Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

To describe Kafka on the Shore as 'off the wall' is an understatement. The story starts with Kafka Tamura leaving home and going to the seaside village of Takamatsu. Kafka talks to a crow and reassures himself that he is the strongest 15 year old in the world. There he spends his days in self-education at a small private library. He is befriended by the clerk and a very remote head librarian. He dreams about his long-lost mother and sister.

A parallel story is about a illiterate elderly Toyko man who finds cats by talking to them. he commits a murder and decides to leave Tokyo. He is befriended by a truck driver who seems to be willing to do anything for this man.

It is absolutely surreal what happens afterwords. Fish fall from the sky, WWII soldiers never age and Colonel Sanders points the old man in the right direction.

This book would be a delight for those who love to interpret and have an intellectual read. Although the book is also a delightful straight-forward read, it is sometimes easy to get bogged down in the weirdness.

First Line: "So, you're all set for money, then?"



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