounds intriguing and I’m curious to find out its reference to 1984.

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      • Well, that makes sense. Somethings just can’t happen online.

        I think IQ84 was my first Murakami and I don’t remember any incest in it. Still has enough sexual stuff that it made me leery and further works by him just confirmed he’s not for me, not matter the subject matter. It did lead me to some other Japanese classics though, so that was good.

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  • I really enjoyed reading this. I am a high school teacher and we just wrapped up a big unit on Kafka. I’ve always heard of this book, but I didn’t know what it was about and I was wondering if I should read it before next year. I will, just because it sounds like a great book (and I enjoyed Wind-Up Bird). Out of curiosity, is there any big connection to Kafka the writer or his work at all?

    Again, great review!

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    • I really appreciate that, Jeff! I think there’s a lot to appreciate in the writing style and the abstract concepts explored in this story. It’s odd yet so addictive. I think the only connection to the author is in the “style” of writing. It was more like a homage rather than an analytical reference, I believe. Murakami also references a lot of classical music/composers in his story and apparently its out of a real-life love for them! Thank you again for reading!

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  • I have only recently discovered Murakami for myself- I read the Norwegian Wood- and I know it won’t be my last Murakami… Brilliant review, Lashaan… I have not been one to dive into magical realism at free will but with Murakami as my guide, I think I’ll do just fine 🙂

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  • This is probably the book that I have not read yet heard and read the most about! Lol. Outstanding review Lashaan. You may just cause me to finally pick this one up after all.
    Magical Realism is such a hit or miss for me. Some books really grab my attention and make me think about almost everything and yet others simply leave me irritated. 🙈😀 Souds like you definitely enjoyed this one!

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    • I’ve seen 1Q84 a lot more myself but Murakami’s name has definitely been everywhere. I’m glad to have finally given one of his books a shot as it turned out to be quite the ride. I can assure you that if you expect something that “makes sense”, this will irritate you hahahaha

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      • Hahaha. That was what happened the first time I tried reading a Japanese book. Cannot remember the author at the moment but he’s in the same vein as Murakami. I read a book of his short stories and was going crazy! That warning about not ‘making sense’ would have helped them!!!

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  • Yay, I finally read your review!! 😍 That was an amazing experience for me to rediscover the book and to learn your thoughts about it too! Thank you so much for sharing it with me 😊 It stays one of my favourite books despite the few things you mentioned hahaha 😘 Amazing review, I truly enjoyed reading it!

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  • Just now I’ve got the book from Amazon. I bought it to give a try for my next semester’s project since I am a literature student. Thank you for the post. This will help me.

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  • Wow so well written. I loved Kafka on the shore especially the part here Kafka spends his time in library was very relaxing for me…I am reading men without women and it has got me hooked as well…thank god for authors like murakami…

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    • Thank you so much for the kind words! There were so many wonderful scenes that were very calming throughout the story. I loved the detail Murakami puts into every little mundane action, like cleaning or reading. I hope you have a good time with Men Without Women. I can’t wait to try my next Murakami myself! Such unique stuff.

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